Your final assignment involves United States v. Bass, No. 01-1471, a real-life case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court reversed a Sixth Circuit opinion upholding a federal court’s decision to grant defendant John Bass’s discovery motion based on selective prosecution.
Bass, the defendant, alleged that the government was seeking the death penalty against him because of his race and was granted a motion for discovery regarding the government’s capital charging practices. (Discovery is a legal process whereby each opposing side is required to divulge or disclose information to the other side if that information is to be used at trial.) The Sixth Circuit found that Bass made a threshold showing based on national statistics that “the United States charged Blacks with a death-eligible offense more than twice as often as it charges Whites.” (A threshold is the material or necessary component of something.)
The Supreme Court, however, found that Bass didn’t make a threshold showing for a selective prosecution case, which requires evidence of a discriminatory effect and discriminatory intent. The Supreme Court reversed the Sixth Circuit, holding that a discriminatory effect couldn’t be found because “raw statistics regarding overall charges say nothing about charges brought against similarly situated defendants.” (United States v. Bass, 536 U.S. 862 (2002) (per curiam)).
1. Read the appeal (the underlying opinion upon which the Supreme Court based its decision). You can access the full text at http://tinyurl.com/aygh4uv.
2. Read the actual Supreme Court opinion at http://tinyurl.com/b24tfa6. As you probably know, Supreme Court review is the end of the line, so to speak, since there’s no higher authority to which one may appeal in a criminal case. However, for purposes of this assignment, imagine that you’re an advocate for Mr. Bass.
Your task is to argue that the Supreme Court ruled incorrectly in the United States v. Bass case
As advocate, you must make the arguments even if you personally don’t believe the Supreme Court was wrong in its ruling. You must explain in detail why the Supreme Court ruling was incorrect. Your boss has handed you the file. Go to it
1. Type your submission, double-spaced, in a standard print font, size 12. Use a standard document format with 1-inch margins. (Don’t use any fancy or cursive fonts.)
2. Include the following information at the top of your paper:
b. Student number
c. Course title and number (Multicultural Law Enforcement, CJS235)
d. Research project number (40628200)
3. Read the assignment carefully and address the issue suggested.
4. Be specific. Limit your submission to the topic or issues mentioned.
5. Include a reference page that lists Web sites, journals, or other references used in preparing the submission.
6. Proofread your work carefully. Check for correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization
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