criminal law and procedures


Module 03 Content

  1. This week you were introduced to different degrees of murder, and the lesser included offenses of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Now you will review the following scenario in which these offenses come into play.
  2. Scenario

    Cecelia and Robbie are a married couple and they have been dealing with some marital troubles for the past several months. Cecelia suspects that her husband Robbie has been resuming an intimate relationship with his co-worker Helen. Cecelia’s suspicions arise from the fact that Robbie has frequently been coming home late from work, and he has been spending weekends away on business trips with Helen.
    Last week Cecelia arrived home from work to find Robbie speaking on his cell phone. Cecelia suspects that Robbie may be speaking to Helen, because she overhears Robbie saying things such as, “I enjoy spending time with you,” and “let’s get away for the weekend and I will tell Cecelia it is another work trip”. Cecelia interrupts Robbie and asks him with whom he is speaking. Robbie is startled but replies that he is speaking with a client. Angered by what she believes is a lie, Cecelia storms into the bedroom and slams the door.
    After spending some time in the bedroom, Cecelia decides to confront Robbie. While yelling at him she tells him, “I know you’ve been cheating on me!” Distraught and visibly angry, Robbie replies, “Yes, what else did you expect? You’re a lousy wife, and I never wanted to marry you.” He then hits Cecelia and pushes her to the floor causing a bruise to her chest and left arm. Robbie pauses for a moment to await Cecelia’s response. Hearing none, he continues his tirade: “I’ll divorce you in a hot second. I’ll get the best divorce lawyer in town, and you’ll walk out of this marriage without a dime.” A moment later, Cecelia asked Robbie whether he really means what he said. He responds that he did and also says “what are you going to do about it?” Cecelia replies, “give me a minute,” and then begins to experience an intense panic attack with accompanying heart palpitations which, according to her account of the incident, clouded her ability to think clearly. A few moments later, she walks over to the closet to grab a handgun, and hides it behind her back. Cecelia then walks over to Robbie and shoots him 10 times in various parts of his body. He soon dies as a result. After shooting Robbie, she goes to his phone to pull up Helen’s address and phone number. She drives over to Helen’s house and knocks on her door. When Helen answers she shoots her in the chest and then takes off back to her vehicle where she quickly drives off. Cecelia is later apprehended for the murder of Robbie and Helen. What charges will be indicted on as a result of her actions?

  3. Response & Indictment

    You are a paralegal living in Minnesota working for the state’s prosecution and have been asked to research the possible charges for this scenario and draft an indictment.

    Part I

    First, respond to the following question in a memo using the IRAC Method. In a 2-3 page response answer the following:Is manslaughter the best possible charge against Cecilia in this scenario or does the state have enough evidence for a first degree murder charge? Be sure to cite (using Bluebook Standards) all relevant statutes from the State of Minnesota.Refer to the following FAQ in composing your IRAC memo.
    What is the IRAC Method?

    Part II
    • Based on your conclusions in your IRAC method memo, construct an indictment. Use the below resources to help you structure your indictment.

Sample Indictment

    • Note: This sample is from Georgia. You can use this sample as a template, but you will need to research the statutes in Minnesota and present it from the State of Minnesota. You can use Hennepin County, State of Minnesota, and Minnesota Judicial Circuit as your geographical location, but you will need to identify the relevant statutes in Minnesota.
    • Here is a site where you can research the relevant Minnesota criminal statutes: 2018 Minnesota Statutes Chapter 609 Criminal Code.
    • Indictment FAQ: What is an Indictment and can I see a sample?
  1. Format

    Your complete response should be 4-6 pages. Be sure to cite all your references and format them according to Bluebook Standards. For writing assistance, consider using Grammarly or submitting your written assignment to the Writing Lab prior to submitting your assignment.

    Need help?

    Use the following links for information on structuring and formatting your case brief.

    Make an appointment with a Paralegal Tutor in Tutor Match.

    For a complete list of writing resources including the Bluebooking using the Indigo Book, Writing Guide, or Writing Lab please visit the FAQ How do I access writing support?

    • Other helpful resources are available in the Paralegal pages of the School of Justice Studies Guide.
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