Bank Robbery in a Small Town

| February 20, 2014

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Assume that YOU are on a jury, determining whether the prosecution has proved this case ?beyond a reasonable doubt.? The beyond a reasonable doubt standard is frequently described as the level of scrutiny of evidence that one would bring in making a decision about ?the most important of one?s affairs? ? such as making a decision about a serious surgery, buying a home, etc (perhaps choosing whether and where to attend graduate school!). It does NOT mean beyond ALL doubt; rather, it requires bringing one?s reason to bear on all of the facts and circumstances, and determining whether one is convinced. One helpful question in addressing this may be determining whether any other conclusion than that suggested by the evidence makes rational sense.
With this in mind, respond to the following questions:
– Considering all of the evidence presented, are you convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the apprehended suspect is, in fact, the bank robber?
– If so, why? If not, why not? In answering this question, please reference the relative strength/weakness of the four primary classes of evidence here: (1) the circumstances of the pursuit of the robber and/or suspect, the placement of the recovered pieces of evidence (exclusive of their later analysis), the scent trail followed by the bloodhound, etc ? the circumstantial case comprising just the case facts noted above PRIOR TO any analysis of evidence; (2) the shoe print evidence; (3) the firearm comparison evidence; and (4) the DNA evidence. Then consider the evidence as a whole. If you believe the case is proved, please lay out in a narrative fashion what the evidence supports happened upon the robber leaving the bank, and what and how the evidence supports each of the steps. If you do NOT believe the case is proved, please lay out an alternative theory that you believe reasonable, addressing how the evidence against the suspect fits that alternative theory and is overcome as against him, and falls short of proof.
There are no ?right? or ?wrong? answers to this assignment ? I am looking for thorough (yet concise) analysis of the circumstances of the crime and pursuit, and the forensic findings, and how this evidence may (or may not) be useful in proving the case. I will not be counting pages turned in; however, a thorough answer and write up will certainly be at least two, double-spaced pages (with 12-point type, 1? margins, etc), probably be more like at least three
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