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Pretrial Motions Paper

Pretrial Motions Paper

Question Description

1. You are a defense attorney preparing for a criminal trial and know very little about the crime and surrounding circumstances. What are your best tools for learning more about the crime to prepare for trial and how can you utilize them? Give examples of tools available through the courts and independent means of investigating the crime.

2. Many prosecutors have an “open file” policy where the prosecutionshares everything in its file with the defense attorneys preparing fortrial. Is this a preferable policy to turning over only the specificpieces of evidence required by law?

Describe the pros and cons of an open file policy.


Your client was in the homeof Clay Snow drinking moonshine whiskey with Snow and James Crawford.They sat in a small living room with no more than five feet separatingthe three men. Around 5 p.m., some petty arguments and disagreementsoccurred between your client and Crawford. One person called the other a”damn liar”, and then your client and Crawford stood up and movedtoward each other. Snow got between the two men and wrapped his armsaround your client’s waist to prevent violence. Snow felt Crawfordbehind him, and all three men started moving sideways toward the bed.Snow then heard gunfire and turned to see Crawford take three to foursteps toward the dining room door before going down to his knees andcollapsing on the floor. Your client admits shooting Crawford butclaims he did so in self-defense. He maintains that Crawford but claimshe did so in self-defense. He maintains that Crawford jumped on top ofhim and choked him. When he saw Crawford reach into his pocket, hethought Crawford was reaching for a gun.

Before trial, theprosecutor furnished you with all the photographs of the crime scene inthe prosecutor’s possession. You conclude, however, that the photos donot afford you an adequate means of understanding the crime scene anddetermining the location and relationship between the objects offurniture in Snow’s house. You feel that you need to know the actualsize of the room in order to understand the explanation of events givento you by your client since it would be difficult to examine andcross-examine witnesses about the details of events that occurred at alocation with which you are unfamiliar. Snow denied your request toview the crime scene, and you would like the court to order Snow topermit your inspection of the crime scene. Draft a motion that willgive you access to the crime scene.

Precisely what are yourequesting from the court, and what is the court’s authority to ordersuch an inspection? Will you request

A. discovery from the state?

B. some variation on a subpoena duces tecum to Mr. Snow?

C. a search warrant to inspect the crime scene?

D.enforcement of a constitutional guarantee of compulsory process thatestablishes the defendant’s right to call for evidence in his behalf?

Answer all questions, in 2-3 pages.

Minimum Requirements:

Provide a 500-word minimum essay.

Use property APA formatting and citations, including ‘in-text’ citations.

Reference at least 2 outside credible resources.

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