Should the death penalty be imposed on people who commit premeditated murder under the influence of drugs or alcohol?  

Some people believe that the death penalty should not be applied in such cases because the defendant is not in control of his/ her actions, i.e., is drunk or otherwise intoxicated.  

Other people believe that the death penalty is appropriate in such cases because even though the defendant is not in control of his/her or action, he/she made a conscious decision to use drugs or alcohol in the first place.   

A third group of people believe that the death penalty should never be imposed, regardless of the circumstances, because it is cruel and inhuman, violates the Eighth Amendment and may be applied to people who are innocent. 



         State your position clearly from the very beginning of your essay.   Also explain the reasons for your position on the issue.  You will be graded on the basis of the clarity and coherence of your essay regardless of your position on the issue.   Three paragraphs will suffice. 


 3. Julie is on trial for murder in the first degree, an A-1 felony pursuant to New York Penal Law.  She has been indicted for the killing of police officer in the course of an armed robbery.  The case is at the jury selection stage now.   They are conducting voir dire and Julie and her lawyer want to make sure they choose the best possible jury so she can get a fair trial. She maintains she is innocence but there is some circumstantial evidence which point to her as the person who killed the police officer.  There is also an eyewitness named Janet, a person of the Jewish faith, who claims she saw Julie pull the trigger and kill the police officer.   The dead officer was a person of Jewish descent.   Julie has instructed her lawyer to object to any juror who is of Jewish descent.   The lawyer has indicated that it is illegal to exclude people from a jury because of their race or faith. Based on these facts: 


A.    Julie’s lawyer can object to any potential juror who is Jewish on the grounds that they may be inclined to vote against Julie out of a feeling of solidarity with the dead police officer who was of Jewish descent, however the judge is likely to overrule the objection because excluding someone from a jury on the basis of race or religion is not legally or constitutionally permissible. 


B.    Julie’s lawyer can exclude potential Jewish jurors using his peremptory challenges in which case the lawyer does not have to provide an explanation as to why he is excluding the potential jurors. 


C.    All of the above. 


        D. None of the above.


4.  Steve was tried for criminal sale of controlled substance, i.e., cocaine, in the first degree.   He  

     wants to appeal the conviction, his first appeal, because he feels his 4th and 5th Amendment  

     rights were violated before and during the trial.   However, he has no money, as he spent all  

     the money he had on the lawyer who represented him at trial.  Based on these facts: 


  1. Steve does not have a right to a court-appointed lawyer because that right only applies during the trial stage, not on appeal.  


  1. Steve has a right to court-appointed counsel because this is his first appeal and the right to court-appointed counsel extends to a defendant’s first appeal. 


  1. If Steve is represented by court-appointed counsel at his first appeal, loses his appeal and later wants to file a subsequent appeal, he would have to get his own lawyer because the right to court-appointed counsel only extends until the first criminal appeal.
  2. B & C only.  




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