Fictitious Case Study 2
Your case study concerns the facts of a fictitious criminal case described in the assignment document below. This case presents several crimes against property. You will be creating a prosecution case and a defense for FIVE of the crimes, so select FIVE crimes that show not only an actus reus and mens rea for a particular crime, but also present possible defenses to the crime. You should read through the facts several times and then complete the case study as instructed below. Make sure to apply not only what you are learning in this lesson, but also what you have learned in prior lessons.
Facts for the Case Study:
Ken is a state senator. Ken decided to hold a function to raise campaign funds for his political party. The contributors gave over $700,000. Ken’s wife Karen is Ken’s bookkeeper. Ken instructed Karen to send $500,000 that he raised to his political party. Karen, who did not know how much money had been raised at the function, sent $500,000 to the political party.
Ken and Karen had a troubled marriage, and Karen tried never to cross Ken or get him mad at her, as in the past he had physically assaulted her. When Ken asked Karen for a check in the amount of $200,000 to purchase a luxury hunting camp in his name only, Karen started to question Ken about the money. When Karen saw Ken’s face turning red she did not ask any more questions and wrote out the check. Ken planned to make personal use of the camp, including using it for additional campaign fundraising events. Ken and Karen began to use the new hunting camp for personal vacations.
Ken also decided to make some major renovations to the camp, and he hired Hiram, a less than reputable contractor and the owner of “Renovations ‘R Us,” to do the work. Last week, Ken, who was returning from an out-of-town trip, found Karen dead in one of the bedrooms of the hunting camp. Ken was not aware that Karen was visiting the camp, as her car was parked in the garage. Ken was so distraught when he found Karen dead that he accidentally knocked over an open can of kerosene left behind by Hiram on the driveway near the porch. As Ken ran from the camp he lit up a cigarette, tossed the match to the ground, and sped away in his car. The ground caught fire and the porch on the camp began to burn.
Meanwhile, Kelsey, the neighborhood snoop, who had entered the camp minutes before Ken’s arrival to see what was going on with the renovations and possibly pick up some scraps of construction materials for his own use, hid in the closet when he heard Ken drive up. When Kelsey heard Ken leave and then smelled smoke he immediately left the camp, called the fire department when he saw that the camp was on fire, and began to kick down the burning railings surrounding the front porch to prevent the fire from spreading. The firemen raced to the scene. Kai, one of the firemen, ran into the burning camp and found Karen. Kai was overcome with smoke and fumes, but he was still able to carry Karen out of the camp.
Before Kai fainted and hit his head on a rock, he noticed a real sparkler on Karen’s hand and he slid the ring off Karen’s finger and put it in his pocket. Kai was immediately taken to the hospital, and he regained consciousness two days later. Kai found Karen’s ring in his pocket and did not remember how it had gotten there. Kai owed some money to Kevin, a loan shark, who owned a local jewelry story that was used as a storefront for other criminal activity. Kai took the ring into Kevin, who wondered where Kai had gotten the ring. Kevin did not ask any questions and told Kai all accounts were settled.
Instructions for Completing the Case Study:
Your case study will consist of three sections as described below. Complete each section as instructed.
The Prosecutor’s Case: For the first part of the case study, you are acting on behalf of the state. You are the prosecutor. After reading the facts for the case study identify at least FIVE crimes that you would charge various people with having committed. As part of your identification, you should discuss the actus reus and mens rea for each crime and why you believe they have been satisfied by the facts. You should also discuss other circumstances, causation, if any, and bad results, if any, that apply for each crime. Remember there may be more than one party to a particular crime.
The Defense: For the second part of the case study, you are acting on behalf of the defendant. You are the defense attorney. Present at least ONE defense for each of the FIVE charges made by the prosecutor. Explain why you believe these defenses apply to each charge.
The Judgment: For the final part of the case study, you are acting on behalf of the court. You are the judge. Decide how you would rule on each of the FIVE charges – guilty, not guilty, or some other ruling. You must state one ruling for each charge and provide a brief justification for your verdict.