Chapter 3 & 6 Extra Credit Hypos

Chapter 3 & 6 Extra Credit Hypos

Burden of Proof and Presumptions


Write a concise paragraph responding to each hypo on the reverse or on a separate sheet of paper attached to this one. This must be turned in at the begining of class prior to Test #1.

Hypo #1
The Jury is deliberating a gruesome rape case and sends out a note that they are at an impasse, that the evidence for and against the defendants guilt seems pretty evenly balanced, leaning somewhat more towards guilt than innocence. They want to know what they should do. What instruction will you give them?

Hypo #2
Legislators are up in arms because the latest crime trend statistics from the Attorney General's office shows that domestic violence is increasing. To combat this trend, they approve a "Domestic Violence Repeat Offender" ballot proposition, which states that 2nd and subsequent criminal charges of domestic violence against a person with prior convictions need only be proved by a "preponderance of the evidence". Outraged ACLU members challenge the proposition and it is appealed to the US Supreme Court. How should Willie and the Supremes rule?

Hypo #3
Hot Rod Hal is charged with driving on a suspended license when he knew it was suspended. The DA presented evidence that a formal notice of suspension requiring Hal to return his license was mailed to Hal at the address on file with DMV with a return receipt showing actual delivery. At trial, the judge instructs the jury that Vehicle Code SS14601.3(b) provides that if the notice of suspension is mailed and DMV receives a return receipt, knowledge by the defendant of the suspension is conclusively presumed unless rebutted. Hal is convicted and appeals. What should his attorney argue?

Hypo #4
​Deadly Dan is on trial for assault with a lethal weapon. He brought in a witness to testify that Dan couldn't possibly have been at the scene of the crime because Dan was with him (the witness) the whole time. In her final summation to the jury, the DA argues to the jury that they should not believe Dan's alibi witness because the evidence supporting the alibi is not stronger than the evidence against the alibi, so Dan has not carried his burden of proof. The defense attorney objects. What arguments should he make? What arguments should the DA make?