Self-Defense Case - In the case being presented, we are...

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In the case being presented, we are reviewing the consequences of the death of a prison guard by a prisoner in terms of punishment and affects on parole. Recently, a prisoner, my client Mike Jones, involuntarily killed a guard, Robert Miller, in self- defense. The situation began when the prison official saw my client and another prisoner horse playing, which is “when there is any physical contact, or attempted physical contact, between two or more persons, done in a prankish or playful manner without anger or intent to injure or intimidate” (PD 03.03.105C). According to witnesses, the guard went after the prisoner and began choking him because of rude comments the prisoner had said about the guard and his family after the guard had sent him to his cell. The helpless prisoner pushed the guard off of him causing the guard to fall down a flight of stairs, which led to his death. The prisoner felt threatened and that his life was in danger. Therefore, it became a natural reaction for the prisoner to defend himself. Killing of the guard was completely unintentional. The prisoner was punished by being put in solitary confinement for three months and his chances of parole were stripped from him. The prisoner was incarcerated for a nonviolent crime and other guards say he has always been very cooperative. This case is not a criminal case, but rather a case of questioning prison policies in order to reduce the punishment of this prisoner. The case deals with self-defense policies of the prisoners, use of force policies on behalf of the guard, and reasonable means of punishment. I intend to question the validity of the current policy in this situation, which states that, “Employees are permitted to use as much force as is reasonably necessary to perform their duties and to protect themselves from harm” (PD 04.05.110). In order to do so, I must prove that the force used by the guard was excessive and in violation of my
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client’s Eight Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment. I propose to review the following questions in this case: (i) When is it reasonable for a prison official to use force? (ii) How much force is acceptable? (iii) If the prison official uses beyond a reasonable amount of force, is self-defense acceptable? (iv) What is a reasonable punishment for my client, and what affects should this situation have on parole? My goal is to argue that self-defense in this situation was acceptable and that the prisoner’s punishment is unreasonable. I will also argue that the guard’s use of force was unreasonable and that that the previously mentioned policy holds no validity in this situation since the guard was not threatened by any sort of harm and his actions were unnecessary in performing his required duties. Meanwhile, the defendant, the prison, will try to argue that the policy is very reasonable and completely valid in this situation. They will also argue that the prison official’s actions were acceptable. Therefore, the defense
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2008 for the course CJ 474 taught by Professor Roberts during the Fall '07 term at Michigan State University.

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Self-Defense Case - In the case being presented, we are...

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