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Scenario Summary Currently, Sneaky Pete is charged with robbery.

please help me with this You Decide I am having a very hard time understanding it.

Scenario Summary

Currently, Sneaky Pete is charged with robbery. He was involved with robbing a grocery store with a gun. Pete indicated to the cashier he had a gun by showing the butt of the gun in his waistband while his buddy stood beside him looking for others to come into the store. Neither the cashier nor any patrons were hurt during the robbery. Both Pete and his friend were apprehended by police only a few blocks away from the scene. Pete was found hiding under a parked car as police began a canvas of the area. His friend was found hiding in a dumpster nearby. Both were arrested without incident and admitted to police that they had in fact committed the crime. Pete is only 18 years of age. He has been in and out of foster homes as a youth. Sneaky Pete also has a juvenile record for shoplifting and auto theft. This is his first time in adult court. Sneaky tells his attorney that he has a drug and alcohol problem. He also has no job and he never finished high school. Pete dropped out of school in the ninth grade.


Aggravated robbery involving a gun has a penalty range of prison for 3 to 10 years. At the felony level Pete is indicted for, there is a presumption for prison to be imposed. There is also a 3-year gun specification for Pete using a firearm in the commission of a crime. If he pleads guilty or is convicted of the gun specification, Pete must serve 3 years consecutive to any prison sentence imposed on a robbery conviction. Based on the indictment filed against him, the maximum sentence he could potentially serve if convicted of the most serious charges against him is 13 years. If Pete pleads guilty or is convicted of aggravated robbery, there is a presumption that a prison sentence should be imposed against him.


There are also two lower forms of robbery that are part of the indictment and do not have a presumption of a prison sentence. If Pete pleads guilty or is convicted of one of these lesser forms of robbery, the judge has the option to impose a prison sentence or place Pete on some form of probation. Serving in a local correctional facility could be a condition the judge may impose as a condition of probation. The local jurisdiction has a community-based correctional facility (CBCF) that is used to divert offenders from prison. CBCF is a locked-down facility where inmates work a 6-9 month program. Obtaining sobriety, an education, and job and life skills are the priority in the program. Pete's attorney has a good relationship with both the prosecutor and the judge.


Back in Judge Justice's chambers, the parties convene to have a discussion about Sneaky Pete's case.


Read the questions below posed by the prosecutor, defense attorney, and judge, and provide answers to each. You may use the Week 5 Lecture and Chapter 12 as reference material.


Your Assignment

This activity places you in the roles of judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney as they negotiate a plea bargain in a particular case. You are asked to respond to specific decision points in the plea negotiations involving Sneaky Pete's case. Being charged with robbery, Pete's case poses some challenges for all parties concerned. As part of your answers in this assignment, be sure to address the questions posed by the judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney. Your response should be 700-850


Prior to starting your work on this assignment, you should review the grading rubrics carefully so that you include all graded items in your final product.



Key Players


Jake Law, prosecutor


Jake Law has been an assistant district attorney for 12 years. He is a no-nonsense prosecutor who is not afraid to go to trial. But he is always willing to talk to defense attorneys about resolving cases due to large caseloads. Back in chambers, Law tells the judge that Pete is at a turning point in his life. He comments that Pete has a bit of a juvenile record and his current offense is serious. Law also expresses concern about Pete's addiction issues. Law asks the defense attorney, "Chris, why should I take a risk on Sneaky and agree to probation?" He also asks Judge Justice, "Judge, how do you feel about CBCF as a means to resolve the case?"




Chris Vaughn, defense attorney


Chris Vaughn has had her own legal practice for about 15 years. Her practice is exclusively criminal defense. She is thinking that both the prosecutor and the judge could go either way on Pete in terms of arguing for prison. Vaughn starts out by telling Judge Justice and Prosecutor Law that Sneaky Pete is a lifelong resident in the community and has had a lot of family and substance abuse issues. Vaughn also comments that Pete has never been afforded any meaningful programs to get his high school diploma or GED. She mentions that he has not received any substance abuse treatment and his addiction was the basis for the robbery. She concludes by telling them that he has no real job skills. Vaughn asks Prosecutor Law, "Jake, would you be willing to reduce the aggravated robbery charge to where there isn't the presumption for prison?" Vaughn asks Judge Justice, "Judge, if probation is not an option, can you sentence Sneaky to a minimum sentence?"




Judge William Justice


Judge Justice has been on the bench over 20 years and is considered a moderate-to-tough judge. He appreciates when defendants take responsibility for their actions. But he is always open for discussion on how to dispose of a case. He is accustomed to telling attorneys what he would do to defendants out of a plea bargain or after conviction at trial. Judge Justice ask both attorneys, "Guys, what are my options here? What should we do with this defendant?" Judge Justice asks Defense Attorney Vaughn, "Why should I take a risk on this guy by not sending him to prison? It looks like he is going nowhere." Judge Justice asks Prosecutor Law, "Jake, are there any offers on the table in reducing the charges or a recommendation on sentencing?"




Sneaky Pete, Offender


At age 18, Sneaky Pete has seen his share of courtrooms, both as a juvenile and now as an adult offender. His unstable family environment has exposed him to many foster home stays. Coupled with a truancy problem that started in ninth grade, Pete began appearing in juvenile court as a neglected child and then as a juvenile delinquent. Now he is facing serious felony charges that could land him in prison for a possible 13-year term. With no real family support, Pete sits in jail awaiting trial. He is looking toward his court-appointed attorney for guidance. Pete asks his attorney, "Am I going to prison?" "Is there any chance I could get probation?" "What should I do?"


You Decide

Activity or Assignment

Please responded to each question that best answers the three decision points in this group's discussion.



1.What is the role of the prosecutor in the plea bargaining process?

2.As prosecutor, what would you recommend in an attempt to resolve the case and why?

3.Prior to agreeing to the plea bargain, should the prosecutor consult with anyone?

4.Be sure to address the questions that the defense attorney and judge have posed to the prosecutor.

Questions Pertaining to Defense Attorney's Role


5.What role does the defense attorney have in representing his or her client in the plea bargain process?

6.As Sneaky Pete's defense attorney, what would you suggest as a possible plea bargain to resolve the case against him?

7.Please address the questions that the prosecutor and judge have posed.

8.How would you address the question posed by your client? What would you tell him?

Questions Pertaining to Judge's Role


9.What role does the judge fulfill in this process?

10.Based on the role as judge, would you have suggestions to both counsels on a plea resolution in the case?

11.As judge, do you perceive risks in granting probation to Pete?

12.Please respond to the comments by the prosecutor and the defense attorney.

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