Posted: September 22nd, 2022
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Imagine that you are the Assistant State’s Attorney in the Bazalia County State’s Attorney’s Office when you are asked to make a charging decision regarding a domestic violence situation in your jurisdiction. Specifically, a detective calls seeking authorization to charge Sally Jo with the Attempt Murder of her mother, Mary Jo. You learn from the detective that Sally Jo, 19 years old, became involved in an altercation with her mother, Mary Jo which started in the family home. The fight started with just yelling by each, but quickly escalated when Sally Jo left the apartment and ran to her car. Her mother, Mary Jo, ran after her, yelling loudly as she pursued Sally Jo. Several neighbors reported to police that they heard Sally Jo and Mary Jo yelling, but could not identify what was being said until both Sally Jo and Mary Jo reached a vehicle parked in the complex parking lot. One witness reported seeing Sally Jo reach into her car and pull out a knife. Another witness reported hearing her say, “I can’t take this anymore, I’m going to kill you”, and charge toward Mary Jo, stabbing her in the throat. Each witness clearly heard those words and police recovered a bloody knife at the scene of the stabbing. The police were called and Mary Jo was transported to the hospital, and is stable condition. Sally Jo was arrested and was uninjured. In the state of Bazalia, this Attempt Murder charge does not carry the possibility for probation. If charged and convicted, Sally Jo must serve, based on the statutory minimum mandatory sentence, at least 8 years in prison. The detective requesting permission to file this charge tells you that the report will include interviews with all of the witnesses, medical reports about Mary Jo’s injuries (stating it was not life threatening and that she is expected to make a full recovery) and a statement from Mary Jo saying that she and her daughter argue often, but that this is the first time that Sally Jo has become violent. Detectives also report to you that Sally Jo admitted the stabbing during interrogation after waiving her Miranda rights, saying that she simply could not bear the constant badgering by her mother, and that she has been through a lot of late. There is no indication that any of the witnesses are unwilling to testify. You also learn from the detective that Sally Jo recently reported being abused for years by a neighbor, and recently disclosed that to her mother, Mary Jo, who does not believe that to have occurred. Sally Jo has no prior criminal history and is undergoing treatment for her sexual abuse. Mary Jo is gainfully employed as a police dispatcher and has never called the police about the conduct of her daughter Sally Jo in the past. This is the first police contact for a domestic incident in this family. You must decide whether approve the Detective’s request to charge Sally Jo with Attempt Murder in your state. Assume, in your state, that the elements of Attempt Murder are as follows: A person who takes a substantial step toward the commission of First Degree Murder, reflecting an intent to commit great bodily harm OR by using a deadly weapon, is guilty of Attempt Murder. In a 1-2 page paper, in APA 7th format (minimum 1 page), discuss the following: The factors that you would consider in deciding whether to charge Sally with Attempt Murder. Be sure to identify at least 2 reasons to charge Sally Jo and two reasons not to charge Sally Jo. Provide your opinion as to what YOU would do as the prosecutor in this case. Would you charge her? Would you decline charges? You MAY write this paper in 1st person. Be sure to format your paper properly in APA 7th and provide at least two (2) sources to support your discussion
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