Bench Memorandum Case Study

Great Essays
United States. v. Dunn Bench Memorandum
The purpose of this bench memorandum is to inform the District Court Judge on the significance of Dunn v. United States in refining 18 U.S.C. § 1623, “False declarations before a court or grand jury”, and 18 U.S.C. § 1621, “Perjury generally”, as well as explaining the fundamental purpose of due process. Specifically, this bench memorandum should serve as a reference for District Court judges on how to draft jury instructions about these laws.
Statement of Facts
During a grand jury investigation into Philip Musgrave in June 1976, the District Court called Robert Dunn, Musgrave’s fellow inmate, to testify about Musgrave’s involvement in drug-related crimes. The District Court gave Dunn a grant of immunity
…show more content…
Courts are therefore required to follow the law in any trial. Specifically, juries are not allowed to find a defendant guilty of crimes in which he or she was not charged. You should determine a defendant’s guilt only of crimes in which he or she was charged.
When considering a defendant’s guilt of a crime, you must weigh all the relevant, and formally submitted, evidence. Only then, can you make a decision that a defendant is guilty of a crime in which a grand jury indicted him or her on, beyond a reasonable doubt. […]” The significance of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Dunn v. U.S. rests in the way it clarified the basic laws that affect perjury cases. Specifically, the analysis of “proceeding…ancillary to” phrase in § 1623 only leaves room for formal, court-authorized, legal proceedings that are carried out in court-approved locations. Further, the Supreme Court’s holding concerning the nature of due process explicitly states that individuals only be tried and possibly convicted for crimes in which they were charged. Therefore, Dunn v. U.S. can serve as adequate precedent in determining the nature of jury instructions and the ultimate decisions in perjury

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Also, there must be a legal basis for the appeal such as alleged material error in the trial, despite not because the losing party did not agree with the verdict. If the defendant was convicted through the plea bargain then the right of appealing is demolished. Any convicted offenders are able to appeal their case based on the matter of law. When there is an appeal, the court reviews the case looking at the previous proceedings in the lower courts and will not consider new evidence. The appellate courts look at the record and the written briefs filed by the defendant and the prosecutor of the appeal.…

    • 1283 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The prosecutor is a lawyer who represents the government and they are responsible for making the decision whether to charge someone with a crime. The first thing the prosecutor looks for is a sound case, because in some situations you have cases that have legal problems that could get the case thrown out of court. Example if the police officer violated the defendants’ rights while looking for evidence then that evidence would be inadmissible. Also the prosecutor needs to figure out if there is enough supporting evidence to have a higher probability of a conviction. “The duty of a public prosecutor is to present the case against an accused person by bringing all the evidence that is necessary and available, and presenting it in the best…

    • 717 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    A search and seizure have to be within reason, with a descriptive warrant explaining exactly what is to be searched and seized, signed by a judge. Search and seizure without a warrant can be conducted if the citizen volunteer permission. The Fourth Amendment is used when one feels their rights are offended. The Fifth Amendment is the protection against the incrimination of self. Within a criminal case, the individual cannot be a…

    • 452 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The purpose of the trial is to request the judge or jury to decide the outcome of a legal matter. There are two major differences between civil and criminal trials. The first, a civil trials outcome can be handed down from a judge unilaterally, without the need for a jury. But in criminal trials, the judge cannot unilaterally enter judgment, entering judgment is exclusively given to the jury. The second, is the burden of proof required to assign guilt.…

    • 1256 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Main Juror Jury Functions

    • 1854 Words
    • 7 Pages

    The second principles, on the other hand, requires Jurors to use the law properly when it comes to capital punishment, for if a Juror is telling the judge in Voir Dire that he or she will not convict the defendant if he or she is going to trial for the death penalty, they will not be allow to join the Juror pool (Gardner and Anderson, 2010). No matter what religion the potential Juror is, everyone deserves justice. If, in the eyes of the law, the prosecution demonstrated enough evidence to convict and put someone to death, than it should be done accordingly. The third principle that will exclude a person from become a Jury in a capital case is the mental state of the person, for if the individual has amnesia or dementia, nine times out of ten, the person will be excused from the trial. The court officials need the proper person to remember all the testimonies and evidence obtained so a fair verdict could be given (Gardner and Anderson, 2010).…

    • 1854 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Burden Of Proof Analysis

    • 1249 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Burden of proof can be define as the duty placed upon a party to prove or disprove a disputed fact, or it can define which party bears this burden. In criminal cases, the burden of proof is placed on the prosecution, who must demonstrate that the defendant is guilty before a jury may convict him or her. (TheFreeDictionary.com, 2015) The burden of proof in deciding a case is beyond reasonable doubt in criminal law. However in civil law, the burden of proof in deciding a case is on the balance of probabilities. Lastly, criminal and civil law can be differentiated through the title of the cases.…

    • 1249 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Civil Law Vs Criminal Law

    • 885 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Criminal law is used for maintaining stability for the society and state through punishing offenders as well as deterring them and others from being offended. For criminal justice system, the jury should agree unanimously before the conviction of the defendant. Appeals and Commencement of Proceedings In civil law, the appeal is done by the either party (defendant or claimant) to the decision of the court. Summons or indictment is used for state or people or prosecution. In case of criminal law, the defendant is allowed to appeal a verdict of the court and the prosecution is not allowed to appeal.…

    • 885 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Commonwealth and Cypress v. Commonwealth When a person is charged with a crime they become a criminal defendant that obtains constitutional rights. The rights control how the government is allowed to investigate, prosecute, and punish the criminal behavior. The government must prove there is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before conviction and punishment of the crime. The rights of a criminal defendant are stated in the Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, Sixth Amendment, and Eighth amendment. The Supreme Court of the United States holding in the Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S 36 (2004) impacted the Supreme Court of Virginia’s decision in Briscoe v. Commonwealth and Cypress v. Commonwealth.…

    • 1007 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It would be the responsibility of the prosecutor to show without a reasonable doubt who committed the murder. Procedural law, in this case, would provide the defendant the right to jury trial. Without a jury trial available to the defendant his or her rights would not be justified, thus be against procedural law guidelines in this case. The jury trial would allow the defendant to plea his or her case to his peers to show the prosecutor is wrong in his or her accusations. Procedural law is the procedures endured in a trial while substantive law is the law itself (Melvin, 2011).…

    • 873 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Due Process Clause

    • 1574 Words
    • 7 Pages

    The Fifth Amendment protects the criminals right to not testify against himself and to remain silent. If the defendant decides to remain silent then the prosecution has to prove the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable…

    • 1574 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays