Response to A SCOTUS Case: SCOTUS – RILEY v California Decided June 25 2014


Here are the instructions on how the paper is to be written. There is also an example of what to write in each area (as a generic example).   RESPONDING TO A REQUIRED READING 1,500 Words Minimum Additional General Requirements for this Assignment:   In-Text Citations: To strengthen your Response to a Required Reading, you may want to quote or paraphrase sections from the original article or another academic work. Whenever you do this, you must include in-text citations following the APA style.  Additional (if any) References: For references, you have used other than the assigned reading, add these at the end of your response, written in proper APA style.  WRITE THE PAPER ASSUMING THAT THE READER HAS NO PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF THE TOPIC – THIS IS CRUCIAL TO YOUR GRADE. IF YOUR RESPONSE IS TO A COURT CASE, INCLUDE THE DISSENT OPINION IN YOUR WRITING.  Summary, Reflection, Analysis, and Argument  SUMMARY WHAT DOES THE WRITER SAY? The summary response to a reading—an article, a chapter, or a book—relates as clearly as possible what the author says. When you write a summary, you strive for objectivity and accuracy as you relate the main ideas of the original. A summary omits details and examples that are not needed to convey the “gist” of the original, and it does not include any ideas not found in the original. It is written entirely in your own words, with few, if any, direction quotations, and using present tense. A summary does not analyze, evaluate, or argue a position; it simply restates the original material in a much more condensed form.  REFLECTION HOW DOES THE WORK RELATE TO YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES? This kind of response explains your personal reaction to the work. When you write a reflective response, you explore how the work relates to your own experiences, beliefs, and values. Is the writer’s claim validated by any of your own experiences? Did the reading confirm, challenge, or change in any way your original viewpoint on the topic? Because the reflective response often Page 9 of 14 involves discussion of your own experiences, beliefs, and values in relation to what you read, this response is usually written in the first person.  ANALYSIS WHAT DOES THE WRITER DO? Another kind of response to a reading is a critical response. A critical analysis examines how the author says what he/she says. When you write a critical analysis, you examine the various elements of the work to discover how they function together to form an effective whole. The elements you examine depend upon your specific purpose for analysis. For example, an analysis of an argument might look at the argument’s claims and reasons, supporting information (evidence), and logic. An analysis of a short story might focus on how the setting relates to the story’s meaning. Analysis includes only as much summary of the work as is needed for a reader to follow the analysis and understand how it relates to the original argument. The analytical response avoids personal reflection on an agreement or disagreement with the ideas. Often, critical analysis also evaluates the work, making judgments about how well it fulfills its purpose. In that case, your analysis would support a judgment about the overall effectiveness of the work, such as the credibility and persuasiveness of an argument: Is the thesis built on reasonable and valid claims and reasons? Are these claims supported with convincing supporting information and sound reasoning? Is its argument persuasive?  ARGUMENT WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON THE TOPIC OR ISSUE? This kind of response asserts a position on the topic, supported with reasons and evidence. When you write an argumentative response, you explain why you agree or disagree, in whole or in part, with the writer’s claims and ideas. You may agree with the claim by elaborating upon the main points of the argument with original support (your own ideas and evidence), or you may disagree with the claim by challenging and questioning those points.  WORD COUNT: _____________________________________ AN EXAMPLE OF ONE IS BELOW: ______________________________________  EXAMPLE  Name:  Loyola University New Orleans  SUBJECT Semester/Year  Bibliography: United States of America v. Kenneth Bowen; Robert Gisevius; Robert Faulcon; Anthony Vallavaso; Arthur Kaufman (2015). United States Reports, No. 13-31078. (5th Cir. 2015).  Summary: This article begins by discussing the horrific incident following Hurricane Katrina. A group of officers from the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) were dispatched to the Danziger Bridge. The officers wounded four unarmed individuals and shot and killed two individuals. These officers were tried by the state, but it resulted in a mistrial. The district court granted a new trial in which the officers are the Appellees and the federal government is the Appellants. A new trial was granted because federal prosecutors were caught posting anonymous comments on The posts contained information about the case and were posted throughout the time of the trial. The article further analyzes the background of the events that occurred at the Danziger Bridge and the press leaks from anonymous sources, which favored the government. In March 2012, Sal Perricone, an Assistant United States Attorney was found posting anonymous comments on, the comments made by Perricone oftentimes included matters related to the United States Attorney’s Office. The author of the article emphasizes Perricone’s comments were soon also tied to the Danziger Bridge prosecutions and were shown to have begun well before the indictments and continued through the trial. Due to the discovery of Perricone’s comments, the defendants pushed for a new trial. The first hearing began in June 2012, Jim Letten, former United States Attorney, and Jan Mann stated that no one else in the department had made comments related to other cases. The district court prompted the United States Attorneys Office (USAO) to conduct two investigations. The first one being for the government to uncover the individuals who leaked information to the press about the Lohman guilty plea. The second investigation was directed towards the defendant’s claims about the comments made online, to conclude that Perricone was the only individual to comment about the case. The investigations were conducted by Mann within the New Orleans office at the request of Letten. Mann was confident that Page 13 of 14 Perricone was the only individual from the USAO to post these comments. In early August, an interview with Perricone was released and published to a New Orleans magazine. In the interview, Perricone admitted to posting comments about the case and “that no one else in the office, specifically Letten and Jan Mann, had known of his activity” (Cayce, 2015). In October 2012, a status conference was held. The conference was attended by both Jan Mann and Perricone. Perricone testified stating that he did not post comments under certain usernames such as “eweman.” This username was one of the usernames in which the district court believed posted information written by the prosecution. In November 2012, Jan Mann received a lawsuit, the lawsuit regarded that Mann was commenting under the username “eweman.” The author provides insight into Rule 33. Rule 33 examines two types of ways for a new trial. The author states, “one grounded on newly discovered evidence, and one grounded on any reason other than newly discovered evidence” (Cayce, 2015). The motion can be based on new evidence or if the motion is requested within fourteen days. Once it became aware that the comments were posted by members from the USAO, the defendants requested a new trial under Rule 33. Their argument was based on the idea that due to a prejudice atmosphere and misconduct within the government, the defense was not given a fair trial. The district court did not implement the standards of Rule 33, and the defendants have not put in the work to show that an acquittal could arise in a new trial with the new evidence.  Reflection: This article thoroughly discussed and focused on the misconduct of federal prosecutors and it also focused on a motion for a new trial. I thought this court case was very interesting to read because it allowed me to extend my knowledge on certain restrictions and regulations that need to be followed while working on a case. Before reading this article, I was not aware that attorneys can not discuss cases they are working on. If they do discuss information about the case, consequences will be enforced. After reading the article, I can fully understand why that action is not allowed and how it can possibly affect the outcome of the trial. In my opinion, I do not think the attorney’s anonymous comments play a substantial role in an individuals sentencing because jurors have to abide by certain rules, as mentioned in the article, and one of those rules being “not to obtain extrinsic information about the trial” and avoid media coverage (Cayce, 2015). Though some jurors were aware of the comments, they did not know who the comments were being written by, therefore, the comments, to the juror’s knowledge, could have been posted by an individual who had no affiliation to the case. This article correlated well with this week’s reading, specifically, on the topic of the Due Process Clause. This Clause, as stated in the textbook, “requires that the government treat individuals fairly during the criminal process” (Hall & Feldmeier, 2017). This includes the right to a fair trial, the right to be free from outrageous conduct by prosecutors or judges, and a few other aspects. This Clause relates to the article because it was not followed during the trial. As we saw in the article, the attorneys committed outrageous conduct by posting comments about the trial. This could have ultimately resulted in changing peoples opinions about the case. The Due Process Clause calls for a fair trail and a fair trial was not granted in this case due to the misconduct of the attorneys. The article also changed my view on the motion for a new trial. Before reading this article, I was not aware of Rule 33. This rule states that a motion for a new trial must be based on new evidence that is discovered outside the fourteen-day statutory period. The case discussed in the article only provided a motion based on new evidence, but the defendants were not able to fully prove this evidence. I think Rule 33 is a very interesting concept because it provides regulations and requirements needed for a motion for a new trial.  Analysis: Throughout the article, the defendants make several arguments on why a new trial should be granted. The arguments range from “a prejudicial poisonous atmosphere” to “a concentrated government misconduct which affected the fairness of appellees’ trial” (Cayce, 2015). The defendant’s fail to provide Page 14 of 14 any proof of prejudice resulting from new evidence. As supported in Rule 33, the defendants were not able to prove any prejudice, therefore, they are not authorized to a new trial. As stated in the article, under Rule 33, a motion for a new trial must be based on newly discovered evidence. The defendant must demonstrate five aspects to justify a new trial on the premise of new evidence. The author states, “the evidence is newly discovered and was unknown to the defendant at the time of a trial; failure to detect the evidence was not due to a lack of diligence by the defendant; the evidence is not merely cumulative or impeaching; the evidence is material; and the evidence introduced at a new trial would probably produce an acquittal” (Cayce, 2015). All five aspects must be met if they are not met the motion for a new trial is denied. The defendants newly discovered evidence would not have produced an acquittal at a new trial, therefore, their chances of receiving a motion for a new trial are limited. The court cannot simply ignore the regulations required by Rule 33 and grant the defendants a new trial. Since the defendants failed to present a proper motion, a new trial will not be granted. If the defendants truly wanted a new trial, they would have put in the work to prove there was prejudice. An ideal way to accomplish a motion for a new trial would be to present the district court with valid newly discovered evidence that the defendants are able to show a substantial possibility of evidence for.  Argument: I believe that the motion for a new trial should be denied. In my opinion, the defendants did not put in the work or provide substantial new evidence that could possibly lead to an acquittal for a new trial. Also, the defendants did not take the time to back up their claim that asserted they were prejudiced by the government’s actions. Though, I think the district court also should have followed the procedure and put in the work to conduct an investigation to examine the degree of prejudice. I also think the defendant’s arguments were weak and they did not provide adequate supporting information. For instance, one of the defendant’s arguments was the “theory of government media manipulation” (Cayce, 2015). The defendants were trying to argue that the media posts played a role in the juror’s decision. As mentioned above, the jurors had to follow certain rules which included avoiding media coverage. Even if the jurors did not follow those rules and read the comments online, they would not know the comments were posted by an inside source within the USAO. I think if the defendants would have provided legitimate arguments, proved their arguments and newly discovered evidence, and backed their arguments up with strong claims, they would have been granted a motion for a new trial.  Additional References: Hall, D., & Feldmeier, J. P. (2017). Constitutional law: governmental powers and individual freedoms. Boston: Pearson.  Word Count: 1,616

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