Stanford University Criminolo

Cristina and Jordan are in your criminal justice class, and you are working on this project as a team. As a team, you must analyze the cases and determine some answers to how the video is used as evidence.

For each answer you give, you only need to provide one to two sentences or a bulleted list of ideas. Be sure to use reasoning from the lesson to demonstrate your understanding of video evidence.

Case 1: Mandy

Mandy volunteered in a month-long sleep study at the university last year. She was asked to participate because of her unusual sleep habits and neurological history. Part of the sleep study included her sleeping in a room inside the lab for the entire month. She was videotaped while she slept.

Now, 13 months later, police are trying to charge Mandy with possession and use of illegal drugs. It turns out she was using drugs during her stay at the sleep lab. Her drug use was recorded in the lab videos. She’s not sure how or why police saw the videos. She knew she was being videotaped, although she was told it was only for the study and that no one outside the lab would view the footage.

Would the video evidence be helpful to proving the case? (Answer in one to two sentences. Explain your reasoning.)

Refer to the previous question.

Should the video evidence be admissible in this case? Why or why not? (Answer in one to two sentences. Explain your reasoning.)

Refer to the previous two questions.

Are there technical problems with the video evidence? What about other valid objections to the video? If so, what are they and how could they be overcome? (Answer in one to two sentences. Explain your reasoning.)    

Case 2: Salimah

Salimah is being prosecuted for disturbing the peace while participating in a demonstration she organized about a month ago. She wants to introduce cell phone video footage from that day to show the conditions at the time of the alleged disturbance. Her point is that if the jury can see how confusing and chaotic everything was, they’ll see that she did nothing to make the problem worse. They will see that she was, in fact, trying to protect herself within the crowd. Salimah is also arguing that the police were unlawfully arresting people to shut down the demonstration.

Would the video evidence be helpful for Salimah’s defense? (Answer in one to two sentences. Explain your reasoning.)

Refer to the previous question.

Should the video evidence be admissible in this case? Why or why not? (Answer in one to two sentences. Explain your reasoning.)

Refer to the previous two questions.

Are there technical problems with the video evidence? What about other valid objections to the video? If so, what are they and how could they be overcome? (Answer in one to two sentences. Explain your reasoning.)

Case 3: Lorne

Lorne is charged with assaulting his brother with a deadly weapon. There is no dispute about his identity. The main issue for trial is whether or not he intended to cause serious harm to his brother. The prosecutor wants to introduce a video taken of Lorne at his brother’s wedding, three years earlier. Lorne, in a drunken rage, lunged at his brother with a steak knife, screaming that he would kill him. Since the weapon in this case is also a knife, the prosecutor feels the video shows that Lorne has murderous intent toward his brother and uses knives as weapons.

Would the video evidence be helpful to proving the case? (Answer in one to two sentences. Explain your reasoning.)    

Refer to the previous question.

Should the video evidence be admissible in this case? Why or why not? (Answer in one to two sentences. Explain your reasoning.)

Refer to the previous two questions.

Are there technical problems with the video evidence? What about other valid objections to the video? If so, what are they and how could they be overcome? (Answer in one to two sentences. Explain your reasoning.)

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Stanford University Criminolo

Cristina and Jordan are still trying to figure out how and why the crime lab could have been burglarized, as described at the beginning of Unit 3. They have been toying with the possibility that it was an inside job. They have also been pondering whether they should team up with someone outside the department to solve this mystery. This idea gets more traction after they meet Patrice and Leo.

This is the last lesson for this project. You will submit your project once you’ve completed this activity.

If you forgot about the crime lab’s burglary, you can watch the video from the beginning of Unit 3 again, here.Patrice and Leo go to State U in a neighboring state. They are at Cristina and Jordan’s school this weekend for a debate tournament. They were shocked to hear about the case of disappearing evidence because it sounds a lot like something that happened last year at State U. Patrice and Leo end up talking to Cristina and Jordan for much of the evening about the facts of the case.

Cristina and Jordan have decided to request that the police form a task force after hearing Patrice and Leo’s information. Cristina and Jordan think a task force is needed based on these facts:

  1. There are multiple crime scenes and multiple events.
  2. The crimes are ongoing.
  3. Some of the crimes happen on campus, and some do not.
  4. The campus police investigates crimes on campus.
  5. The local police department investigates crimes in town.
  6. The crimes are receiving extensive media attention.
  7. Too many people seem to have access to the case and evidence.
  8. It is not clear who is ultimately in charge of all of the cases.

Help Cristina and Jordan write a brief proposal for the creation of a task force. You will need to cite not only the facts, but also what the facts mean in terms of long-term investigations and task forces (one to two sentences per fact).

For example, if one fact was that federal crimes were being committed, they would need to clarify what that fact means to the task force. In this instance, you might explain that a federal agency should work on the case to meet jurisdictional requirements.

You are working with Cristina to review some cases for your criminal justice class. The case you are working on now has one defendant: Mona Day. She is a student accused of involvement in terrorist activities. You do not have all the details, but you know that law enforcement has been surveilling Mona for months. They now have a clear understanding of where she goes, what she does there, and who she sees.

For each piece of evidence, you and Cristina need to add some details. Use a table similar to the one below to organize your thoughts. In your notes, use bullet points to complete the table. The first two columns are already completed; the last two are yours to fill out.

Hint #1: Types of electronic surveillance include audio, visual, tracking, and data. For example, the use of a body camera is a kind of visual surveillance.

Hint #2: There are many ways electronic evidence can be used in court. For example, an RFID chip (which is a type of tracking surveillance) can be used to show where a suspect was at each point during the day when a crime took place. The GPS on a smartphone is also a type of tracking surveillance.

Description of Evidence Context and Where It Was Found or Taken Type of Electronic Surveillance Possible Points It Could Prove in Court
fitness wristband monitor taken from Mona’s gym bag
laptop search history lifted by IT from her laptop
smartphone call history Mona’s smartphone
Mona’s smartphone itself Mona’s purse
digital recordings from a listening device Mona’s apartment
surveillance camera footage Mona’s gym

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