Court Proceeding Experience essay

Download this essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from essay:

Murder Trial of Nicholas Lindsey, March 2012

Factual and Procedural Background

On the evening of February 21, 2011, Police Officer David Crawford of the St. Petersburg, Florida police department was fatally shot while investigating a report of a suspicious person or prowler in a residential neighborhood. After a 24-hour search expedition, police arrested and booked 16-year-old Nicolas Lindsey on charges of first-degree murder. Lindsey confessed to the killing in a taped statement to police shortly thereafter.[footnoteRef:-1] [-1:]

Lindsey was arraigned in court the next day, and the judge ordered that he be held in custody without bail. A grand jury which convened the following week indicted Lindsey on first-degree murder of a police officer, whereupon the state Attorney General charged Lindsey as an adult based on the seriousness of the offense and that he was over age 14.

Jury selection began on March 19, 2012 and the jury heard evidence for only three days, returning a verdict of guilty on March 23, 2012. However, after just three days of hearing evidence on March 23, 2012, the jury returned a verdict of guilty and Lindsey was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole (commonly referred to as LWOP).

Legal Issues

1. Charging Lindsey, a juvenile, with murder, as an adult

Around the late 1800s and early 1900s, every state throughout the country created separate juvenile justice systems designed to protect and rehabilitate juvenile offenders. The government came to view its duty as not only to protect public safety from crime, but also to intervene and serve as the guardian of the children involved. In the adversarial adult criminal system, the state's role is to prosecute and punish the offender, whereas the juvenile court was established with a more benevolent, rehabilitative mission. The latter is designed to be flexible and to tailor to a juvenile's individual needs, recognizing that children are more malleable than adults. However, over the past 20 years, states have moved back in the direction of treating juvenile offenders as adults. Most states now have legislation allowing juveniles over age 14 to be charged in the adult criminal justice system based on the severity of the offense, among other factors.

In this case, Lindsey was charged with first degree murder, as an adult, pursuant to one of these provisions in Florida based on the seriousness of the killing of a police officer. The theory of the Florida Attorney General In Florida, murder is a capital felony, meaning it is punishable by death. However, the Supreme Court abolished capital punishment for juvenile offenders. Since Lindsey was under 18 when he committed the charged murder, he was not eligible to receive the death penalty. He was, however, eligible for life in prison without the possibility of parole.[footnoteRef:0] [0: Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005)]

To sustain a conviction of first-degree murder in Florida, the government must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed an unlawful killing of a human being with premeditation. Premeditation means that the killing occurs after the defendant consciously decides to do so. The decision to kill must be present at the time of the killing. The law does not establish a fixed amount of time in which premeditation must occur. Premeditation can be only a couple of seconds. But it must be enough time for the defendant to consciously reflect upon the killing.[footnoteRef:1] Manslaughter is a heat of passion killing, with adequate provocation, and without premeditation. The question of whether a defendant killed with premeditation is a question of fact for a jury to determine. Alternatively, under the felony-murder rule, a defendant has also committed murder if a killing occurs in the course of committing any felony. [1: Fl. Stat. Title XLVI, Chapter 782.04]

In the instant trial, the prosecutor's theory of guilt was that Lindsey harbored the requisite premeditation for a first-degree murder conviction. Moreover, the prosecution argued that even if the jury found insufficient evidence of premeditation, the killing occurred during or shortly after the commission of a felony, - a car burglary, and thus, first-degree murder still occurred. In his opening statement, the prosecutor emphasized the heinous circumstances and gory details of the…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Court Proceeding Experience" (2012, April 08) Retrieved December 5, 2016, from

"Court Proceeding Experience" 08 April 2012. Web.5 December. 2016. <>

"Court Proceeding Experience", 08 April 2012, Accessed.5 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Court Proceeding Experience

    Court Proceedings Experience Premise year-old Nicholas Lindsay was charged for the murder of Officer David Crawford. Besides Lindsay's own confession to the murder, there is no other evidence that he committed the murder. Lindsay made this confession at the urging and in the presence of his mother, without a lawyer present. He told the police officers that he shot David Crawford after being apprehended by Crawford. The official police report stated that,

  • Court Analysis Justice and Court Administration and

    Court Analysis Justice and Court Administration Administration and management of courts is filled with challenges. Often depending upon the geographical context of the court, such challenges will include resource shortage, a perpetual docket of criminal cases and the broader complexity of providing civil order and justice to communities while balancing constitutional law and local ordinance. Moreover, the complexity of administering justice in and of itself plays a part in the difficulty of

  • Court Proceeding

    Criminal Court Observation I must admit that when I entered the courthouse I was a bit nervous. It was my first time to attend any trial, let alone a criminal one. However, I thought that a criminal case would be far more interesting than a civil one. Yet, despite my decision, and my belief that it would be "no big deal" to watch a criminal court case, I began to feel

  • Court Services Management

    Court Service Management How does a court system cope with a changing of the guard when a new administration is elected and key executives and managers are replaced, and/or when policy changes direction as a new political party assumes power? The court deals with transitions of power by maintaining the established traditions and principles from the Constitution. This is used to ensure that case precedent is respected and to provide stability for

  • Court Case Historically Gaines v

    But if Houston insisted that Plessy be enforced that is, if the NAACP sued a state to make its schools for black children equal to those for whites which Plessy did require then he could undermine segregation. (Jomills Henry Braddock. A Long-Term View of School Desegregation: Some Recent Studies of Graduates as Adults. Phi Delta Kappan. 259-61. 1984) He reasoned that states would either have to build new schools for

  • Court of International Justice International

    One of the pending cases involved a dispute between France and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Like the dispute with Belgium, this involved France's attempt to hold one of the Congo's ministers responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. France sought to compel the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to appear as a witness, which the Congo claimed was a violation of its sovereignty. References International Court

  • My Legal Experience

    Legal Experience When I first entered the State Courthouse I immediately checked the bulletin boards to see what cases were being heard that day. However, not knowing the details from reading the list, I just chose a few by chance and decided to sit in and listen. I was surprised how many other observers there were in the courtrooms; I thought at first that people would look at me funny but

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved