Slager s Case Court Report Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1485 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] After fighting the high-profile shooting case against him for more than two years, Slager pleaded guilty to violation of the civil rights of the deceased Walter L. Scott. Given his guilty plea, Slager will avoid a federal jury trial for the shooting and murder of Scott. According to his plea agreement, the other federal charges against Slager i.e. obstruction of justice and using a firearm to commit a violence offense will be dropped as well as a state murder charge against him. While Slager’s sentence is yet to be decided, it’s likely to be a lesser sentence because of Slager’s guilty plea. In light of this plea agreement, the federal government is likely to advocate for Slager’s crime to be considered and treated as a lower-level offense. In this case, prosecutors are increasingly likely to ask the court to apply sentencing guidelines that would essentially be for a second-degree murder charge, which carries a maximum of 25 years in prison (Blinder, 2017; Yan, Shah & Grinberg 2017). However, the guilty plea could also expressly permit prosecutors to urge the judge to sentence Slager to life in prison.

Argument

I. SLAGER’S PLEA AGREEMENT IS TROUBLING AND STRANGE SINCE IT DOES NOT ESTABLISH A FRAMEWORK FOR CALCULATING SENTENCING.

Michael T. Slager’s plea agreement seems troubling and strange despite the fact that he admitted responsibility for the shooting and murder of Walter L. Scott. Even though he pleaded guilty for violation of Scott’s civil rights and in effect other charges against him were dropped, Slager’s sentencing is completely open. This is primarily because the guilty plea does not provide specific agreements regarding the base offense level and how it will be calculated (Mason, 2017). Federal sentencing is usually guided by the facts of the case as well as the Federal Sentencing Guidelines that provided a comprehensive way for calculating sentencing. In most cases, federal plea agreements require the court to establish a basic framework for calculation of sentencing in agreement with the defendant. In Slager’s case, the plea agreement does not have a basic framework for calculating the sentencing, which leaves it completely open and relatively disturbing. Therefore, determining Slager’s probable sentence is relatively difficult because of the absence of a base level of offense and the lack of a basic framework for calculating the sentence. Even though the federal government has dropped state murder prosecution, obstruction of justice charge, and federal gun charge, it gets no agreement from the defendant on parameters with which the sentence will be calculated. Additionally, the factual basis section of this plea does not mention mens rea and does not include indicate Slager’s admission to killing Scott but states that he engaged in an illegal act.

II. THE DECISION TO AVOID STATE RETRIAL OF THE CASE IS STRANGE SINCE IT WAS NOT A PARTY TO THE FEDERAL CASE

Following the federal case against Slager, South Carolina dropped the scheduled retrial through it had the jurisdiction to try the case. The state had the jurisdiction for retrial since the murder was committed in North Charleston by one of its law enforcement officers. However, the decision to drop the retrial is strange because the state was not a party to the federal case. As a result, the federal government had no legal interest or benefit for dismissal of the murder charge by the state.

Conclusion

While the guilty plea was an indication of Slager’s admission of responsibility for the murder of Walter L. Scott, it is relatively strange and troubling since it leaves the sentencing completely open. A basic framework for calculating Slager’s sentence should have been established as part of the plea agreement. Additionally, South Carolina should have continued with the retrial since it was not a party to the federal case.

References

Blinder, A, (2017, May 2). Ex-officer Who Shot Walter Scott Pleads Guilty in Charleston. The New York Times. Retrieved November 13, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/02/us/michael-slager-walter-scott-north-charleston-shooting.html

Knapp, A. & Rindge, B. (2017, May 2). Ex-police Officer Michael Slager Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Charge in Walter Scott Shooting; State Murder Case Dropped. The Post and Courier. Retrieved November 13, 2017, from http://www.postandcourier.com/news/ex-police-officer-michael-slager-pleads-guilty-to-civil-rights/article_c6836d4c-2f2f-11e7-a651-7f3c5a7bbf12.html

Mason, C. (2017, May 8). Why Did South Carolina Punt on the Slager Case. Retrieved November 13, 2017, from https://thecrimereport.org/2017/05/08/why-did-south-carolina-punt-on-the-slager-case/

Yan, H., Shah, K. & Grinberg, E. (2017, May 3). Ex-officer Michael Slager Pleads Guilty in Shooting Death of Walter Scott. CNN. Retrieved November 13, 2017, from http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/02/us/michael-slager-federal-plea/ [END OF PREVIEW]

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Slager s Case Court Report.  (2017, November 13).  Retrieved January 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/slager-s-case-court-report/3472338

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"Slager s Case Court Report."  Essaytown.com.  November 13, 2017.  Accessed January 19, 2019.
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