Slager s Case Court Report Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1485 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Written: November 13, 2017


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 Slagers sentence is yet to be decided, its likely to be a lesser sentence because of Slagers guilty plea. In light of this plea agreement, the federal government is likely to advocate for Slagers 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.

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TOPIC: Research Paper on Slager s Case Court Report Assignment

Michael T. Slagers 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 Scotts civil rights and in effect other charges against him were dropped, Slagers 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 Slagers case, the plea agreement does not have a basic framework for calculating the sentencing, which leaves it completely open and relatively disturbing. Therefore, determining Slagers 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 Slagers admission to killing Scott but states that he engaged in an illegal act.


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.


While the guilty plea was an indication of Slagers 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 Slagers 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.


Blinder, A, (2017, May 2). Ex-officer Who Shot Walter Scott Pleads Guilty in Charleston. The New York Times. Retrieved November 13, 2017, from

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

Mason, C. (2017, May 8). Why Did South Carolina Punt on the Slager Case. Retrieved November 13, 2017, from

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 [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Slager s Case Court Report" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Slager s Case Court Report.  (2017, November 13).  Retrieved August 4, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Slager s Case Court Report."  13 November 2017.  Web.  4 August 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Slager s Case Court Report."  November 13, 2017.  Accessed August 4, 2021.