Criminal homework help

MODULE 4: ACCESS TO COURTS LISTEN TO: COMMENTARY ON MODULE 4

Q1: Does Danny have grounds to sue prison officials? In a minimum 1 page and ½, 12 font, double-spaced, discuss BOTH the strengths and weaknesses of his case. Be sure to argue both for and against Danny’s case. Format your answer into 2 parts: for and against. There are several legal issues in this case which means there are several Supreme Court cases that you have studied that you need to apply to the facts of Danny’s case. Make certain you understand ALL of the legal issues and argue ALL of them. Do not focus on only 1 issue or 1 Supreme Court case.  Criminal homework help

Q3: Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of both Racehorse’s lawsuit and the state’s position.  Organize your answer. First discuss all of the legal issues in Racehorse’s lawsuit and the Supreme Court cases that support him. Then do the same for the state’s legal position. Minimum 1 page and ½, typed, double-spaced. Criminal homework help

 

QUESTION 3

Write a review of the documentary “The Writ Writer” for a class that is studying documentary films. Minimum 1 typed page, double-spaced.

MODULE 4: ACCESS TO COURTS

LISTEN TO: COMMENTARY ON MODULE 4

READ:

  • Chapter 3 in the textbook, pages 51 – 63

 

  • WATCH:

“The Writ Writer” (2008) – 55 minutes long.  This film is especially interesting because it is about the Texas prison system!  https://uhd.kanopy.com/video/writ-writer

 

Module 4 Assignment (due 3/9, no later than 11:59 pm)

Worth a maximum of 22.5 points toward the final grade

 

QUESTION 1

Danny Dangerous is an inmate in the Huntsville Unit in the Texas Department of Corrections.  Danny’s reading level was tested when he was first admitted into TDC.  He was assessed with a 6th grade reading level.  His IQ was assessed as average.

Danny appealed his conviction to the Texas Court of Appeals and lost.  He now wants to appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (Texas CCA – the highest court in Texas for criminal cases).  Danny is indigent and was assigned counsel for his first appeal, but he has no right to assigned counsel for his appeal to the Texas CCA.  He is representing himself and must use the prison’s law library to do legal research.  Because his reading level is only at the 6th grade, it take him a long time to read court opinions.  He must re-read them several times.   It is taking him a long time to prepare his legal papers.  He is concerned about meeting court deadlines for filing his pleadings.

Officials of the Huntsville unit decide that they must begin limiting the time each inmate can go to the law library.  Many inmates want to go to the library and it has been getting especially crowded in recent months.  Inmates can only go to the law library for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week.  This is a significant change from allowing inmates to use the law library 6 hours a day, 5 days a week.

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Danny realizes that he may not be able to meet court deadlines for his appeal with the new limits on law library usage.  He asks permission to use the library more than 3 hours a day.  His request is denied.  Officials are worried about allowing for exceptions.

Danny must also rely on the library to provide him with paper, pens, and stamps to prepare and mail his legal paperwork.  He has no funds in his commissary account to purchase those items.  Because Danny struggles with reading and writing, he makes many errors in his legal pleadings (which are handwritten).  He often ends up scrapping papers because of those errors and restarts his work on a new, blank page.  He uses a lot of paper!  The unit provides paper, pens, and stamps to indigent inmates but limits them to only 25 blank pages per month.  Danny asks permission to receive additional pieces of paper and is denied.

Danny’s situation gets more complicated!  He’s so upset about his appeal and worried about submitting well-prepared court paperwork on time, that he assaults a correctional officer.  As a result he is sent to solitary confinement for 15 days.  During that time, he cannot go to the law library.  Instead, he must “order” the law books he needs to prepare his appeal, and officers bring those specific books to his cell in solitary confinement.  He can order 5 books at a time and keep them for 24 hours.

Does Danny have grounds to sue prison officials?  In a minimum 1 page and ½, 12 font, double-spaced, discuss BOTH the strengths and weaknesses of his case.  Be sure to argue both for and against Danny’s case. Format your answer into 2 parts: for and against. There are several legal issues in this case which means there are several Supreme Court cases that you have studied that you need to apply to the facts of Danny’s case. Make certain you understand ALL of the legal issues and argue ALL of them.  Do not focus on only 1 issue or 1 Supreme Court case.  Criminal homework help

QUESTION 2

Inmate Racehorse H. Jones is an attorney incarcerated in a federal prison for tax fraud and securities violations.  He has become a popular writ writer and his legal assistance is in demand.  He is also very personable and commands a great deal of respect from the other inmates.

Many inmates who Racehorse assists with their legal work return favors to him.  For instance, Inmate Smith, who works in the laundry, makes certain that Racehorse receives starched pants from the laundry on a daily basis.  Inmate Maxwell, who works in the front office, makes photocopies for Racehorse whenever he needs them.  Starched pants or photocopies are not freely available to all inmates.

Inmate ToughGuy has filed a lawsuit alleging that prison authorities have denied him the opportunity to confer face-to-face with Racehorse on his legal matters.  Prison officials cite security concerns for their refusal.  ToughGuy is housed in administrative segregation because he is very assaultive.  In that status he is housed in his own cell and is permitted to leave it to go to daily exercise and shower once a day.  The only other times he is allowed to leave his cell are medical appointments, visits and classification hearings. He recently assaulted two officers while being escorted to a medical appointment.  Prison officials feel that ToughGuy should get legal help from Racehorse through the mail.  ToughGuy argues that he is constitutionally entitled to a personal meeting on at least a bi-monthly basis with the best writer in the unit.  ToughGuy’s legal matter is very complex.

The warden of the unit has decided that it is time to slow down Racehorse’s legal activities and his popularity.  He is particularly concerned that Racehorse is helping inmates housed in administrative segregation.  He has filed a disciplinary report against Racehorse alleging that he is receiving payment for his legal help in violation of the prison’s rules.  Inmates Smith and Maxwell testified at the hearing and described their favors to Racehorse after he helped them.  Both said they freely performed the favors out of gratitude. Racehorse was found guilty of the violation and was assigned to solitary confinement.

Racehorse has now filed a lawsuit alleging that there was insufficient proof that he received payment for his services.  Furthermore, the disciplinary action was a direct result of ToughGuy’s lawsuit.  Racehorse has not alleged any procedural irregularities with the hearing.  How the disciplinary hearing was conducted is NOT an issue in this case; do not discuss the hearing and how it was conducted.

Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of both Racehorse’s lawsuit and the state’s position.  Organize your answer.  First discuss all of the legal issues in Racehorse’s lawsuit and the Supreme Court cases that support him.  Then do the same for the state’s legal position.  Minimum 1 page and ½, typed, double-spaced.

QUESTION 3

Write a review of the documentary “The Writ Writer” for a class that is studying documentary films.  Minimum 1 typed page, double-spaced. Criminal homework help

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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