John Burke Case Studies

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For my paper, I chose case study number one that follows Mr. John Burke who committed the crime of first-degree murder. I will explain the process John Burke’s crime and what process he will be going through while in the American criminal justice system. This process includes a number of steps starting with Mr. Burke’s initial arrest and later ending with Mr. Burke’s subsequent release from prison and entry back into society on his own unsupervised. I will also touch on what I feel are the strongest and weakest parts of our criminal justice system, and I will give supporting evidence to my claims.
Brief Description of the Crime
John Burke’s crime falls under the first-degree murder statute because he killed Joseph Ronan, essentially;
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During this time, Mr. Burke is read his rights and is then taken to jail where he begins the booking process. “In criminal law, booking refers to the process by which the police department registers and enters charges against a person believed to have violated the law” ("Booking Law & Legal Definition"). Typically, the day after Mr. John Burke is booked he would have his first appearance/initial hearing. This step is where the defendant John Burke “learns more about his rights and the charges against him, arrangements are made for him to have an attorney, and the judge decides if the defendant will be held in prison or released until the trial” ("Initial Hearing / Arraignment"). Due to the severity of the crime John Burke is charged with, the judge decides to deny John Burke bail, and have him detained in the local jail. Now for the sake of this study, I’m going to say that no plea-bargaining was done and that John Burke entered a plea of not guilty in the murder of Joseph Ronan and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. In a preliminary hearing, “The prosecutor must show that enough evidence exists to charge the defendant” ("Preliminary Hearing"). Since Mr. Burke waived his right to a preliminary hearing the following step in the process would be going to…show more content…
The jury then deliberates and announces the verdict of guilty for John Burke’s on the count of first-degree murder. Once the verdict has been announced the trial then moves into the sentencing phase. Since, there is no death penalty in the state of Massachusetts the judge sentences John Burke to the maximum sentence life without the possibility of parole, which means Mr. Burke will not be getting out of prison. Mr. Burke will now live the rest of his years in a maximum security prison in the state of Massachusetts carrying out his sentence. Had Mr. Burke committed his crime in a different state or committed the lesser offense of second-degree murder he could have received an alternative sentence such as the Death Penalty, or life with the possibility of parole after a certain amount of years. The reason I picked this sentence for John Burke is because of the severity of his crime. Under the title, 18 U.S. Code § 3559 - Sentencing classification of offenses; John Burke committed a class a felony which holds the punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty ("18 U.S. Code § 3559 - Sentencing classification of
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