CRJU340 Regent University Strict Scrutiny & Unusual Punishment Case Study the file is attached. the book we use is Constitutional Law for a Changing AmericaRights, Liberies, and Justice. 9 or 10 Ed. by Lee Epstein, Thomas G. Walker Please choose one of the following hypothetical cases. Your job is to act as a judge and offer
a decision on the case, given the facts and the constitutional precedent discussed this
Your “decision” should be 1600-1750 words and must cite a minimum of 6 cases (3 per
Look to the end of the document for more information on how to write the decision.
Brownfield Jr. vs Olympus
Matthew Brownfield, Jr., is a fifteen-year-old resident of Texas with two criminal convictions for
“serious” crimes. The first was for shooting passersby at a state fair with an air gun. For that,
because of his age, he forfeited the right to possess a firearm in Olympus until he was 21 years of
age, and he was sentenced to spend six weekends performing community service. The second
was a state jail felony charge of cruelty to animals. In light of his age, the fact that this was a first
offense, his expression of remorse, and an acknowledgement that he had a substance abuse
problem (he admitted he was drunk and high on marijuana at the time of both of the incidents),
he was sentenced to four weeks in a juvenile correctional “boot camp,” and he was ordered to
undergo substance abuse counseling.
In 2012, Matthew Brownfield Jr. was convicted of the kidnapping and aggravated rape of a high
school classmate. The crime was uncovered by a law enforcement task force investigating a
conspiracy to grow and distribute marijuana. During the course of the drug trafficking
investigation in the City of Knerr, State of Olympus of Brownfield’s step-father Chester
Comerford. The task force, obtained utility records from the Brownfield, Jr/Comerford.
residence and discovered that the family owned two properties: a residential home and a wooded
area of approximately twenty-five acres on the outskirts of the Knerr city limits. Task force
officers concluded that the electrical usage at the wooded property was abnormally high, while
the main residence was slightly below average in electrical usage. From this, the task force
began to concentrate on the wooded property as the possible site for the drug operation.
For nearly three months, the task force observed the wooded property from a public highway.
In particular, the task force focused on a thirty-five-foot-long recreational vehicle parked near the
center of the property. The team found that Comerford often visited the property using a truck,
taking in items in boxes and removing items in black bags—typically remaining for brief periods
of time. On several occasions, however, they did spend the night. The recreational vehicle was
never moved during this surveillance period. It had four flat tires, but otherwise, it appeared in
good working order.
At 6:30 on the morning of January 17, 2016, Detective William Reddinger of the Knerr police
sat in an unmarked car on the public highway and utilizing a CYCLOPS-237 optical device (A
U.S. Military device of the highest quality which was designed for use in the Iraq War, but also
is sold through specialty catalogues for ornithologists (Bird Enthusiasts)) which magnifies and
records objects at a distance such that it can see the leg of a fly on a horse 500 yards away.
Using the device, Detective Reddinger identified, through a window with no curtains, the tops of
a number of small plants growing under a lamp in the rear of the recreational vehicle parked on
the property. No member of the task force could discern these objects using the naked eye from
the road; these objects could only be seen with the aid of CYCLOPS-237. The type of plants
themselves could not be readily identified by law enforcement. Based on the above
information, law enforcement sought to obtain a warrant to search the property including the
Prior to executing the warrant on January 18, 2016, the CYCLOPS237 was deployed for another
visual inspection to determine if the recreational vehicle was occupied. Detective Reddinger was
able to identify movement within the vehicle and specifically able identify Brownfield J.r. and
the shadow of another person. Detective Reddinger, along with fourteen members of the drug
task force, entered the wooded area and searched the interior of the recreational vehicle. Inside,
authorities discovered Brownfield, Jr. along with a young girl approximately 15 years of age,
subsequently known as Jane Doe, whose injuries were severe and required immediate medical
attention, emergency surgery, and hospitalization. Doe reported that she had been abducted by
Brownfield, Jr. 24 hours earlier at gunpoint while they were walking home from school and
taken to the isolated property where she was repeatedly raped and sodomized by the respondent.
A complete search of the vehicle produced more than one hundred tomato and bell pepper plants.
No drugs or drug paraphernalia were found on the property.
Fifteen-year-old Matthew Brownfield, Jr. was convicted in a one-day trial by an Olympus State
trial court for first degree aggravated rape and first degree aggravated kidnapping of a minor.
Judge Julie Burt sentenced Mr. Brownfield Jr. to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
There was no evidence that Mr. Brownfield, Jr. was mentally challenged. While he had a
discipline problem at school and a record of disruptive behavior, along with physical violence, he
did well in his class grades.
Olympus Proposition 417, adopted by the voters of Olympus in November 2008, denies parole
for anyone with “a record of serious crimes”, and it establishes that the punishment
for ”aggravated rape” (defined as “rape accompanied by other heinous acts”) would be life in
prison without parole. Proposition 417 did not speak to the issue of age or mental capacity.
Mr. Brownfield Jr. argues that his conviction, and proposition 417 particularly, is a violation of
the 8th amendment, while also arguing that his arrest was a violation of his 4th amendment
protections. Based upon your knowledge of the 4th and 8th amendment decide this case.
Brownfield vs Texas
Mr. and Mrs. Brownfield, residents of Texas, were arrested for illegal homeschooling and failure
to show the proper educational advancement of their Children. Texas Statute 4822 permits
families to homeschool their children if one or both parents have a state-granted teaching
certificate. The statute also requires that the students learn certain “core knowledge designed to
make a prosperous citizenry”. All students are required to learn how to do algebra, geometry, as
well as able to read and write. To prove competency all homeschooled students must pass a state
given exam of math questions, as well as a reading comprehension quiz based on Genesis 13.While neither Mr. and Mrs. Brownfield are teachers or have teacher certification, they have
decided to homeschool their children in order to guide the religious formation of the children,
since their religion is a minority religion.
Mr. and Mrs. Brownfield converted to the Delphic religion three years ago, which amongst its
tenants, promotes polygamy and that mankind was created when an Ancient being, Dolphonus
Tragedies, was traversing the solar system, stopping off at an uninhabited planet to get a drink of
water. While there, Dophonus sneezed. Wiping the snot from his nose and mixing it with dirt,
Dolphonus formed a male human. Recognizing the novelty of this, Dolphonus sneezed again
and formed a female human. These two humans were the origin of all mankind. Adherents to the
Delphic religion are annually required to travel to the site of Dolphonus’ sneeze, thought to have
been in Florida In order to fulfill the Delphic Religion’s command of “self-snot-formation” . Mr.
and Mrs. Brownfield have not traveled to this revered site.
After their arrest, Mr. and Mrs. Brownfield argued that Texas Statute 4822 was unconstitutional
and a violation of BOTH their free exercise rights of their religious belief AND seeking to
establish a religion through the test of competency. Is this law a violation of their first
Guinnin vs Superintendent of Mockingbird High
A group of white high school students from Dallas’s Mockingbird High school were visiting
Texas A&M University as part of their schools program “Road to College” program. These
students attended a class on American History, which presented slavery as an essential issue to
the civil war and argued that Texas’s leaders at that time exhibited racist tendencies in their
failure to support Lincoln’s proclamation of equality.
One student Emma Gunnin, a descendant of Jim “Tex” Gunnin, a hero of the confederacy, was
in the visiting group. She had on confederate flag earrings, and a shirt with a confederate battle
flag on it saying “Southern Pride”. When the class was over she approached a group of students
surrounding the professor, who was African American, and many students who were
predominately African American and Hispanics. Emma said “Do you like my earrings”? And
then continued with “How about my shirt”. Two other students from Emma’s class joined the
conversation, holding a notebook with a Donald Trump bumper sticker on it, and began using
racial epitaths, saying to the professor “Why don’t you go back to Africa where you came
from” and then turned to some students and said “Stupid wetbacks, you can’t even get your
papers! Wait until that wall comes up!” amongst other things. They continued to harass and taunt
the professor and college students saying they would never want to go to college where liberal
lies were taught by stupid and biased professors to students who can’t think for themselves. At
that point, another friend showed up to tell them it was lunch time, as they left Emma turned
around and said: “maybe when you graduate you can get a job picking vegetables for my
When the superintendent from Mockingbird high school heard about their behavior she
suspended Emma and her two friends for 30 days. Emma, and her parents, sued the school
saying they violated her first amendment rights and quelled her educational experience, and have
harmed her chances to get into a college. Is this a violation of her freedom of speech?
Instructions for Justice’s Brief:
Your brief should seek to guide the reader by relying on Supreme Court precedent, jurisprudential
doctrines and tests, and other legal approaches to demonstrate the persuasiveness of your position.
Determine, based upon the facts, constitution, and precedent which side is correct.
The brief should begin by clearly identifying the central constitutional question or questions
presented by the case, and the stance you are taking (where their rights violated or not and why (i.e.
a thesis statement). The core of your brief, however, should focus on explaining the reasoning for
your decision focusing on the existing law, as applied to the facts before you, best supports your
proposed resolution of the constitutional question or questions you’ve identified. Case facts should
not be discussed for their own sake; rather, you should work the most germane case facts into your
argument as support for it. Do not add to the case facts presented to you; it is essential that all
actors work with the same information.
Much of the assessment of your brief will rest on how well you make use of relevant materials,
including Supreme Court opinions from precedent cases. Please remember some cases are briefly
discussed in the text, but not read. IT IS OK TO USE THESE! While only majority opinions have
precedential value, you may also draw upon the reasoning presented in plurality, concurring, and
dissenting opinions if you find that reasoning persuasive. When drawing upon non-majority opinions,
be certain to note that the cited material comes from a non-majority opinion.
Rules Governing Formatting and Citation:
Do not feel the need to resort to stilted language that you might associate with “writing like a lawyer.”
But your language and tone should be appropriately formal. Equally important, your briefs must
display an appropriate degree of professionalism; they must be logically organized, cleanly written,
and attentive to issues concerning grammar, syntax and spelling. Poor writing will make the merits of
your argument less visible to the Court, and as such will adversely affect your chances of winning.
Conventions on citation:
The first time you cite a case, use the full case name (in italics) with the year and the full
citation. For example, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No.
1, 551 U.S. 701 (2007).
For subsequent references to that case, you may use a shortened version of the case name,
or just the case name. For example, Parents Involved.
Usually, the shortened version refers to the first party, but when the United States is the first
party, you should refer to the second party. (Because the United States government is such
a frequent litigant before the Court, referring to the United States in the shortened version
would cause substantial confusion about which case you are referring to.) For example, U.S.
v. Ballard, 322 U.S. 78 (1944) becomes Ballard. If a state is the first party, then you should
use both names in subsequent references. So Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)
would become Miranda v. Arizona.
Some other usage conventions to keep in mind:
When you are referring to the Supreme Court, it is capitalized, even if you use just “the
Court” or “the High Court.”
It’s “Justice Breyer” when referring to a specific justice, but “the justices” when referring to
Similarly, while proper nouns are capitalized (“Congress,” “the Constitution”) their adjectival
forms are not (“congressional,” “constitutional”).
Specific amendments or articles of the Constitution should be capitalized as well.
The plural of “precedent” is “precedents” not “precedence.”
Purchase answer to see full