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Read State v. Holbach, 2009 ND 37 (2009). In Holbach, the defendant appealed a conviction for stalking
based on his constitutionally protected right to travel around town and do errands. The defendant was on
probation for stalking the victim and subject to conditions of probation, including a stay-away order.
However, the victim claimed that she saw the defendant following her around town on many occasions.

Did the Supreme Court of North Dakota uphold the defendant’s stalking conviction? Why or why not?

Discussion Questions.

1. Read the prompt and then decide whether you would affirm or reverse the lower court. Review the case and see how the judges or justices actually ruled. The defendant shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, who was pregnant. The defendant did not know she was pregnant, nor was it obvious from her appearance. The lower court reversed a jury verdict of second-degree murder of the fetus, and the prosecution appealed. Would you affirm or reverse?

2. Prosecution of Michael Jackson’s doctor for involuntary manslaughter

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/ 2011/01/25/eveningnews/main7282905.shtml

Give your opinion.

3. Should the Media Be Permitted to Publish Negative Information about a Rape Victim?

  • In 2003, Kobe Bryant, a professional basketball player, was indicted for sexually assaulting a nineteen-year-old hotel
    desk clerk. A mistake by a court reporter listed the accuser’s name on a court website (MSNBC.com, 2011). The court
    removed the victim’s name after discovery of the mistake, but the damage was done. Thereafter, in spite of a court
    order prohibiting the publication of the accuser’s name, the media, including radio, newspaper, Internet, and television,
    published the accuser’s name, phone number, address, and e-mail address (Kenworty, T. & O’Driscoll, P., 2011). Products
    like underwear, t-shirts, and coffee mugs with pictures of the accuser and Bryant in sexual positions were widely available
    for sale, and the accuser received constant harassment, including death threats (Haddad, R., 2011). Although the Colorado
    Supreme Court ordered pretrial in camera transcripts of hearings pursuant to Colorado’s rape shield law to remain
    confidential, an order that was confirmed by the US Supreme Court (Associated Press et. al. v. District Court for the Fifth
    Judicial Distric of Colorado, 2011), the accuser was subjected to so much negative publicity that she eventually refused
    to cooperate and the prosecution dropped the charges in 2004.

1. Do you think rape shield laws should include prohibitions against negative publicity? What are the constitutional ramifications of this particular type of statutory protection?

4. Is it possible for a serious third party to emerge in the United States, positioned ideologically between the Democrats on the left and the Republicans on the right? Why or why not?

5. How do we regulate interest groups and lobbying activity? What are the goals of these regulations? Do you think these regulations achieve their objectives? Why or why not? If you could alter the way we regulate interest group activity and lobbying, how might you do so in a way consistent with the Constitution and recent Supreme Court decisions?

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