Congratulations on your recent graduation from Law School and passing of the California Bar Exam. You are now an attorney. You have been hired as a Junior Associate at the Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatum and Howe. This is your first assignment.
The purpose of this assignment is to convey your understanding of criminal law, including elements of crimes, criminal defenses, and inchoate crimes. Given a hypothetical situation, you will evaluate what crimes may have been committed, whether those crimes were completed and what defenses might apply. Sample memorandums will be provided to assist you in preparing your memorandum. Papers will be graded based on the quality of the analysis, grammar, and overall writing style.
DEWEY, CHEATUM AND HOWE
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TO: Junior Associate Antonio
FROM: Jim Dewey, Sr. Partner
SUBJECT: Opinion Memorandum
We have been hired to represent Joey McGrady, who was driving under the influence of alcohol when he lost control and collided with Melissa Jacobs’s car. Melissa was 35 weeks pregnant at the time of the accident. After the accident, Melissa gave birth to a baby boy, Seth, who lived only 11 hours before dying from injuries he sustained in the car crash. The State of New California prosecutor charged Joey with vehicular homicide for Seth’s death.
We would like to argue that Seth was not “alive” at the time of the accident so he cannot Joey cannot be charged with homicide. We have done research and cannot find any case law in the State of New California where a person has been charged with the death of a baby who was injured while in the womb, born alive, and then died.
Please research the law (your criminal law textbook would probably be a good place to start) and write a memorandum as to what courts in other states have ruled in similar circumstances.