The discussion thread for this week has us wrestling with the question of how do we determine probable cause — especially if you are dealing with an anonymous informant.
Discussion Question 6-1: How did Illinois v. Gates change the requirements for the probable cause sufficient to get a search warrant? Which test for probable cause do you prefer — the old (Aguilar-Spinelli) or the new (Gates or totality of the circumstances)? Using your chosen test, decide whether or not to issue the warrant in Illinois v. Gates. Support your answer with specific facts from the case.
This week’s discussion forum focuses on the problems with eyewitness identification. The question is designed to allow you to be as creative as you want. Think of it as a brainstorming session on reforming the eyewitness identification system. You can draw on the suggestions made in the readings or come up with entirely new ones. So, here is the question.
Discussion Question 14-1: Based on the materials in the readings and covered in class, what do you see as the most problematic issues with eyewitness identifications, both pretrial and in the courtroom? Design a system that corrects for these problems. Include rules for admitting both pretrial and in-court room identifications into evidence at trial. Support your answer.