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1013CCJ : Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice : Included

The courts have one of the most important roles in the Criminal Justice system. They are responsible for the interpretation and application of law when crimes are committed and they help to bring resolve to disputes between people, companies and units of government.

In preparation for this assignment, please carefully review the case of Michael T. Slager below. Also, please review the court report samples below for reference in preparing a standard court report.

Michael T. Slager Case
Court Report Sample 1
Court Report Sample 2
Based on your understanding from the readings in chapters 7-9, write a three to four (3-4) page court report in which you:

Summarize the case, including a detailed description of the crime that took place.
Outline the level of court that was assigned to the case (e.g. local/state, municipal, or federal) and the reason why that level was appropriate.
Describe the key characters in the case and the roles they played.
Explain the charge(s) against the defendant(s) and the evidence presented to justify the charge(s). Indicate whether or not the defendant was offered some form of plea deal prior to the court date.
State whether any witnesses were called in the case. If so, identify the witness(es) and provide a rationale as to why they were called.
Highlight the outcome of the case (verdict) and take a position on whether the verdict was appropriate based on the charges.
Include at least one (1) additional quality reference in addition to the case file presented.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

Follow standard court report format, using the examples provided in your course shell for reference.
Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

Explain the development of American courts and illustrate the concept of the dual-court system.
Distinguish between the various courtroom participants, and describe the stages in a criminal trial.
Use technology and information resources to research issues in criminal justice.
Write clearly and concisely about criminal justice using proper writing mechanics and APA style conventions.
Grading for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic/organization of the court report, and language and writing skills, using this rubric.


Statement of the Case

Case Summary and the Crime Committed

Michael T. Slager case is a case that involved an ex-cop shooting a black, Walter Scott (Sokolove, 2017). It happened on April 4, 2015 in South Carolina specifically at North Carleston after Scott was stopped by Slager at a daytime traffic because of a non-functioning brake light. Scott was unarmed and after he tried escaping, the police officer fatally shot him five times on his back.

Slager then took his Taser and planted it next to Scott. He handcuffed Scott’s hands and watched him die and later lied that he shot Scott following a struggle for the Taser. Unfortunately a video surfaced showing how he shot Scott who was fleeing contradicting his police report. Slager was thus charged with murder by a South Carolina grand jury in June 2015. In January 2016, he was released on bond. Later in the year, he was indicted on federal charges which included obstruction of justice and violation of civil rights. The following year he was found guilty of the charges and further returned to jail pending sentencing and the charges were later dropped. Finally, in December 2017, he got sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.

Level of Court

Michael T. Slager case was assigned the federal level of court. The federal courts also have an important role just as the state courts except that they have limited powers on the kinds of cases they can decide (Osunsami, 2016). The federal courts defend most basic rights, including the equal protection and the right to speech. Therefore, this court system was selected because it was a federal question involving diversity of citizenship because Slager was white and Scott was black.

Primary Characters and their Roles

Michael Slager – The police officer accused of murdering Walter Scott.

David Aylor – Slager’s original lawyer.

Feidin Santana – An eyewitness who provided the evidence of a recorded video showing the proof of what exactly happened when Slager committed the crime.

Clarence W. Habersham Jr. – An eye witness who was also seen in the video with gloves trying to examine Scott after he was shot by Slager.

David C. Norton – The U.S. District Judge deciding the case for Slager.

Charges against the Defendant and the Evidence Presented

Michael Slager was charged with murder on April 7. On May 11, 2016 he was charged for illegally using his weapon during the commission of a crime and violating Scott’s civil rights (Harris & Osunsami, 2016). Aside from that, he was also charged with obstruction of justice because he lied to the state investigators the he shot Scott when he was moving towards him with a Taser. Nonetheless, these charges were later dismissed and finally on December 7, 2017, Judge David Norton charged him with second-degree murder and sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment.

The evidence provided was a video recorded from a phone of an eyewitness who later shared the video with Scott’s family and the news media with the help of Black Lives Matter.


The court called 31 witnesses in the case each for a reason (Osunsami, 2016). For instance:

Feidin Santana was called as a result of the video proof provided to Scott’s family and the media concerning the murder of their son.

Clarence Habersham was called to testify about the truth because he was also seen in the video.


Outcome of the Case

Michael Slager was charged with second-degree murder after dismissal of the other charges. Slager was then sent to 20 years imprisonment. Nonetheless, the verdict was not appropriate following the fact that the court dismissed the charge of inappropriate use of firearm and violation of Scott’s civil rights. The video evidence provided in court was clear that Slager committed murder and lied to the court. As a result, Slager was entitled to a life sentence or a death penalty because without dismissal of the other charges, he had committed an offense of first degree murder according to UMCJ Article 118 Clause (1) or (4) (Osunsami, 2016).


Michael T. Slager case took some time to be decided in court. The case was clearly a first-degree murder case where Slager, a white, fatally murdered a black known as Walter Scott. The case was argued in federal court because it involved the abuse of civil rights and diversity. Based on the evidence provided and the argument, Judge Norton however, argued that Slager was guilty of second-degree murder and further led him to a 20-years imprisonment.


Murder is an unlawful killing of another person either intentionally or not. Usually, most societies consider murder as a serious crime that deserves the harshest punishment possible. Usually, the punishments vary from state to state. In the Case Michael T. Slager, there is proof of murder which should be punishable by law.


Harris, D., & Osunsami, S. (2016). Jury tells judge it's deadlocked. Good Morning America (ABC), 1.

Osunsami, S. (2016). Federal charges. World News With Diane Sawyer, 1.

Sokolove, M. (2017). What does it take to convict a cop?. Mother Jones, 42(2), 16-28.

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