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State v. Gray: Case File, First Edition

  • A.J. Bellido de Luna
  • Joseph E. Taylor
Series / NITA
Teaching Materials
Table of contents
What is the appropriate response for officers to take when they believe they're in imminent mortal danger on the job? At what point does the use of force in an encounter diverge from being appropriate and justifiable, and cross into excessive and criminal? What does the law say about police shooting an unarmed citizen? These are the questions posed by State v. Gray, a new NITA case file inspired by the timely discussions our nation is having about the use of force against unarmed civilians. The tragic events in Ferguson in 2014, Baltimore and Chicago in 2015, and Baton Rouge and Dallas in 2016—among far too many others throughout our nation in recent years—have energized the country in a debate about these very police tactics in America. State v. Gray is a fictionalized scenario that draws "inspiration" from real-life occurrences. Here, however, the issue of race is purposely avoided so the focus remains on whether the shooting of an unarmed individual is justified based on law. This well-balanced case file will challenge the student's advocacy and medical and forensic expert witness skills through this full trial, which includes four witnesses per side, including the experts in DNA evidence and gunshot residue collection and in police use of force. Students will prevail based entirely on their own prowess in advocacy and the way they use the abundance of evidence provided in the case file.
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