Discussion board replies | CJUS 420 – Criminal Investigations I | Liberty University

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 I need two replies to this discussion board on either agreeing or disagreeing. 150 words for each reply the original discussion is attached.  

Jun 12, 2023Jun 12 at 9:50amManage Discussion Entry

Professor and classmates:

     “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience”, (Romans 13:1-14).

I believe that probable cause was established to obtain an arrest warrant for Smith. The officer conducted an investigatory stop based on reasonable suspicion of the observations he made when seeing Smith’s vehicle. Based on the officer’s training and experience, along with the officer’s likely knowledge of the recent robbery, the officer observed the vehicle in the vicinity of the convenience store that displayed a Liberty University parking sticker. In Terry v. Ohio, the Supreme Court held that in certain circumstances, individual suspicion and probable cause are replaced with reasonable suspicion due to the necessity for “swift action predicated upon the on-the-spot observations of the officer on the beat.”

    The driver of the vehicle, “John Smith” had a physical description matching the robbery suspect, as well as clothing that matched. Since the description of the suspect was a white male wearing a Liberty University ball cap and t-shirt, this gave the officer reasonable suspicion to continue the investigatory stop. Due to the totality of the circumstances, to include the short time period after the robbery, the proximity to the convenience store, and the eventual discovery of the driver matching the description of the suspect all play a factor into the reasonableness of the investigatory stop. United States v. Cortez formally adopted the totality of the circumstances test for a reasonable suspicion analysis. Based upon this information, officers draw on their experience and training in law enforcement to make inferences (Pelic, 2003).

     The officer was then able to identify the driver via his driver’s license, and released from the scene of the stop. At some time after the stop concluded, John Smith’s photograph was placed into a photo array and shown to the victim. The photo array led to the victim positively identifying Smith as the one who robbed the convenience store. In Manson v. Brathwaite, the Supreme Court ruled that photo lineups should not be unduly suggestive. If a photo array is used  to identify a suspect, it should not be created in such a way to unfairly highlight the suspect and unduly elicit the victim’s identification.

     In looking at the totality of the circumstances leading up to the witness identification, the probable cause for arrest can be attributed to Pelic’s review of United States v. Arvizu where she states, “The Court followed precedent, invoking the totality of the circumstances test to uphold the investigatory stop. This test is the appropriate method for evaluating an investigatory stop for reasonable suspicion, because it is adaptable to all geographic areas and criminal activity” (2003). Further, the photo of the suspect was placed into a photo array, which consists of multiple photographs and the victim identified John Smith as the suspect who committed the robbery.


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