The case of Senator Ted Stevens, who was prosecuted in 2008 for what is described in Introduction to Criminal Justice as “failing to report gifts” (Toobin, 2011, p. 143), is described in your textbook as exemplary of the “profoundly unjust use of government power against an individual” (ib.). In this assignment, you will have the opportunity to express your agreement or disagreement with this statement as you consider whether Stevens was treated any differently than other criminals due to his status as a public figure.
Refer to the case study described on pages 143-158 of your text as you complete this assignment.
Write a paper in which you address the following questions:
- Is it more or less difficult for judges and jurors to evaluate the guilt of public figures than that of typical criminals? Why?
- In your opinion, what does the treatment of Stevens in this case reveal about the way court systems treat public figures?
- Do you find Stevens guilty or innocent, and why? How would you assess the fairness of his sentence?