Unit 5 Case Study
Columbia Southern University
Summary of Case
In this case, there is a question of what constitutes stalking at the time of the incident. Jennifer Clements feels like she is being stalked by her husband who will not sign divorce papers that she has had drawn up. Nathan was sentenced to 12 months’ probation for stalking Jennifer. Nathan has multiple reasons to why his sentencing should be appealed. The court goes into detail for each reason stating why they are constitutional and why they were allowed to use it as evidence in the case.
They were together for 6 years before they got married and Nathan showed his true colors. Nathan was very aggressive toward Jennifer after they married. He basically threw her out of their apartment, because she had a job. She was accused of having affairs. There were multiple instances where she felt like she was in danger of getting hurt and felt safer if other people around were not around. Jennifer was being followed to the gym, place of work, home, and even to a police station. Nathan claims that he was not stalking her but just trying to save his marriage. The evidence shows that he knew that he was making her feel unsafe by his actions. Jennifer said that Nathan knew that he would not be able to remarry unless she had died even if they got a divorce because of his religion (Schmalleger, Hall, & Dolatowski, 2010).
The definition of stalking is: to harass or persecute someone with unwanted an obsessive attention and the intentional frightening of another through following, harassing, annoying, or terrorizing activities (Schmalleger & Hall, 2017). The stalking statute in which the appellant was prosecuted under says that a person comes in contact with a person more than once and the victim believes that the person will hurt them or someone in their family they are to be considered as stalking that victim (Schmalleger, Hall, & Dolatowski, 2010). The facts are that the victim states that every time she saw the appellant she felt her life was in danger. She saw more than once before the say in question. Nathan says that Jennifer said that he did not follow her so he can not be convicted of stalking. What Nathan does not understand is that the term follow does not necessarily mean to actually follow someone to point a to point b. Nathan followed Jennifer by being at certain places that he knows she would be at and that would case Jennifer to be in fear(Schmalleger, Hall, & Dolatowski, 2010). Nathan also thinks that since there is no evidence that he harmed her he was not stalking but it is not a requirement for someone to be harmed for it to be considered stalking. In every situation, he knew that he had frightened Jennifer and made her scared. And she had told him multiple times to leave her alone.
What is the definition of unconstitutionally vague? A vagueness doctrine is a constitutional rule that requires criminal laws to state the explicitly and definitely what conduct I punishable (Cornell Law School). I do agree with the court of appeals is not constitutionally vague because the statute states what is considered to be apart of stalking. It was very clear on what the person can not do and that doing the stuff stated can result in stalking charges. They changed certain words from alarm to a person that feels like bodily injury will occur in that moment (Schmalleger, Hall, & Dolatowski, 2010).
There is far well over enough evidence that supports a stalking conviction. Jennifer had multiple instances where Nathan made her feel like he was going to hurt her. There where multiple times were he made it clear that he wanted to scare her. He would make sure to be at places where she would be just to make her scared. Has gotten the police and security involved. In my opinion, she had more evidence than people have nowadays for people to get restraining orders put on them.
Schmalleger, F., Hall, D. E. (2017). Criminal Law today (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Schmalleger, F., Hall, D. E., & Dolatowski, J. J. (2010) Criminal Law Today (4th ed.). Retrieved from https://media.pearsoncmg.com/pls/products/coco/criminal_law/125689897x/assignments/pdfs/criminal_law_handout_lesson_07.pdf
Cornell Law School. Vagueness doctrine. Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/vagueness_doctrine
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