Fiscal policy

1. Fiscal policy refers to:
A. the control of interest rates.
B. the control of government spending and taxations.
C. the control of the quantity of money.
D. the control of interest rates and of government spending.

2. Controlling interest rates is an example of:
A. fiscal policy.
B. tax policy.
C. monetary policy.
D. exchange rate policy.

3. John Maynard Keynes believed that the:
A. government should actively try to mitigate the effects of recessions by using fiscal and monetary policies.
B. government should not interfere with the economy and should let the economy self correct.
C. government should only intervene when there is a boom but let the recession run its course.
D. government should not use fiscal and monetary policies, as these policies have long term adverse effect on the economy.

4. Inflation:
A. is defined as a movement of the economy towards economic growth.
B. can be thought of as an increase in a nation’s standard of living.
C. is a sustained fall in the overall level of prices.
D. is an increase in the overall level of prices.

5. If wages grew at a 5% rate last year and average prices grew at a 3% rate, then the average worker is:
A. better off.
B. worse off.
C. no better or worse off.
D. unaffected.

6. If a country sold more goods and services to the rest of the world than they purchased from the other countries, then the country has a:
A. trade deficit.
B. budget deficit.
C. trade surplus.
D. budget surplus.
7. Monetary policy involves:
A. changes in government spending.
B. changes in government tax receipts.
C. changes in the quantity of money.
D. changes in tax rates.

8. A business cycle is:
A. a very deep and prolonged economic downturn.
B. a period in which output and employment are rising.
C. a period in which output and employment are falling.
D. a short-run alternation between economic upturns and downturns.

9. An expansion is a period in which:
A. output declines.
B. the price level falls.
C. output rises.
D. unemployment rises.

10. Inflation affects people adversely because:
A. nominal income falls during inflation.
B. purchasing power tends to increase during inflation
C. budget deficit increases during inflation.
D. inflation causes money to lose its value over time if the overall price level is rising.

11. A trade surplus occurs:
A. during economic contractions only.
B. when the value of goods and services a country imports exceeds the value of goods and services it exports.
C. when the value of goods and services a country imports is less than the value of goods and services it exports.
D. when unemployment is rising

12. Goods and services that are produced in a foreign country but consumed domestically are called:
A. exports.
B. imports.
C. investment goods.
D. consumer durables.

13. (Table: Calculating GDP) Using the information in the table provided, which of the following is the correct calculation for GDP in 2008?

Table: Calculating GDP

A. $47,475
B. $12,200
C. $21,485
D. $34,085

14. (Table: GDP) The GDP for 2007, was:
Table: GDP

A. $94 billion.
B. $188 billion.
C. $168 billion.
D. $139 billion.

15. Which of the following best represents the equation for GDP?
A. GDP = C+ I + G – X + IM
B. GDP = C + I + G + X – IM
C. GDP = C + I + G + Taxes – Value Added
D. GDP = C + I + G + Taxes + X + IM

16. Which of the following would NOT be a part of GDP?
A. used car sales.
B. new residential construction
C. a new truck purchased by a building contractor
D. telephone service purchased for a home

17. Which of the following is NOT included in investment spending in the national income accounts?
A. new residential construction
B. the purchase of machinery and other productive physical capital
C. the purchase of stocks and bonds by a business
D. spending on inventories

18. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is:
A. the total dollar value of all transactions in the economy in a year.
B. the total value of all final goods and services produced in the economy in a year.
C. the total value of all final goods and services produced by Americans at home and abroad in a year.
D. the total dollar value of all goods produced in the economy in a year.

19. Real GDP is nominal GDP adjusted for:
A. double counting.
B. changes in prices.
C. population.
D. imports

20. Suppose that nominal GDP is $1000 in 2006 and nominal GDP is $1500 in 2007. If the overall price level ____ between 2006 and 2007, we could say that real GDP _____.
A. increased by 50%; stayed constant.
B. increased by less than 50%; decreased.
C. increased by more than 50%; increased.
D. increased by 50%; increased.

21. Inflation is when there is:
A. a rising aggregate price level.
B. an expansion of output.
C. a rise in wages.
D. a rise in the unemployment rate.



22. (Table: The Consumer Price Index) The approximate rate of inflation in Year 3 is _____ percent.

A. 5
B. 10
C. 19
D. 20

23. An example of investment spending would be:
A. purchase of a bond.
B. purchase of a loaf of bread.
C. purchase of a new productive machine.
D. all of the above.

24-28 Use this scenario to answer questions 24-27.
Scenario: Real GDP
Suppose that an economy produces just two goods: golf balls and pizzas. In Year 1 an economy produces 100 golf balls that sell for $3 each and 75 pizzas that sell for $8 each. The next year the economy produces 110 golf balls that sell for $3.25 each and 80 pizzas that sell for $9 each.

24. The value of nominal GDP in Years 1 and 2 respectively is:
A. $900; $1,077.50.
B. $900; $990.
C. $180,000; $257,400.
D. $1,000; $1,005.

25. (Scenario: Real GDP) Using Year 1 as the base year, real GDP in Year 2 is:
A. 900.
B. 970.
C. 1,000.
D. 1,077.50

26. (Scenario: Real GDP) The growth rate of nominal GDP from Year 1 to Year 2 is:
A. 10%.
B. 7.8%
C. 19.7%
D. 8.8%
27. Using Year 1 as the base year, the growth rate of real GDP from Year 1 to Year 2 is:
A. 10%.
B. 7.8%
C. 19.7%
D. 8.8%

28. If the CPI is 120 in Year 1 and 150 in Year 2, then the rate of inflation from Year 1 to Year 2 is _____.
A. 10%
B. 20%
C. 25%
D. 50%

29. (Table: CPI II) Calculate by how much the prices changed between 2007 and 2008.

A. prices fell by 4%.
B. prices increased by 5%.
C. prices fell by 5%.
D. prices increased by 4%

30. In the consumer price index of the United States:
A. the current cost of a basket of goods is compared to the base-period cost of the same basket of goods.
B. calculation of the base-period index is always equal to 100.
C. the base period is 1982–1984.
D. the current cost of a basket of goods is compared to the base-period cost of the same basket of goods, the calculation of the base-period index is always equal to 100, and the base period is 1982-1984.

31. Calculating GDP via the factor payments approach would include payments such as:
A. wages, interest payments, rent and profits.
B. taxes, wages, interest payments and rents.
C. rents, profits, value added adjustments, and taxes.
D. consumption, investment and government.

32. Employment is:
A. the total labor force.
B. the total population of working age.
C. the total number of people actively working.
D. the total number of people not unemployed.

33. Unemployment is:
A. the percent of the labor force that is unemployed.
B. the number of people unemployed.
C. the ratio of the labor force to the number of people unemployed.
D. the average length of time someone is unemployed.

34. If a country has a working-age population of 200 million, 135 million people with jobs, and 15 million people unemployed and seeking employment, then its unemployment rate is:
A. 4%.
B. 7.5%
C. 10%

35. The labor force is considered to be:
A. all those employed.
B. those who are employed plus those who are unemployed.
C. the population of the nation.
D. those not frictionally unemployed plus all others employed.

36. (Table: Unemployment and Employment Data) According to the accompanying table, the unemployment rate for this economy is:

A. 2.9%
B. 4.8%
C. 5.0%
D. 5.3%

37. The official unemployment rate ignores:
A. people with professional jobs.
B. people who work on commission.
C. discouraged workers who have given up looking for a job.
D. people with professional jobs, people who work on commission and discouraged workers who have given up looking for a job.
38. For most of U.S. modern economic history, when the unemployment rate is _____, real GDP is _____
A. falling; rising.
B. falling; falling.
C. rising; unchanged.
D. rising; rising.

39. Structural unemployment is:
A. unemployment that results when there are more people seeking jobs than there are jobs available at the current wage rate.
B. unemployment experienced by those entering the labor force for the first time.
C. zero when the economy is in full employment.
D. caused by short run economic fluctuations.

40. Frictional unemployment exists because of all of the following except:
A. new jobs are continuously being created.
B. some old jobs are always being destroyed.
C. new workers are always entering the labor market.
D. the minimum wage.

41. The labor demand curve is negatively sloped because:
A. more people are willing to work at lower wages than at higher wages.
B. more people are willing to work at higher wages than at lower wages.
C. employers are willing to hire more people at lower wages.
D. employers are willing to hire more people at higher wages.

42. The labor supply curve is positively sloped because:
A. more people are willing to work at lower wages than at higher wages.
B. more people are willing to work at higher wages than at lower wages.
C. employers are willing to hire more people at lower wages.
D. employers are willing to hire more people at higher wages.

43-47 Use the following graph for question 43-47, where labor supply is equal to labor force and labor demand is equal to employment:


43. (Figure: Labor Market) The equilibrium wage rate is:

44. At the equilibrium wage rate the size of the labor force is:
A. 80,000
B. 110,000
C. 100,000
D. 90,000
45. (Figure: Labor Market) At an efficiency wage of $16, what is the size of the labor force?
A. 80,000
B. 110,000
C. 100,000
D. 90,000

46. (Figure: Labor Market) If firms decide to pay an efficiency wage of $16, what will be the level of employment = labor demand?
A. 80,000
B. 110,000
C. 100,000
D. 90,000

47. (Figure: Labor Market) At an efficiency wage of $16, what is the unemployment rate?
B. 20%
C. 27%
D. 30%

48-49Use this scenario to answer questions 49–50.
Scenario: Employment in Youville
The country of Youville is made up of 10,000 people. Of this population, 1,000 residents are below the age of 16 and 2,000 have given up looking for work. Currently, 500 people are unemployed but are actively looking for work; 2,500 work part time, and the remaining number are fully employed.

48. (Scenario: Employment in Youville) What is the unemployment rate in Youville?
B. 4.25%
D. 2%.

49. (Scenario: Employment in Youville) Suppose the number of workers who had given up looking for work start looking for work. What happens to the unemployment rate?
A. The unemployment rate will increase.
B. The unemployment rate will decrease.
C. The unemployment rate is unaffected by this change.
D. It is uncertain what will happen to the unemployment rate.

50. The presence of discouraged workers causes the:
A. actual unemployment rate to increase when the workers are not included in the unemployment calculation.
B. actual unemployment rate to understate the true level of unemployment
C. actual unemployment rate to overstate the true level of unemployment.
D. natural rate of unemployment to increase.

51. The sum of frictional and structural unemployment make up the:
A. actual unemployment level.
B. cyclical amount of unemployment.
C. natural rate of unemployment.
D. amount of unemployment in an economy during a recession.

52. Alex expects the inflation rate to be 4%. If Alex borrows money at a nominal interest rate of 5%, his real interest rate is:
A. 9%
B. 0.8%
C. 1%
D. 5%

53. Which of the following is true?
A. Unexpected inflation benefits lenders and hurts borrowers.
B. Unexpected inflation benefits borrowers and hurts lenders.
C. Unexpected inflation benefits borrowers but does not affect lenders.
D. Unexpected deflation benefits lenders but does not affect borrowers.

54. Which of the following annual rates of inflation would be called hyperinflation?
A. 5%
B. 10%
C. 25%
D. 1,000%

55. When there is deflation in the economy:
A. the general price level falls.
B. the general price level increases.
C. the interest rate rises.
D. the general price level becomes negative.

56. Suppose the real interest rate is 2.1% and the nominal interest rate is 5.4%. Then the inflation rate is:
A. 7.5%
B. 3.3%
C. -3.3%
D. 2.1%
57. Factors which influence productivity and therefore growth are:
A. physical and human capital per worker and technological advances.
B. government independence.
C. more government intervention in the market place.
D. increased consumption and less investment spending.

58. Investment spending refers to:
A. buying stocks.
B. buying newly issued shares of stock.
C. adding to physical capital.
D. adding to one’s retirement account.
59-62. Use this scenario to answer questions 59-62.
Scenario: Closed Economy S = I
In a closed economy suppose that GDP is $12 trillion. Consumption is $8 trillion and government spending is $2 trillion. Taxes are $0.5 trillion.

59. How much is private saving?
A. $4 trillion.
B. $2.5 trillion.
C. $3.5 trillion.
D. -0.5 trillion.
60. What is the government budget balance?
A. a surplus of $1.5 trillion.
B. a deficit of $1.5 trillion.
C. a surplus of $0.5 trillion.
D. a deficit of $0.5 trillion.

61. How much is national saving?
A. $3.5 trillion.
B. $3 trillion.
C. $2.5 trillion.
D. $ 2 trillion.

62. How much is investment spending?
A. $3.5 trillion.
B. $3 trillion.
C. $2.5 trillion.
D. $ 2 trillion.
63. National savings is the sum of private savings and:
A. private consumption.
B. government tax revenue.
C. the budget balance.
D. trade surplus.
64. The savings-investment spending identity says that savings and investment spending are:
A. always equal because private savings match government savings.
B. equal as long as there is no trade surplus or deficit.
C. always equal for the economy as a whole.
D. equal as long as there is not government budget deficit or surplus.

65-68 Use the following figure to solve questions 65-68:
Figure: Loanable Funds
65. The accompanying graph shows the market for loanable funds in equilibrium. Which of the following might produce a new equilibrium interest rate of 8% and a new equilibrium quantity of loanable funds of $150?
A. Consumers have increased consumption as a fraction of disposable income.
B. Businesses have become more optimistic about the return on investment spending.
C. The federal government has a budget surplus rather than a budget deficit.
D. There has been an increase in capital inflows from other nations.

66. The accompanying graph shows the market for loanable funds in equilibrium. Which of the following might produce a new equilibrium interest rate of 5% and a new equilibrium quantity of loanable funds of $150?
A. Consumers have increased consumption as a fraction of disposable income.
B. Businesses have become more optimistic about the return on investment spending.
C. The federal government has a budget surplus rather than a budget deficit.
D. There has been an increase in capital inflows from other nations.

67. The accompanying graph shows the market for loanable funds in equilibrium. Which of the following might produce a new equilibrium interest rate of 8% and a new equilibrium quantity of loanable funds of $75?
A. Capital inflows from foreign citizens are declining.
B. The federal government is running a budget deficit rather than a surplus.
C. Profit expectations are less optimistic for business investments.
D. The government has eliminated taxes on income from interest earned.

68. The accompanying graph shows the market for loanable funds in equilibrium. Which of the following might produce a new equilibrium interest rate of 4% and a new equilibrium quantity of loanable funds of $75?
A. Profit expectations are less optimistic for business investments.
B. Capital inflows from foreign citizens are declining.
C. The federal government is running a budget deficit rather than a surplus.
D. The government has eliminated taxes on income from interest earned.

69. Governments can engage in saving when:
A. taxes are less than expenditures.
B. taxes are greater than expenditures.
C. the government borrows to finance its expenditures.
D. the president insists that Congress balance the budget.

70. The Fisher Effect states that:
A. the nominal rate of interest is unaffected by the change in expected inflation.
B. the nominal rate of interest is unaffected by the change in unexpected inflation.
C. the expected real rate of interest is unaffected by the change in expected inflation.
D. the expected real rate of interest increases by one percentage point for each percentage change in expected inflation.

71. Suppose the lender expects a real interest rate of 6% and the inflation rate is expected to be 3%. In this case, the nominal interest rate is equal to:
A. 3%.
B. 9%.
C. 12%.
D. 6%

72. The term “liquidity” means:
A. that the asset is used in a barter exchange.
B. that the asset is used as the medium of exchange.
C. that the asset is readily convertible to cash.
D. that the market interest rate is too low.

Quantitative Problems:

1 – Consider an economy that produces and consumes bread and automobiles. Sales and price data for these products for two different years are shown below:

Year 2000 Year 2010
Price of an automobile $50 000 $60 000
Price of a loaf of bread $10 $20
Number of automobiles produced 100 cars 120 cars
Number of loaves of bread produced 500 000 loaves 400 000 loaves

a) What is the nominal GDP in 2000 and 2010?
b) Using the year 2000 as the base year, calculate the real GDP in 2010.
c) What is the GDP deflator in 2010?
d) What is the inflation rate between 2000 and 2010?

2 –
“President Bush is again urging that the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 be made
permanent… The President and members of the Administration argue that the tax cuts have produced a robust economic expansion and should therefore be made permanent for the sake of the economy…However, making the tax cuts permanent without paying for them would dramatically increase deficits and debt in future decades…” (Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 2007)

Using our theoretical model, explain the effects of permanent tax cuts on the following variables. Explain your reasoning fully in order to get full credits.

a) Public saving
b) Private saving
c) National saving
d) Investment

3 – Consider an economy described by the following equations:
Y = C + I + G
Y = 5,000
G = 1,000
T = 1,000
C = 250 + 0.75 (Y – T)
I = 1,000 – 50 r

a) In this economy, compute private saving, public saving, and national saving.
b) Find the equilibrium interest rate.
c) Now suppose that G rises to 1,250. Compute private saving, public saving, and national income.
d) Find the new equilibrium interest rate.

4 – In the country of Wiknam, the velocity of money is constant. Real GDP grows by 6 percent per year, the money stock grows by 11 percent per year, and the nominal interest rate is 9 percent. What is the real interest rate?
5-Suppose V is constant, M is growing 5% per year, Y is growing 2% per year,
and r = 4.
a. Solve for i.
b. If the Fed increases the money growth rate by 4 percentage points per year, find Di.
c. Suppose the growth rate of Y falls to 2%per year. What will happen to p ?
What must the Fed do if it wishes to keep p constant?

The ways in which politics are included and discussed in Book 4 of Gulliver’s Travels.

Politically, Swift was one of those people who are driven into a sort of perverse Toryism by the follies of the progressive party of the moment. Part I of Gulliver’s Travels, ostensibly a satire on human greatness, can be seen, if one looks a little deeper, to be simply an attack on England, on the dominant Whig Party, and on the war with France, which—however bad the motives of the Allies may have been—did save Europe from being tyrannized over by a single reactionary power. Swift was not a Jacobite nor strictly speaking a Tory, and his declared aim in the war was merely a moderate peace treaty and not the outright defeat of England. Nevertheless there is a tinge of quislingism in his attitude, which comes out in the ending of Part I and slightly interferes with the allegory. When Gulliver flees from Lilliput (England) to Blefuscu (France) the assumption that a human being six inches high is inherently contemptible seems to be dropped. Whereas the people of Lilliput have behaved towards Gulliver with the utmost treachery and meanness, those of Blefuscu behave generously and straightforwardly, and indeed this section of the book ends on a different note from the all-round disillusionment of the earlier chapters. Evidently Swift’s animus is, in the first place, against England. It is “your Natives” (i.e. Gulliver’s fellow-countrymen) whom the King of Brobdingnag considers to be “the most pernicious Race of little odious vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the Earth”, and the long passage at the end, denouncing colonization and foreign conquest, is plainly aimed at England, although the contrary is elaborately stated. The Dutch, England’s allies and target of one of Swift’s most famous pamphlets, are also more or less wantonly attacked in Part III. There is even what sounds like a personal note in the passage in which Gulliver records his satisfaction that the various countries he has discovered cannot be made colonies of the British Crown:

“The Houyhnhnms, indeed, appear not to be so well prepared for War, a Science to which they are perfect Strangers, and especially against missive Weapons. However, supposing myself to be a Minister of State, I could never give my advice for invading them. . . . Imagine twenty thousand of them breaking into the midst of an European army, confounding the Ranks, overturning the Carriages, battering the Warriors’ Faces into Mummy, by terrible Yerks from their hinder hoofs. . .”
Considering that Swift does not waste words, that phrase, “battering the warriors’ faces into mummy”, probably indicates a secret wish to see the invincible armies of the Duke of Marlborough treated in a like manner. There are similar touches elsewhere. Even the country mentioned in Part III, where “the Bulk of the People consist, in a Manner, wholly of Discoverers, Witnesses, Informers, Accusers, Prosecutors, Evidences, Swearers, together with their several subservient and subaltern Instruments, all under the Colours, the Conduct, and Pay of Ministers of State”, is called Langdon, which is within one letter of being an anagram of England. (As the early editions of the book contain misprints, it may perhaps have been intended as a complete anagram.) Swift’s physical repulsion from humanity is certainly real enough, but one has the feeling that his debunking of human grandeur, his diatribes against lords, politicians, court favourites, etc., has mainly a local application and springs from the fact that he belonged to the unsuccessful party. He denounces injustice and oppression, but he gives no evidence of liking democracy. In spite of his enormously greater powers, his implied position is very similar to that of the innumerable silly-clever Conservatives of our own day—people like Sir Alan Herbert, Professor G. M. Young, Lord Eiton, the Tory Reform Committee or the long line of Catholic apologists from W. H. Mallock onwards: people who specialize in cracking neat jokes at the expense of whatever is “modern” and “progressive”, and whose opinions are often all the more extreme because they know that they cannot influence the actual drift of events. After all, such a pamphlet as An Argument to Prove that the Abolishing of Christianity, etc., is very like “Timothy Shy” having a bit of clean fun with the Brains Trust, or Father Ronald Knox exposing the errors of Bertrand Russell. And the ease with which Swift has been forgiven—and forgiven, sometimes, by devout believers—for the blasphemies of a Tale of a Tub demonstrates clearly enough the feebleness of religious sentiments as compared with political ones.
Interpretation of the Houyhnhnms has been vexatious. It is possible, for example, to regard them as a veiled criticism by Swift of the British Empire’s treatment of non-whites as lesser humans, and it is similarly possible to regard Gulliver’s preference as absurd and the sign of his self-deception.

Gulliver loves the land and is obedient to a race that is not like his own. The Houyhnhnm society is based upon reason, and only upon reason, and therefore the horses practice eugenics based on their analyses of benefit and cost. They have no religion and their sole morality is the defense of reason, and therefore they are not particularly moved by pity or a belief in the intrinsic value of life. Gulliver himself, in their company, builds the sails of his skiff from “Yahoo skins.” Examples of the Houyhnhnms’ lack of passion surface mainly during their annual meeting. A visitor apologizes for being late to the meeting as her husband had died shortly before and she had to make the proper funeral arrangements, which consists of burial at sea. She eats her lunch like all other Houyhynms and is not affected at all by her loss, rationalizing that gone is gone.

A further example of the lack of humanity and emotion in the Houyhnhnms is that their laws demand that each couple produce two children, one male and one female. In the event that a marriage produced two offspring of the same sex, the parents would take their children to the annual meeting and trade them with a couple who produced two children of the opposite sex.

On the one hand, the Houyhnhnms have an orderly and peaceful society.They possess philosophy and have a language that is entirely pure of political and ethical nonsense. They possess, for example, no word for a lie (and must substitute a phrase — to say a thing which is not). They also have a form of art that is derived from nature.

How have African-Americans worked to end segregation, discrimination, and isolation to attain equality and civil rights?

How have African-Americans worked to end segregation, discrimination, and isolation to attain equality and civil rights?

The purpose of the Final Paper is to provide an opportunity to analyze a major social, economic, military, and

technological issue since the Civil War, trace its significance over time, and examine the ways in which it contributed to an

“ending of isolation” in the United States.

A central theme of this course is the “end of isolation” which our textbook describes in relationship to essay/impact-technological-competency/">technology,

politics, military, culture, and society. At times, the ending of isolation has resulted of periods of tension and struggle.

In this paper, you will select ONE of the following topics from the list below, and through the use of primary and secondary

research, you will describe the historical context of each question and trace the significance of this issue over time from


1865 to the present. Assess the challenges involved in the ending of this isolation, as well as the key people involved in

the struggles. Five academic resources must be referenced within the research paper, including two from the Ashford Online

library, and one primary source, which should represent a significant aspect of your research through meaningful contribution

to your analysis of the selected topic. .

Writing the Final Paper

The Final Paper:

Must be eight to ten double-spaced pages in length, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford

Writing Center.

Must include a title page with the following:

Title of paper

Student’s name

Course name and number

Instructor’s name

Date submitted

Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.

Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.

Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.

Must use at least five scholarly resources, including a minimum of two from the Ashford Online Library and at least


one a primary source.

Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

Cruel Punishment

Prepare a paper that addresses cruel and unusual punishment. can be general, but must include at least one supreme court case………………


Just like defining “Law,” cruel punishment has no universal expected definition. The existing legal systems define cruel punishment in terms that best suit the applicability of their legal system as well as considering the expected morals in a particular society. The complexity surrounding definition of cruel and unusual punishment has been made possible by the elasticity of society and therefore flexibility of morals. What is moral in one society is definitely not moral in another society. However, due to the need of conformity and standardization that has been occasioned by globalization, most societies do share the same legal system and as a result they share a common definition as far as cruel and unusual punishment is concerned. This way, it becomes easier for a legal system to define cruel punishment in a way that best suits the applicability of their various laws without arising inconsistencies and repugnancies to justice as well as law and morality of a society.
Therefore as discussed above, a legal system has to define cruel punishment according to the moral standards of its society. It has to take into consideration the attitude of the people living in the society into consideration when positing such definition. Additionally, they have to consider the applicability of the definition and its anticipated results. For any law to be effective it has got to be backed by sanctions, therefore a legal system has got to find ways of delivering punishment that is proportionate to the gravity of the crime committed. That way it will succeed in impeding other offenders from such acts and therefore making the society safer. This paper is going to look into the Common Law definition of cruel and unusual punishment. It will also look into the legal precedents that have been set by court cases in the USA in an attempt to define cruel and unusual punishment. Specifically it is going to discuss cruel and unusual punishment from the point of view of the death penalty, conviction of minors, conviction of mental persons and appropriation of penalties.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Definition
According to the Common Law, cruel and unusual punishment is such penalties that amount to barbarity or torture. It has been defined as cruel and degrading punishment not known by the Common Law. It includes any penalty, treatment, penalty or a fine that is disproportionate to the magnitude of the offense committed that it shocks a community’s moral sense.
The US Constitution, in the 8th Amendment bars the federal government from instilling (for federal crimes) punishment that is cruel and unusual. The 8th Amendment states that “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.” In the 14th Amendment, the various states are prohibited from infliction of unusual and cruel punishment for state crimes; additionally most of the States constitutions do bar the infliction of unusual and cruel punishment.
Federal and State courts have had their part in attempting to define and set standards for cruel and unusual punishment. The courts have stated that the amount and the method are to be considered when handing punishments. Concerning the method, it is very clear in the 8th Amendment that cruel and unusual punishment is prohibited. In Hudson v. McMillian, the Supreme Court opined that excessive use of force against a prisoner may be considered unusual and cruel punishment (even if serious injuries are not suffered by the prisoner).  In Hope v. Pelzer, it was decided that when prison officials punish an inmate due to upcoming behavior by handcuffing the to a “hitching post” for a period of two hours and seven hours respectively, exposing them to the sun in the procedure and denying the prisoner his shirt and refusing to hydrate the inmate and also refusing him to use sanitary facilities amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.
The courts as shared previously, have held the opinion that a defendant does not need to have suffered actual physical pain or injury for a punishment to be declared unusual and cruel. This was the issue in the case of Trop v. Dulles, where the court held that denationalization as a form of punishment was prohibited by the 8th Amendment. The court reasoned that it amounts to the destruction of a person’s status in society and this is a form of primitive punishment that is worse than torture because it obliterates a person’s political existence that had taken a long time to develop. According to the court, the 8th Amendment has to derive its meaning from the changing decency standards which is a maturing society’s base.
Proportionality of Punishment
Punishment that is clearly blown out of proportion to the offense committed is also prohibited and considered as unusual and cruel punishment. The courts has emphasized on this aspect especially when it applies to the context of the death penalty. In Coker v. Georgia, the court held that the death penalty was completely disproportionate for a rape crime. Additionally the Court held in Edmund v. Florida, that the 8th Amendment does not allow a defendant charged with aiding and abetting (which is a felony) during a crime that results into the murder of someone especially if the defendant did not attempt, did not kill or had not intended for the murder to occasion or even the use of lethal force be handed a death sentence. In Solem v.Helm, the proportionality of the sentence handed was further emphasized. In this case the defendant was sentenced to life sentence imprisonment for passing a bad check amounting to $100. Normally the crime is punishable by 5 years imprisonment; however the client had six other felony convictions and thus the basis of the life sentence. The Court held that the punishment was not proportional to the crime and thus barred by the 8th Amendment. In California, the 9th circuit U.S. Court of Appeals used the proportionality test to overturn a life sentence of a defendant who was convicted under the “three strikes” rule under Section 677 of California’s penal code. In Brown v. Mayle, the defendants who had committed misdemeanors (they had stolen three videotapes and other items which totaled to $400. However, they had three prior convictions on violent crimes; the misdemeanor was amplified and charged as felonies. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeal held that the sentence handed was not proportionate to the offenses committed and therefore constituted unusual and cruel punishment.
In Lockyer v. Andrade, the defendant was liable for the theft of video tapes worth $153.54 and was sentenced to 25 years to life as spelt out by Section 677 of the Penal Code in California. The U.S. Supreme Court however, reversed, granted certiorari and remanded the case and instructed the 9th Circuit to rethink their decision in the case.
Death Penalty; is it unusual and cruel?
The death sentence has been a sensitive issue and society is divided on its applicability as well as well as the ethical issues that surround it. People (especially religious people) argue that it is not the right of a fellow human being to decide to end the life of another human being. They posit that such responsibility vests in a Supreme Being (or God) and that if a person kills, then they should be held accountable to their maker for their deeds. However, this argument cannot fit the whole society (some of the society members are atheists). Therefore legal redress has to be found for crimes of a greater magnitude. The U.S. Supreme Court opines that the death penalty is not inherently cruel, it has described the death sentence as “an extreme sanction that is appropriate for extreme crimes” as was decided in the case of Gregg v. Georgia. The state and federal courts alike have accepted modern methods of executing the death sentence, i.e. electrocution, lethal injection, hanging, gas chamber and shooting. The U.S. Supreme Court has opined that statutes that offer obligatory death sentence for some categories of murder are actually unconstitutional as they rule out the authorities to consider the features of a defendant’s record or character or even looking into the mitigating circumstances of a crime as was in the case of Lockett v. Ohio.
Mental (insane persons) and cruel and unusual punishment
Criminal law allows insanity to be used as a defense in criminal proceedings. As a rule in criminal law, if a person pleads insanity as a defense and upon thorough medical examination by a court appointed doctor is considered insane at the time of commission of the crime or is permanently insane, then the court cannot hand the person a prison term or any other sentence thereof. The same applies to handing of unusual and cruel penalties. An insane person cannot be handed a death penalty as this has been prohibited by the 8th Amendment. This was further emphasized in the case of Ford v. Wainwright.
Cruel and Unusual punishment in Relation to Minors
In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that minors could not be accorded the death sentence for the offense of murder. In 2010, the Court also banned the option of life sentence without the possibility for essay/parole-supervision-conditions-for-sex-offenders/">parole for minors who commit other crimes other than murder. In Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs, the argument presented in the cases was intended to hand a ban on life without the possibility of essay/parole-supervision-conditions-for-sex-offenders/">parole for youths who have been convicted of murder offenses. In Miller v. Alabama, the plaintiff and his friend stole baseball cards collection worth $300 from their neighbor; additionally they killed him by attacking him with bats and eventually set his house on fire. Another instance in Arkansas (Jackson v. Hobbs), the plaintiff tried robbing a video store with his friends. However, when the clerk informed them that she was going to call the police, one of the youths shot and killed her using a shotgun. In both cases the plaintiffs were handed life sentences without the possibility of essay/parole-supervision-conditions-for-sex-offenders/">parole. The states of Arkansas and Alabama requested the court to accept them to impose such sentences to other junior offenders who were liable for murder. However the Supreme Court found that maturity between adults and minors i.e. adolescents is very different and that adolescents were very much susceptible to bowing to peer pressure and other forces too.  Therefore, the Supreme Court was of the opinion that it will be unfair and very misguided for courts to liken the discrepancies of a minor to those of an adult especially in murder cases. The position of the Court has been supported by many and the support is premised on the fact that the reasoning, judgment and also the understanding of minors has not developed fully for them to be tried as adults. Therefore handing them life sentences without the possibility of essay/parole-supervision-conditions-for-sex-offenders/">parole is deemed as taking away the possibility of reform from the minors. The court was of the view that such punishment is cruel and unjust to the minors.
Cruel and unusual punishment as was discussed in the beginning of the paper really depends on the society and the rules that govern the society. In the American society morality takes prevalence in deciding when such punishment should be handed. For instance it is morally wrong to sentence an insane person because he/she does not understand what they are doing. Additionally it becomes morally wrong to sentence a 14 year old child (his criminal actions notwithstanding) to life sentence without the possibility of essay/parole-supervision-conditions-for-sex-offenders/">parole because they cannot anticipate the gravity of their actions. As society changes so will the morals of the society and it is expected that the forms of punishment which are considered cruel and unusual to change with the changing society too. What is required is the society to change faster or at a rate that will enhance the proper understanding of what crimes to classify as cruel and unusual.


Brown v. Mayle, 283 F.3d 1019 (9th Cir. 2002)
Coker v. Georgia, 433 U.S. 584, 97 S. Ct. 2861, 53 L. Ed. 2d 982 (1977)
Enmund v. Florida, 458 U.S. 782, 102 S. Ct. 3368, 73 L. Ed. 2d 1140 (1982)
Ford v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 399, 106 S. Ct. 2595, 91 L. Ed. 2d 335 (1986)
gregg v. georgia, 428 U.S. 153, 96 S. Ct. 2909, 49 L. Ed. 2d 859 [1976]
Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 112 S. Ct. 995, 117 L. Ed. 2d 156 (1992)
Hope v. Pelzer, 536 U.S. 730, 122 S.Ct. 2508, 153 L. Ed. 2d 666 (2002)
Jackson v. Hobbs  194 S.W.3d 757, 758 (Ark. 2004)
Lockett v. Ohio, 438 U.S. 586, 98 S. Ct. 2954, 57 L. Ed. 2d 973 [1978]
Lockyer v. Andrade, 538 U.S. 63, 123 S. Ct. 1166, 155 L. Ed. 144 (2003)
Miller v. State, 63 So. 3d 676 (Ala. Crim. App. 2010) [2010 BL 199701]
Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86, 78 S. Ct. 590, 2 L. Ed. 2d 630 (1958)
Solem v. Helm, 463 U.S. 277, 103 S. Ct. 3001, 77 L. Ed. 2d 637 (1983)


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Work Discrimination

You are requires you to conduct research, evaluate your client’s case in light of your research, and write a legal memorandum to your supervising attorney summarizing your findings……………………

Work Discrimination cases
            Phillips V. Martin Marrieta Corp.
400 U.S. 542 (1971)
This case is important to this case because it laid the foundation for subsequent sex discrimination cases. This case will be used be cause it relates to Ms. Gallagher’s situation. The case revolves round the Martin Marrieta Corporation which had a policy of not hiring mothers who had who had children in pre-schools. This was because the mothers were viewed as unreliable employees. The plaintiff, Ida Phillips applied a job to the company but was turned down by virtue of her being a mother. She sued the company under Title VII and she claimed that the company’s policy was discriminatory. The Supreme Court agreed with her views and concluded that the company could not discriminate current and prospective employees based on their sex and more so on their conditions as mothers. This applies to Ms. Gallagher who has been discriminated by her employer the basis that she has got a sick child at home and hence she has become an unreliable employee.
            Wilson v. Southwest Airlines Co
N.D. Tex. 1981; 517 F. Supp. 292
This case is important to Ms. Gallagher’s case because it talks about the Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) which has been used by employees as a basis of their discrimination against employees. The defendant in this case wanted to portray a sexy image and therefore deliver on its promise of taking the passengers to their destination with love. However this argument was rejected by the federal district court and therefore the airline failed in its defence. The same facts can be applied to Ms. Gallagher’s case because her employers were discriminating her because she does not attend parties and hence not fit in the advertising world. Additionally it will be used to water down the issue of Ms. Gallagher not dressing according to the company’s corporate in order to appeal in the advertising industry.
            Fallon v. State of Illinois
882 F.2d 1 206, 1208 (7th Cir. 1989)
This case will also be used because it exemplifies the requirements of the EPA, Section 206(d) (1) which has prohibited employers from discriminating their employees based on their sexes. It emphasises that all sexes should be paid wages equally without favouring one sex over the other. This is in reference to jobs that are equal in responsibility, skill and effort and jobs which are performed by the same sexes under the same working conditions. The conditions that this case has set are important in determining Ms. Gallagher’s case which then will then help in establishing a prime facie case against the employer.
                                                            Civil Liability Cases
The constitution guarantees the freedom of expression as expressed under the 1st Amendment. Therefore Ms. Gallagher has also a claim against the employer for violating her right to express herself the way she wants and also violating her right of choice.
            Ferrell v. Dallas Independent School District
392 F.2d 697 (1968)
This case will also be used because it revolves around the issues concerning dressing and a person’s choice of style. The school had a dressing code and it barred male students from having long hair beyond their collar. In this case, it was decided that the students affected (or the rock ‘n’ roll band) could maintain their dress code and also keep their appearance in accordance to the custom of the roc ‘n’ roll tradition and all other rock ‘n’ roll band and therefore the school could not control their appearance. The students through their lawyer maintained that they had a right under the 14th Amendment. This is useful in rebutting the assertion by the company that Ms. Gallagher should change her appearance and therefore suit a fashion trend that she clearly does not follow.
            Roe v. Wade
410 U.S. 113 (1973)
This fundamental abortion case set the precedent for the freedom of choice. A person may argue against it, but the fundamental principle of freedom of choice as exemplified in the facts of the case can be universally construed to mean that every person has got the right to choose what best suits their personal life. Therefore this case will be used to further the notion that Ms. Gallagher has got the right to choose whatever clothing that she wanted.
McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green
411 U.S. 792 (1973)
This case is important because it revolves round the issue of burden of proof when proving Title VII cases where both parties present proof in cases. The case is important because it explained the extent of discrimination as intended in Title VII.s

            Equal Pay and Discrimination against Women (2012, 19th April)  Retrieved from:   
This is an online law article that will be relied on because it enumerates on the issues surrounding the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and which provides guidelines on how to prove such a claim and the procedure of filing Title VII Claim. It is going to be useful because it will help in analysing Ms. Gallagher claims to see how best to approach them according to the guidelines given.
            Sex/Gender Discrimination: Overview (2012, 19th April) Retrieved from        overview.html
This is an online law article which will be relied upon to define sex/gender discrimination and to explain what does constitute as sex discrimination. It will also help in relating sex discrimination to the law.
            Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Equal Employment Opportunity (2012, 19th             April) Retrieved from:         discrimination/equal-pay-act-of-1963.html
The Act will be relied upon since it sets up the legal framework that is the basis of Equal employment in all the genders which is the issue as far as Ms. Gallagher current situation is.

Research Strategy
                                                                Issues arising
The main issues arising from this case can be categorised into two. The first issue is the Gender discrimination at work places as alleged by Ms. Gallagher. This is founded on the fact that she asserts that she has worked in the organization, has been recognised both by the company and external sources (In fact she has won three external awards for her exemplary work) and yet she is overlooked when it comes to promotions and her male counterparts are promoted. The discrimination issue also raises the issue of equal pay especially since she is doing the same work that require the same skills as her male counterparts yet she is underpaid for her work.
The second issue that arises is the issue of the violation of her civil liberties especially as provided for in the 1st and 14th Amendment. The company has discriminated against her based on how she dresses and her rigidity in fashion acceptance. This has led to her being overlooked for plum organizational jobs. The company set up a dress code that was to be followed by its employees, but the employees were not obligated to dress how the organisation wanted as they had their own freedom of choice to decide what they had to do. The constitution guarantees this right to privacy.
In preparing for this case, previous court cases and online sources were used as the main reference. In particular the “Find Law” website proved important because it contains most of the materials that proved useful for this case. Furthermore, the site manages its online articles in well organised manner and unlike other law websites it does not require membership to view the articles it has made available on its websites. The articles are also up to date and reliable as well.  While looking for the most suitable materials the Boolean operators were used. This is evidenced in most of the search statements I used. For instance the search statement “gender and work discrimination” helped in yielding most of the search results that resulted to collection of most of the data used to prepare the basis of the case. The Boolean operators were very effective because they helped in narrowing down and also in expanding the searches I was undertaking. The use of the connector “and” proved useful because it helped in linking more than two ideas and hence comprehensive results. In relation to all the other search operators I found Boolean operators to work better because they yielded results faster and precise.

Research Table


Resource Type


Bluebook Citation



Summary – How does it relate to/support the research task?
Law Review 1
Equal Pay and Discrimination against Women
 N/A  This article gives an overview of the whole legal scenario as far as equal pay affects both genders and how it should be handled in case of legal tussles. It spells out the legal requirements that are to satisfied in any working conditions so that employers can avoid legal liability and also works at providing legal remedies to employees too. It applies to Ms. Gallagher’s case because she has been affected by the issue addressed in the article.  It spells the legal requirements that affect gender discrimination at work which is a key issue in this case.
Law Review 2
Sex/Gender Discrimination: Overview
 N/A  The article was important because it helped in describing what actually entails sexual discrimination for a proper analysis of any legal situation. It outlines the offense clearly as well as showing the legal remedies available for an afflicted party. It proved useful in Ms. Gallagher’s case because it helped in providing the correct legal statutes to be used in preparation for the legal defence.  It explains what sexual discrimination entails and it shows the remedies available for an aggrieved party.
Case 1
Wilson v. Southwest Airlines
 Wilson v. Southwest Airlines N.D. Tex. 1981; 517 F. Supp. 292  This case is the first legal precedent that was set in eliminating discrimination in work based on appearance. It was important in the establishment of the BFOQ qualifications. This case is therefore important to Ms. Gallagher’s case as it helps in strengthening her case that work discrimination based on clothing is not acceptable under the law.  Set the legal precedent to be used to argue against discrimination at work
Case 2
Roe v. Wade
 Roe v. Wade 410 U.S. 113 (1973)  Although it is an abortion case, the legal intention it creates is far more important. The case guaranteed the freedom of choice especially towards the choices a person makes and are very personal in nature. This is the same as what Ms. Gallagher had done in choosing to ignore fashion and sticking to her own fashion sense. It sets up the fundamental right of privacy.  Sets the precedent needed to prove the right to privacy and freedom of choice.
Statutory Provision(s)
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Equal Employment Opportunity
 N/A  The statute is important because it sets up the appropriate legislations to be followed so that any legal claim that is concerned with equal employment opportunity and work discrimination can be properly addressed by courts. This statute is important to our case because it has been relied heavily to form the legal background to the case.  It is the regulating statute on gender and work discrimination
Regulatory Provision(s)
BFOQ Qualification
 N/A  This qualification is important to the case because it sets the standard that organisations have to take in order to apply work discrimination legally. Since our case deals with work discrimination, it has been used to rebut the assumption by the organisation that it was carrying out legal discrimination.  It sets the standard needed for legal discrimination of genders of employees.


Legal Memorandum
To: Chief Prosecuting Officer
From: Gladys King
Date: April 13, 2012

                                                            Questions Presented
            Did the company discriminate against Ms. Gallagher by overlooking her in handing promotions in favour of her male counterparts yet she had the same qualification and in fact had won awards for her exemplary services? Did the company discriminate her because of the way she dressed? Additionally did the company discriminate on her because she had a sick child who needed her constant attention?
Brief Answer
Yes. The company did in fact discriminate on Ms Gallagher on all the issues raised. And as result they have violated the legal requirements of keeping workplaces free of gender discrimination or any other discrimination thereof.

Statement of Facts
The prosecutor’s office is considering filing charges against the company for gender discrimination in the workplace. According to the client, she has worked for the company for more than ten years and yet she has never been promoted. She has won several awards for her exemplary work yet the promotions are offered to her male counterparts.  She has also been discriminated because of her dressing and the fact that she has got a sick child who requires her attention.
From the facts that have been collected from the various meeting with the client, the facts presented yielded the following legal liabilities by the company to our client. Given the fact that Ms. Gallagher (herein referred to as client) had worked at the company and performing exemplarily in her work, she was constantly overlooked in promotions and they were given to her counterparts who were male. This has been a constant occurrence for the past ten years despite the client having won several awards for her sterling performance. Furthermore she has stagnated in the same position for a period of ten years. Additionally, she has been underpaid for all the period she has worked in the company as she has invested a lot of her time and energy to the benefit of the company yet she has not received any salary increment or promotion as spelt out in the Equal Pay Act of 1963, & Equal Pay Act of 1963 and according to the contract she signed during the onset of her employment. She has also been discriminated by the company based on her dressing and has been branded as a bad employ as result as the company claims that her dressing code is not fit for the advertising world. This does not warranty any discrimination based on appearance as was decided in the case of Wilson v. Southwest Airlines N.D. Tex. 1981; 517 F. Supp. 292 where the airline only choose attractive women in a bid to achieve its marketing slogan of “flying in love.”
Furthermore the discrimination based on the fact that she is a mother of a sick child and therefore reluctant to travel does not make her unemployable, this was the issue in the case of Phillips V. Martin Marrieta Corp 400 U.S. 542 (1971) where it was held that an employee can not be discriminated based on the fact that they had sick child who required constant attention. Lastly, the client has her civil liberties violated (as spelt out in 1st and 14th Amendment) when she is being forced to dress down and adopt a new dressing code that she does not approve of. This is a violation of her rights (right of privacy) and as was held in Ferrell v. Dallas Independent School District 392 F.2d 697 (1968) a person has got the freedom to dress to their liking and in a way that presents their fashion taste provided it is not repugnant to morality.
Additionally the client alleges that she has been underpaid and according to the Equal Protection Act this is prohibited especially given the fact that she is equally qualified for the job just like other men. This was also highlighted in the case of Dukes v. Wal-Mart Nos. 04-16688 04-16720 D.C. No. CV-01-02252-MJJ OPINION which was a sexual discrimination case where an elderly female woman was denied training to get to a higher position within the company. In the Court’s ruling the company was held liable. The same applies to the client and the employee should also be held liable.
With the facts presented in this case, the client has got substantial grounds to sue her employer based on the facts given. It is evident that the employer has violated the provisos of the law by discriminating the client due to her gender. Additionally the employer has underpaid her for her services to the company and has openly favoured men for promotions yet the client is equally qualified and has demonstrated her dedication to her work by winning three awards during her service to the company. The company has also declared her unemployable due to her fashion sense and due to the fact that she has got a sick child at home who needs her constant attention; all this facts are prohibited by law as shown in the legal precedents and the statutes discussed above. Furthermore she has been discriminated by her employer and is not allowed to attend conferences because her sense of dressing does not appeal to the advertising arena a fact that is not allowed under law. Therefore the client has a valid cause for legal action on all the issues raised.


Equal Pay and Discrimination against Women. (2012, 19th April) Retrieved from:               discrimination-against-women.html

Dukes v. Wal-Mart Nos. 04-16688 04-16720 D.C. No. CV-01-02252-MJJ OPINION

Fallon v. State of Illinois, 882 F.2d 1 206, 1208 (7th Cir. 1989)

Ferrell v. Dallas Independent School District, 392 F.2d 697 (1968)

McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green 411 U.S. 792 (1973)

Phillips V. Martin Marrieta Corp. 400 U.S. 542 (1971)

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Equal Employment Opportunity (2012, 19th April)        Retrieved from:      the-civil-rights-act-of-1964-equal-employment.html

The Equal Pay Act. (2012, 19th April)  Retrieved from:

Wilson v. Southwest Airlines Co.; N.D. Tex. 1981; 517 F. Supp. 292


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Tort of Negligence in Accidents


 Please write about  TORT LAW, examples car accident, battery, assault conversion etc etc….

            The tort of negligence in an accident has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law before someone can be convicted of the offence of drinking under the influence of alcohol. This calls for professional expert as well as proper use of standardised equipments to determine the level of alcohol in a person’s body. However, it becomes very hard for enforcement agents to collect such information in the event of an accident where the victims of the accidents include the “supposed” drunk driver.
Such was the case in Huntsville, Alabama where in the early morning a “supposed” drunk driver broke both his legs after being involved in accident. It was reported by the Police spokesman that the driver who was also the victim of the accident was driving his vehicle and was travelling at a very high speed in his Toyota Corolla before losing control at around 12:45 a.m. The vehicle hit a guardrail which punctured the car, and also broke both the driver’s legs. Consequently the driver was trapped in the car. It is estimated that the Huntsville Fire and Rescue together with Madison County Rescue Squad took around thirty minutes to get the victim out of the car. The victim was then taken to the Huntsville Hospital and was in a very critical condition and also had in both legs multiple traumas. Paramedics reportedly could smell alcohol emanating from the driver and this was the basis of the police filing charges against the driver which they intend to use to build their case against the driver.
Did the police follow the correct procedure to arrive at their conclusion? No they did not. To prove the tort of negligence which is the basis of the DUI, five different ways of collecting evidence can be employed:
a) Driving symptoms
b) Personal behaviour (of the driver)
c) Field evidence (field sobriety tests)
d) Use of incriminating statements (by the driver)
e) Blood test
In my opinion none of these were followed, the driver did smell of alcohol but that did not determine whether he was intoxicated to the point where he could not operate a machinery (in this case a vehicle). Furthermore, the police never bothered to check and find out whether the vehicle had malfunctioned and hence the crush. The blood test would have been most appropriate but, yet, still the paramedics never carried out these tests to find out whether the alcohol content on the blood of the victim was beyond the legal limits. The Administration of these tests are important, as was decided in the case of Pennsylvania v. Muniz.
Vicarious liability
Proving the tort of negligence in medical malpractice is a hard task for most people as the basic understanding of what entails medical malpractice is very limited. Most people tend to associate medical malpractice when a medical professional wrongly treats a patient. However true the statement may be, it only represents the partial truth as to what medical malpractice entails. In legal terms, it (medical malpractice) usually happens when a medical professional does engage in activities that result to a breach of duty which then ends up resulting in the injury or death of a patient. The breach of duty is always measured as the most reasonable care of a standard person (and in this case a standard medical profession). Therefore a person has got to prove injury and the breach of duty. Afterwards a person has got to exhibit the cause before finally determining the liability.
As was reported in the New York Times in January 2012 a woman who had a medical history of seizures was prescribed with a drug that was reported in a research that showed that the drug did increase seizures in older persons. Additionally she was given another drug which also increased her probability of getting seizures. The combination of these two drugs definitely increased the probability of the woman suffering from a life threatening condition called arrhythmias which in simpler terms could cause irregular heartbeats. The pharmacist who was responsible for reviewing the prescriptions of the patients however allowed the woman to take the drugs as the pharmacist had not noted the irregularities in the patients chart.
In such a case, the vicarious liability lies on the hospital because one of its employees committed negligent acts in the normal cause of his normal duties within the hospital. Therefore the woman has to sue the hospital because the harm that was occasioned to her ought not to have happened had the pharmacist been careful in his duties. This was elaborated in the case of Samuels v. Southern Baptist Hospital. Where the court was very clear that the hospital was vicariously liable for the intentional tort of an employee acting in the normal cause of duty assigned to them by their employees (in this case the hospital).


Pennsylvania v. Muniz, 496 U.S. 582 (1990)
Samuels v. Southern Baptist Hosp., 594 So.2d 571 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1992)

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