It is dependent on the quality of the evidence and the clarity in the law that the criminal justice system can decide what case it will face. Alleyne (2013 case) provides some insight into the importance of providing appropriate information when criminal cases are increased in severity. In order to enable juries make informed decisions, the cases increase the thresholds for supply, admission and availability of evidence to the courts.
Ryan Alleyed was accused with two others of robbing the shop manager in October 2009. Prior to Alleyed’s robbery, Alleyed and two accomplices robbed a shop manager at Mapco/East Convenience Store. Alleyed was charged by the Grand Jury with guns possession, armed robbery and attempted robbery in 2010 after his arrest. He was found guilty by the jury and sentenced to 130 months for both of these charges. Alleyed challenged his conviction on grounds that the evidence used to support the sentence was insufficient. He was convicted of aiding and abiding the crime rather than the actual commission. The seven year sentence that is mandatory for the possession of handguns did not apply to him. The Fourth Circuit however dismissed the allegations of the appellant, and upheld the verdict of the jury. Fourth Circuit maintained that the jury had the ability to render a fair decision and that sufficient information was available for the sentence. The court also maintained that the aiding-and-abetting offenses are independent criminal charges and therefore could not be added to the initial indictment. The court stated that there was no regulation by the district court which would have limited the impositions of handgun possession sentences. This matter was brought to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court was asked three questions. The first was whether enough evidence was used to indict the appellant for the crime. The second is whether or not the appellant was convicted for aiding, abetting, which amended the original indictment. Third, is the minimum penalty that the district court could have given for the appellant being in possession of a gun? A 5-4 majority of the court’s decisions (Delaplane 2020) overturned both Fourth Circuit and District court judgements.
There are five key stakeholders in the case: the prosecution, jury, offenders, court administration and law enforcement. It is the primary stakeholder that has an important influence on the direction of the case. The state’s principal representative in adjudicating criminal offenses is the prosecution. Prosecutors are involved in all criminal court judgments. It played an important role in the determination of whether evidence was sufficient to support a criminal sentence. A prosecution involves legal analysis, collection, evaluation, and documentation. They decide the accusations and indictments given to the courts and are the gatekeepers of criminal justice (Chanenson & Arty, 2022).