COURSE DESCRIPTION: The objective of this course is to provide a comprehensive perspective of the procedural rights and police practices of the United States criminal justice system. In order to grasp American criminal procedure, it is necessary to organize this subject into three sections: (1) Foundations of Due Process, (2) Detection to Apprehension, and (3) Prosecution to Punishment. The first part introduces the historical development of procedural protections and the competing theories of due process and crime control. Detailed attention is also given to the right to counsel and the remedies available where government officials exceed their legal authority, ranging from the exclusion of evidence to civil suits to internal agency review. Section Two covers the investigative practices of police officers as a series of decisions narrowly tailored to law enforcement. Constitutional rules concerning stops, frisks, arrests, searches, seizures, custodial interrogations, and identification procedures are examined as they occur in practice. The final part considers the stages of adjudication and corrections from the decision of whether to prosecute the defendant to the decision of how to punish the guilty. Due process requirements for the initial appearance, preliminary hearing, grand jury indictment, arraignment, pre-trial motions, trial, sentencing, punishment, and appeal are analyzed with regard to the rights of the accused. By focusing on these general areas, the course will provide students with an opportunity to accomplish the following objectives:
A. To develop critical thinking about how and why a balance must be maintained between maintaining social order and protecting individual freedom.
B. To provide a historical perspective of criminal procedure, particularly the right to legal assistance and the remedies for violations of due process.
C. To explain the application of procedural rules to law enforcement practices from the standpoint of the apprehension and investigation of criminals.
D. To understand the scope of procedural rights relating to the prosecution of the defendant, punishment of the guilty, and confinement of the prisoner.
SOCIAL SCIENCE CURRICULUM: The relationship between this course and the social sciences is twofold. American Criminal Procedure satisfies a programmatic core requirement for the baacalaureate degree in Justice Studies. It also functions to promote the educational role of the Division of Social Sciences. The social sciencesanthropology, economics, sociology, philosophy, psychology, political science and historyprovide a comprehensive understanding of society and human behavior. Such an interdisciplinary paradigm provides answers to the empirical question of how society works and the normative question of how society should work. Perhaps no other field of inquiry is more important to human beings than social science. It explains not only the dynamic conditions of human life, but also the opportunities available to the world for improving such conditions. A scientific knowledge of society and human behavior is as important as learning about mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, medicine, law and other disciplines. The instrumental benefits of understanding how to construct automobiles, perform surgeries, or make computers are hollow unless people can be part of a society where humans experience happy, meaningful, and satisfying lives. Such a liberal arts philosophy permeates the entire course offerings of the Social Sciences Division. Its overall curriculum, as reflected within this particular course, is designed to accomplish the following learning outcomes:
A. To develop critical thinking about how and why a social scientific approach is used to more thoroughly understand the complexities of human behavior.
B. To provide an interdisciplinary perspective about social science within the context of the nature, growth, structures, and functions of societal life.
C. To understand the development and application of the theoretical frameworks associated with the various disciplines which make-up the social sciences.
D. To explain the historical struggle of humans to pursue the "good life" free from the cultural, political, and economic problems of American society.
COURSE TEXTBOOKS: The reading materials required for the class consist of Joel Samaha, Criminal Procedure Casebook (Chicago: West Publishing, 1996) and Silas Wasserstrom and Christie Snyder, A Criminal Procedure Anthology (New York: The Anderson Publishing Group, 1996). In writing these textbooks, the authors have concentrated on the struggle to interdict and punish socially harmful behavior without sacrificing the procedural rights of the individual. The Casebook uses excerpts from the written opinions of federal and state courts to evaluate the issues, rationales, and significance of the major cases defining the rights of the accused. The Anthology provides a more detailed analysis of the underlying tension between crime control and due process by examining issues ranging from police practices to post-conviction remedies. These textbooks go beyond simply presenting general information about criminal procedure. They also explain how justices reach different conclusions according to their own interpretations of the law within the context of the case facts. Other recommended books include:
A. John Fred Decker, Revolution to the Right: Criminal Procedure Jurisprudence During the Burger-Rehnquist Court Era (New York: Garland Publishing. 1992).
B. Joseph D. Grano, Confessions, Truth, and the Law of Self-Incrimination (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1996).
C. Ronald Huff, Ayre Rattner, and E. Sagarin, Convicted But Innocent: Wrongful Conviction and Public Policy (London: Sage Publications, 1996).
D. Wayne R. LaFave and Jerold Israel, Criminal Procedure: The Student Hornbook Series, 2nd ed. (St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1993).
E. J.W. Peltason, Corwin's and Peltason's Understanding the Constitution, 13th ed. (San Antonio, Texas: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1994).
F. Philip R. Tetu, Probable Cause: Between the Law Enforcement Officer and the Magistrate (Springfield, Illinois: Charles Thomas Publisher, 1995).
|COURSE WORK AND EVALUATION: The work requirements for this course
consist of a research project and three examseach of which are worth 100 points and
amount to 400 course points. The tests will be made up of two comprehension questions and
an application question worth 33 + 1/3 points each. The topic of the paper will be
developed by the student and approved by the instructor. The research must evaluate
a current dilemma of American criminal procedure and examine how the judicial system has
dealt (empirical component) and should deal (normative component) with the situation. The
paper must draw from at least five academic sources, including one from a scholarly
journal. In addition, the students may receive extra credit by taking part in class
discussions and completing any of the end-of-chapter lessons worth three points each.
Students are also required to write course assignments in their own words, except for
those few occasions where they find it necessary to quote and cite authorities. The course
work is structured to evaluate not only the student's knowledge and application of the
subject, but also his or her ability to analyze and synthesize it. In terms of the grading
scale, the research paper will account for 25% of the course grade and the examinations
75% (or 25% for each test) with the following breakdown:
SUGGESTED STUDY METHODS: No method of study can meet the diverse needs of each student. Still a number of strategies can be used to gain a better perspective of the subject. Before attending class the students need to read the materials and brief the corresponding court opinions assigned by the syllabus. This will allow students to familiarize themselves with the focus of the lectures and at the same time enable them to digest the judicial decisions. After the students have finished the readings, they should outline the material in order to fully understand the issues and principles of criminal procedure. When outlining the students should brief the important case facts and judicial positions emerging from the major court decisions. This will help students to concentrate on what issues of criminal procedure were raised by each case and how the jurists went about resolving them. The next key strategy is to attend class. After all, the classroom is where the greatest amount of learning takes place through an open dialogue. Plus the examination questions will be taken from the class lectures and reading materials. It is important to realize that students actually learn what they read and write about on a regular basis. So the key to unlocking the doors of American criminal procedure is to take the assignments seriously.