CJS220 COMPLETE COURSE BEST GUIDANCE FOR STUDENTS

Week One

Laws and Crime

 Explain the creation, purpose, and effects of law.

 Differentiate between “law on the books” and “law in action.”

 Identify legal defenses used by defendants.

ASSIGNMENTS

1. Read objectives and welcome.

2. Read instructor’s bio and post your own bio.

 Due Date: Day 1 [post to the Chat Room forum]

3. Read Appendix A regarding the final project requirements.

4. Read Ch. 1-4 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

5. Discussion Question 1

 Due Date: Day 2 [post to the Main forum]

 Post your response to the following: What are some of the considerations in the creation of laws? In your opinion, why create laws? What do laws represent to not only society as a whole, but also to the individual citizens and legislators within this society? Explain your rationale.

6. Discussion Question 2

 Due Date: Day 4 [post to the Main forum]

 Post your response to the following: What is the difference between the “law on the books” as opposed to the “law in action?” Is this subjective nature fair in the justice system? Explain your answers.

7. CheckPoint: Mens Rea and Defense

 Resources: Appendix B and The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System

 Due Date: Day 5 [post to the Individual forum]

 Review Ch. 2 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

 Locate Appendix B on your student web page.

 Complete the matrix on Appendix B.

 Post as an attachment.

CJS 220 The Court System

Course Syllabus Page 9

Week Two

Due Process and Court Structure

 Explain due process of law.

 Describe the rights of the accused.

 Explain the theory and reality of law as a “living body.”

 Compare and contrast the state and federal court systems.

ASSIGNMENTS

1. CheckPoint: Court System Structure I

 Resource: The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System

 Due Date: Day 2 [Individual forum]

 Review Ch. 4 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

 Write a 200- to 300-word response comparing the state court system in which you live and the federal court system. If you are not a resident of the United States, choose any state’s court system to compare with the federal court system. Compare these two systems by structure, source of laws, and the types of cases that are heard.

 Post as an attachment.

2. CheckPoint: Court System Structure II

 Resource: The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System

 Due Date: Day 5 [Individual forum]

 Review Ch. 4 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

 Write a 200- to 300-word response comparing your state’s court system with that of another student. Your instructor will provide you with the state for comparison. Compare these two systems by structure, source of laws, and the types of cases that are heard. Which do you think is more effective? Explain.

3. Assignment: Law as a “Living Body”

 Resource: The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System

 Due Date: Day 7 [Individual forum]

 Review Ch. 3 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

 Write a 700- to 1,050-word essay in APA format explaining the theory and reality of law as a “living body.” In your essay, include the following:

o Law as a “living body”

 Law on books versus laws in action

 Objectivity of law

 Law as a living body

o Due Process

 Background and purpose

 Positives and negatives

CJS 220 The Court System

Course Syllabus Page 10

 How has the interpretation of due process changed since the September 11th attacks? How does this relate to the concept of law as a “living body?” Provide at least one specific example.

o Rights of the accused

 Background and purpose

 Positives and negatives

 How has the interpretation of the rights of the accused changed since the September 11th attacks? How does this relate to the concept of “law as a living body?” Provide at least one specific example.

 Cite at least two outside sources to support your research.

 Post as an attachment.

CJS 220 The Court System

Course Syllabus Page 11

Week Three

Prosecution and Defense

 Discuss the ethical and discretional concerns of the prosecutor and the defense attorney.

 Compare and contrast the role of the prosecutor and defense attorney.

ASSIGNMENTS

1. Read Ch. 5-7 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

2. Discussion Question 1

 Due Date: Day 2 [Main forum]

 Post your response to the following: What are some of the ethical dilemmas that prosecutors face? How might a prosecutor’s ethics influence his or her discretion of pursuing cases? Explain.

3. Discussion Question 2

 Due Date: Day 4 [Main forum]

 Post your response to the following: Describe some ethical dilemmas defense attorneys may experience? How might this impact the handling of their cases? Explain your answers.

4. CheckPoint: Prosecution versus Defense

 Resource: The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System

 Due Date: Day 5 [Individual forum]

 Write a 200- to 300-word response comparing and contrasting the role of the defense counsel with that of the prosecutor. Explain your rationale.

CJS 220 The Court System

Course Syllabus Page 12

Week Four

Judges

 Describe the responsibilities and involvement of judges.

 Explain the path to a judgeship.

 Analyze the qualities of effective versus ineffective judges.

ASSIGNMENTS

1. CheckPoint: Path to a Judgeship

 Resource: The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System

 Due Date: Day 4 [Individual forum]

 Imagine you are a guest speaker in a law class where the students are interested in becoming a judge.

 Review Ch. 7 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

 Create a 5- to 7-slide Microsoft® PowerPoint® Presentation in APA format explaining the path to a judgeship. In your presentation, include the following:

o The methods of judicial selection for Federal Appellate Judges, State Appellate Judges, and State Trial Court Judges

o A comparison of the four methods (appointment, election, partisan, and merit)

o The training of judges

 Include detailed speaker’s notes.

 Post as an attachment.

2. Assignment: Judges

 Resource: The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System

 Due Date: Day 7 [Individual forum]

 Review Ch. 7 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

 Write a 700- to 1,050-word essay in APA format on the qualities of effectiveness versus ineffectiveness of judges. In your essay:

o Describe the responsibilities of judges.

o Identify attributes of both effective and ineffective judges.

o Provide an example of an effective and an ineffective Supreme Court Judge.

o Explain possible consequences of ineffectiveness.

o Determine the course of action for ineffective judges.

 Cite at least two outside sources.

 Post as an attachment.

CJS 220 The Court System

Course Syllabus Page 13

Week Five

Courtroom Participants

 Recognize the role of jurors and their impact on the legal system.

 Recognize the roles of courtroom participants.

ASSIGNMENTS

1. Read Ch. 8 & 10-11 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

2. Discussion Question 1

 Due Date: Day 2 [Main forum]

 Post your response to the following: What are the duties of a juror during a trial? Why is a juror important to the legal system? Explain. Provide any experience you have had serving on a jury, seeing a jury trial, or hearing about being on a jury.

3. Discussion Question 2

 Due Date: Day 4 [Main forum]

 Post your response to the following: Should the legal system continue using “trial by peers,” or should the system adopt professionals who are hired to seek the facts and truth of a trial? Which would be more beneficial to the legal system, to the victims, and to the defendants? Explain your answers.

4. CheckPoint: Courtroom Participants

 Resource: Appendix C

 Due Date: Day 5 [Individual forum]

 Review Ch. 8 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

 Complete the matrix in Appendix C found on your student web page.

 Post as an attachment.

CJS 220 The Court System

Course Syllabus Page 14

Week Six

Bail and Plea Bargains

 Examine the bail system.

 Analyze the impact of the Manhattan Bail Project.

 Debate the use of plea bargains.

ASSIGNMENTS

1. CheckPoint: The Bail System

 Resource: The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System

 Due Date: Day 4 [Individual forum]

 Review Ch. 10 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

 Imagine you are on a committee designed to reexamine the bail system.

 Create a 5- to 7-slide Microsoft® PowerPoint® Presentation in APA format on the bail system. In your presentation:

o Explain the bail system.

 Detail an overview of the Manhattan Bail Project and its impact on the bail system.

 Highlight the different types of bail.

o Describe the bail system’s effectiveness.

 Identify the positives and negatives of the bail system.

 Identify the bail system beneficiaries.

 Defend your opinion on the overall effectiveness of the bail system.

 Provide recommendations for the future of the bail system.

 Include detailed speaker’s notes.

 Post as an attachment.

2. Assignment: Plea Bargains

In this assignment, you will exercise critical thinking skills. Remember to suspend judgment while inquiring into the multiple aspects of plea-bargaining. By following the guidelines outlined in the assignment, you will apply problem solving skills and methods. The last item calls for a recommendation in which you will form an evaluative decision.

 Resource: The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System

 Due Date: Day 7 [Individual forum]

 Review Ch. 11 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

 Write a 700- to 1,050-word essay in APA format on the use of plea bargains in the legal system. In your essay:

o Summarize the purpose of plea bargains.

o Provide examples of types of plea bargains.

o Include any positive and negatives for each type of plea bargain.

o Compare arguments for and against the use of plea bargains.

CJS 220 The Court System

Course Syllabus Page 15

 Decide with which perspective (for or against) you agree.

 Support your rationale.

 Determine what you would like to see happen in the future with plea bargaining.

 Cite at least two outside sources to support research and rationale.

 Post as an attachment.

CJS 220 The Court System

Course Syllabus Page 16

Week Seven

The Trial Process

 Describe the pre-trial activities.

 Discuss the purpose of the criminal trial process.

 Discuss the jury decision-making process.

ASSIGNMENTS

1. Read Ch. 12 & 15 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

2. Discussion Question 1

 Due Date: Day 2 [Main forum]

 Post your response to the following: How impartial do you think a jury can be in terms of its decision-making ability? Do you think that the individual’s attitudes, personality, and beliefs would influence a decision over the facts of a case? Explain how these can affect the decision-making process.

3. Discussion Question 2

 Due Date: Day 4 [Main forum]

 Post your response to the following: After reviewing Figure 12.1 on p. 331, explain the major purposes of the criminal trial process. Do you think this process is effective in its goal to ensure justice, to serve the public, and to keep the rights of the defendants and victims intact? Explain your answers.

4. CheckPoint: Pre-Trial Activities

 Resource: The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System

 Due Date: Day 5 [Individual forum]

 Imagine you are an employee of the courthouse in your area. You have been asked to inform a group of potential jurors about the activities that occur before a trial, including the jury selection process.

 Review Ch. 12 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

 Create a 5- to 7-slide Microsoft® PowerPoint® Presentation in APA format visually representing the pre-trial activities. Be sure to explain the importance of these activities to help potential jurors understand the process.

 Include detailed speaker’s notes.

 Post as an attachment.

CJS 220 The Court System

Course Syllabus Page 17

Week Eight

The Appeals Process

 Differentiate between trial courts and appellate courts.

 Identify the steps in the appeals process.

 Identify the factors that are considered in the acceptance of an appeal.

 Describe the role and importance of the Supreme Court.

ASSIGNMENTS

1. CheckPoint: Trial and Appellate Courts

 Resource: The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System

 Due Date: Day 2 [Individual forum]

 Write a 200- to 300-word response answering Discussion Question 1 on p. 488 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

2. CheckPoint: Appeals

 Resources: Appendix D and The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System

 Due Date: Day 5 [Individual forum]

 Review Ch. 15 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System.

 Locate Appendix D on your student web page.

 Complete Part I and II on Appendix D.

 Post as an attachment.

3. Assignment: The Supreme Court

 Resource: The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System

 Due Date: Day 7 [Individual forum]

 Review Ch. 15 in The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System

 Write a 700- to 1,050-word paper in APA format explaining the role and importance of the Supreme Court. Be sure to include the following:

o Purpose

o Structure and personnel

o Process

o Discretional Powers

 Scope

 Importance

 Affect on law and citizens

 Positives and negatives

 Explain if they should increase, decrease, or remain the same.

 Cite at least two outside sources to support your research and rationale.

 Post as an attachment.

CJS 220 The Court System

Course Syllabus Page 18

Week Nine

The Court System

 Discuss the influence of society on laws.

 Compare the entertainment myth of the court system with its reality.

ASSIGNMENTS

1. Capstone Discussion Question

 Due Date: Day 3 [Main forum]

 Post your response to the following: This course has taught the law as a “living body.” How do personalities, actions, trends, political correctness, and the moral aptitudes or ineptitudes of society influence the creation of governing laws? Do you think laws are a reflection of society or society is a reflection of laws? Explain your answers.

2. Final Project: Fiction versus Reality

In this assignment, you will exercise critical thinking skills. Remember to suspend judgment while inquiring into the reality-based aspects of the fictional courtroom drama as compared to its reality. Accurately comparing this fiction with its reality requires application of problem solving skills and methods. The last item calls for an evaluative decision you will make on the fiction and reality of the court system.

 Resources: Appendix A, The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System, and the Court TV Web site at http://www.courttv.com/home_primetime/index.html

 Due Date: Day 7 [Individual forum]

 Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper in APA format comparing the entertainment fiction of the court system with its reality.

 Select examples from fictional portrayals of the courtroom found in books, movies, or television, for example, The Runaway Jury, A Few Good Men, or Law and Order. Use the Court TV Web site to help your research.

 Describe the fictional portrayals of the courtroom including the trial process, the roles of the prosecution and defense, the roles of the courtroom participants (expand your response from the Week Five CheckPoint), and the handling or implementation of rights for the defendant and the victim. Then, draw parallels between the fictional portrayal and the reality of the courtroom within above identified aspects.

 Determine the accuracy of the fictional courtroom process as compared to that of the courtroom reality. Use your reading of the text, outside sources, and any experience in the courtroom as resources. Be sure to answer the following:

o In your opinion, is this fictional courtroom a reliable source of information pertinent to the understanding of the actual court system? Explain your opinion.

o Given that entertainment differs from reality, what impact would your fictional account of courtroom practices have on the average citizen’s perceptions of the real-life courtroom process?

 Cite at least three outside sources to support your research.

 Post as an attachment.

  • Posted: 7 years ago
8.2 Trial and Appellate Courts

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