Approved by Faculty Senate April 14, 2003

 

 

University Studies Course Approval Proposal

 

Sociology: Criminal Justice Writing Flag

 

The Department of Sociology Criminal Justice proposes the following course for inclusion as a Writing Flag course in the University Studies Program for Sociology: Criminal Justice majors.  The Criminal Justice Program faculty at the Tuesday, February 12th program meeting approved this action.

 

Course:                        Criminal Law and Procedure (Soc 418, 3 s.h.) 

 

Catalog Description:  Analysis and study of substantive criminal law and procedure from arrest through sentencing.  The criminal process is examined in terms of legal steps         and decision-making.

 

This is an existing course previously approved by A2C2.

 

Department contact person for this course:        Paul J. Munson or J. Mark Norman, Criminal Justice Program Coordinator

 

Email - PMUNSON@winona.edu

 

Prepared by Paul J. Munson

 

SOCIOLOGY:CRIMINAL JUSTICE  WRITING FLAG:

 

The purpose of the Sociology: Criminal Justice Writing Flag requirement is to reinforce the outcomes specified for the basic skills area of writing for criminal justice.  This course is intended to provide students with significant practice in applying constitutional rules of criminal procedure to hypothetical fact situations.  This course is intended to reinforce the importance of criminal justice students being able to express in writing learned rules and procedures and to apply those rules to field specific situations.  This course includes requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to...

 

a.         Practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful    writing in criminal justice fields.

 

 


Students will be given the opportunity to learn legal terminology that will be required to be used in the criminal justice field.  Students will be required to read numerous United States Supreme Court cases and various state supreme court cases.  Being required to read these cases will assist the students to be able to understand court decisions that are relevant to criminal justice studies and practice.  As set forth in the course outline, students will be required to prepare chapter summaries using correct legal terminology, identifying issues addressed by the relevant court, and to express reasoning behind court decisions.  Students in both the law enforcement track and the corrections track will be required to do extensive writing in the field once they have graduated.  Law enforcement practitioners are regularly required to prepare written reports which are often highly scrutinized by lawyers and courts.  The ability to properly prepare these reports and to use correct legal terminology and to understand basic constitutional principles is critical for the practitioner to prepare such reports and to utilize those reports in the criminal justice process.  By understanding the constitutional requirements for certain courses of action, the practitioner will be able to adequately incorporate those principles into the report to survive constitutional scrutiny.  Practitioners in the corrections area are routinely required to prepare reports for use by the courts and others and are required to be able to use correct terminology, understand appropriate constitutional rights and restrictions and to clearly express whatever information is necessary for the courts to be able to utilize in a particular judicial setting.  All of the writing activities as set forth in the course outline meet this objective.

 

b.         Understand the main features and uses of writing in the criminal justice field.

 

The students will first learn to be able to read written court decisions which is an important skill for criminal justice practitioners.  In addition, many of the cases that will be studied involve situations where criminal justice practitioners may have inadequately prepared written materials such as affidavits and reports that may then jeopardize the ability to prosecute alleged offenders.  This course will serve to prepare students for future department track courses that will focus on specific uses of writing such as report writing for law enforcement officers.  This course will allow the students to gain the substantive knowledge of rules of procedure that will need to be incorporated into those reports combined with the application of those rules to the facts of a specific case.  All of the writing activities as set forth in the course outline meet this objective.

 

c.         Adapt their writing to the general expectations of readers in the criminal justice field.   

 

Students will be expected to use proper grammar and spelling in all writing exercises which is an expectation of readers in all fields.  In addition, students will be taught to use correct legal terminology and to understand the meaning of that terminology. Practitioners in the criminal justice area who may  review the writings of the students in the future will demand such precision.  All of the writing activities as set forth in the course outline meet this objective.

 

d.         Make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in the      criminal justice field.

 

Students will be furnished with appropriate web sites dealing with criminal procedure issues including such sites as the U.S. Supreme Court website that publishes current session decisions.  Students will be expected and should have acquired appropriate computer skills in order to accomplish this objective and to properly prepare the writings required in the course.

 


e.         Learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage and documentation in the        criminal justice field.

 

As stated previously, students will be required to learn how Court decisions are formatted and to learn the necessary legal terminology in order to understand and utilize the information.  The students will also learn how to read legal citations and how to use related case decisions to support the writing of a decision pertaining to a new fact situation.  The preparation of the chapter summaries will require the students to present information in the same sequence that is utilized by the United States Supreme Court identifying the facts of a case, the issues to be decided, the majority opinion, concurring opinions and dissenting opinions.  In the mid-term and final exams, students will be required to provide a written analysis  pertaining to fact situations provided by the instructor incorporating proper legal terminology, reasoning and decision-making.

 

 

  

CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE

 

 

Course Title:  Criminal Law and Procedure

Frequency of Offering:          Yearly, fall and spring semester

Prerequisites: Soc 210 and admission to the Criminal Justice Program

Grading:         Grade only basis

Catalog Description:  Analysis and study of substantive criminal law and procedure from                     arrest through sentencing.  The criminal                                                       process is examined in terms of legal steps and decision-making.

Number of Credits:    3 semester hours

Required Textbook:  Criminal Procedure and the Constitution (2001 Ed.) by Israel,                     Kamisar and LaFave

Additional Readings: Students will be furnished new cases as they      are decided by the United States Supreme Court or the                                                             Supreme Court of Minnesota or Wisconsin.  In addition,           students will be reviewing selected Minnesota
                                                    Rules of Criminal Procedure and relevant Minnesota Statutes.

 

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

 

This course is intended to present students with a survey course having as its purpose a critical examination of how the United States Supreme Court has grappled with a range of issues that arise at various stages of the criminal process.  Primary attention will be given to police practices, e.g. arrest, search and seizure, police interrogation and confessions and pre-trial identification procedures.  The course will present most topics showing a historical progression of decisions by the Supreme Court leading up to current positions taken by the court  This course is primarily designed for sociology:criminal justice majors.

 

This course meets the writing flag requirements of the University Studies Program.  Since this course is an Writing Flag course, a pre-requisite for this course is the "College Reading and Writing;  Basic Skill" course.  Therefore, this course is designed to provide learning activities that promote students'  abilities to:

 

a.         Practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful    writing in the criminal justice                           field.

 

 


Students will be given the opportunity to learn legal terminology that will be required to be used in the criminal justice field.  Students will be required to read numerous United States Supreme Court cases and various state supreme court cases.  Being required to read these cases will assist the students to be able to understand court decisions that are relevant to criminal justice studies and practice.  As set forth in the course outline, students will be required to prepare chapter summaries using correct legal terminology, identifying issues addressed by the relevant court, and to express reasoning behind court decisions.  Students in both the law enforcement track and the corrections track will be required to do extensive writing in the field once they have graduated.  Law enforcement practitioners are regularly required to prepare written reports which are often highly scrutinized by lawyers and courts.  The ability to properly prepare these reports and to use correct legal terminology and to understand basic constitutional principles is critical for the practitioner to prepare such reports and to utilize those reports in the criminal justice process.  By understanding the constitutional requirements for certain courses of action, the practitioner will be able to adequately incorporate those principles into the report to survive constitutional scrutiny.  Practitioners in the corrections area are routinely required to prepare reports for use by the courts and others and are required to be able to use correct terminology, understand appropriate constitutional rights and restrictions and to clearly express whatever information is necessary for the courts to be able to utilize in a particular judicial setting.  All of the writing activities as set forth in the course outline meet this objective.

 

 

b.         Understand the main features and uses of writing in the criminal justice field.

 

The students will first learn to be able to read written court decisions which is an important skill for criminal justice practitioners.  In addition, many of the cases that will be studied involve situations where criminal justice practitioners may have inadequately prepared written materials such as affidavits and reports that may then jeopardize the ability to prosecute alleged offenders.  This course will serve to prepare students for future department track courses that will focus on specific uses of writing such as report writing for law enforcement officers.  This course will allow the students to gain the substantive knowledge of rules of procedure that will need to be incorporated into those reports combined with the application of those rules to the facts of a specific case.  All of the writing activities as set forth in the course outline meet this objective.

 

 

c.         Adapt their writing to the general expectations of readers in the criminal justice             field.

 

Students will be expected to use proper grammar and spelling in all writing exercises which is an expectation of readers in all fields.  In addition, students will be taught to use correct legal terminology and to understand the meaning of that terminology. Practitioners in the criminal justice area who may  review the writings of the students in the future will demand such precision.  All of the writing activities as set forth in the course outline meet this objective.

 

d.         Make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in the criminal justice field.

 

 


Students will be furnished with appropriate web sites dealing with criminal procedure issues including such sites as the U.S. Supreme Court website that publishes current session decisions.  Students will be expected and should have acquired appropriate computer skills in order to accomplish this objective and to properly prepare the writings required in the course.

 

 

e.         Learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage and documentation in the        criminal justice field.

 

As stated previously, students will be required to learn how Court decisions are formatted and to learn the necessary legal terminology in order to understand and utilize the information.  The students will also learn how to read legal citations and how to use related case decisions to support the writing of a decision pertaining to a new fact situation.  The preparation of the chapter summaries will require the students to present information in the same sequence that is utilized by the United States Supreme Court identifying the facts of a case, the issues to be decided, the majority opinion, concurring opinions and dissenting opinions.  In the mid-term and final exams, students will be required to provide a written analysis  pertaining to fact

situations provided by the instructor incorporating proper legal terminology,       reasoning and decision-making.

  

                        Students will be expected to do a significant amount of writing in this course.  These writings will consist of the following:

 

        a. Chapter summaries for Chapter 3: Arrest, Search and Seizure and Chapter 6: Police   Interrogation and Confession.

 

The instructor believes that the above two topics are two of the most important topics  for students entering the criminal justice field.  Therefore, students will be required to prepare written summaries of all material and cases covered in the above respective chapters.  Students will be expected to accurately set forth relevant facts of each case, correctly identify the issue before the United States Supreme Court and correctly set forth the decision of the Court along with the Court's reasoning for its decision.  Where appropriate, dissenting opinions should be noted.  Students will be expected to learn relevant legal terminology in order to understand the Court's decisions.  Each chapter summary shall be worth 50 points.  The instructor will provide the students with written feedback with respect to each outline and those students who have not achieved at least 39 points will be allowed to revise their chapter summaries to achieve 39 points.  These chapter summaries will also be returned to the students in a timely manner allowing for the students to incorporate the instructor's comments into future writing exercises that will be required as set forth below in the mid-term exam and the final exam.

 

b.         Mid-term Examination

 

 


The mid-term examination will consist of 100 points.  Of that total, 50 points will consist of an essay where students will be required to review a fact situation involving issues of criminal procedure and then write a decision critically reviewing the actions of the police or other actors in the criminal justice system applying rules of criminal procedure that have been learned in the course.  Students will be expected to use correct legal terminology and to correctly set forth rules and standards of procedure as applied to the given situation.  The instructor will provide written feedback with respect to each exam answer.

 

c.         Final Exam

 

The final exam will consist of 100 points.  Of that total, 75 points will be a take home exam consisting of a fact pattern that is more complex than that given on the mid-term examination.  Students will be allowed to work alone or in chosen groups.  Students will be expected to apply rules of criminal procedure to the facts and to analyze the situation much like a reviewing judge.  Students will be expected to use correct legal terminology and to engage in the type of critical analysis that will be necessary once the students begin their careers.  With respect to all written exercises, students are expected to use proper grammar and spelling.  Students will be expected to express their ideas in a clear, understandable manner.

 

 

COURSE GOALS AND OUTCOMES

 

The main goal of this course is for students to gain knowledge and understanding of those parts of the United States Constitution that regulate governmental control over both the accused and the convicted.  Students will gain knowledge that will be useful and necessary for law enforcement and criminal justice careers.  Most importantly, the goal of this course is to create the ability for the student to think critically and to apply constitutional provisions to diverse factual situations.   An important goal and expected outcome of this course is for students to be able to clearly express in writing their analysis of the above mentioned diverse factual situations.  It is an expected outcome that the students will be able to utilize correct legal terminology, be able to use technologies commonly used for research and writing in the criminal justice field and to understand the importance of being able to communicate clearly in writing their analysis of situations.

 

ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS

 

Class attendance is expected of all students for each class meeting.  This subject matter can be very difficult for certain students and the reading can also be difficult to understand without classroom explanation and exploration.  Students are expected to have completed the assigned reading prior to class to better help understand the materials presented in class.  Students will be expected to respond to instructor questions about cases read and may be asked to present a case to the class.

 

Throughout the semester, the instructor will take attendance on a random basis and award two points for those in attendance.  These points will he added to the total points for the class and will therefore impact final grades.  From past experience, students who do not attend class do not perform well on exams and other tasks.

 


CLASS DISCUSSION AND PARTICIPATION

 

Students are expected to contribute in class as a part of the student's responsibility to assist in the learning process.  This course will have many different interesting topics to discuss and debate.  Such discussion and debate will make the class far more interesting than pure lecture.  During discussion and classroom small group exercises, students are reminded to be respectful of  the opinions of others even is disagreeing with those opinions.

 

COURSE GRADING

 

In addition to the mid-term exam and the final exam, both of which are required, two other tests worth 50 points each will be given.  Students will be allowed to drop the lower of those two tests.  A student missing one of those tests will not be allowed to make up that test and will therefore be required to use the second test as the selected test score.  These two tests will consist in part of multiple choice/true false questions and in part, essay questions.  The mid-term and final exam are worth 100 points each.  Students cannot drop the mid-term exam score or the final exam score.  The final exam will consist in part of a take home exercise and an in-class exam.

 

As indicated earlier, the chapter summaries will be worth 50 points each.  More details about these chapter summaries will be given by the instructor.   The instructor reserves the right to give other quizzes/tests not currently contemplated and to assign other projects that will count toward the final  grade.  Final grades are based on the points from the tests and chapter summaries and on any attendance bonus points, if any.  Grades are computed on a straight percentage:

 

90% - 100%    =          A

80% - 89%      =          B

70% - 79%      =          C

60% - 69%      =          D

50% - Below    =          F

 

COURSE OUTLINE

 

Week 1:           Chapter 1: An Overview of the Criminal Justice Process

Week 2:           Chapter 2:  The Nature and Scope of Fourteenth Amendment Due Process; The      Applicability of the Bill of Rights to the States

Week 3:           Chapter 3:  Arrest, Search and Seizure

Week 4:           Chapter 3:  Arrest, Search and Seizure

Week 5:           Chapter 4:  Police "Encouragement" and Chapter 5: The Right to Counsel, Transcripts and Other Aids; Poverty,                                                 Equality and the Adversary System

Week 6:           Chapter 6:  Police Interrogation and Confession

Week 7:           Chapter 6:  Police Interrogation and Confession

Week 8:           Chapter 7:  Lineups, Showups and Other Pre-Trial Identification Procedures

   Chapter 8: Investigation by Subpoena and Chapter 9: Pretrial Release

Week 9:           Chapter 10: The Decision Whether to Prosecute; Chapter 11: Screening theProsecutor's Decision to Charge; and                             Chapter 12: Speedy Trial and Other Speedy     Disposition

 


Week 10:         Chapter 13: The Duty to Disclose; Chapter 14: Guilty Pleas and Chapter 15: Trial     by Jury

Week 11:         Chapter 15: Trial by Jury (continued)

Week 12:         Chapter 16: Fair Trial/Free Press; Chapter 17: The Role of Counsel

Week 13:         Chapter 18: The Trial

Week 14:         Chapter 19: Retrials and Chapter 20: Sentencing Procedures

Week 15:         Minnesota Statutes and Rules

 

QUESTIONS, PROBLEMS AND STUDENT INPUT

 

Please feel free to approach the instructor with any questions, problems or concerns.   Office hours are posted on the instructor's office door but feel free to arrange for other times to meet if those times do not fit with your schedule.  You are encouraged to communicate by Email if you choose and generally a response will be given to you within one day.  If students have suggestions on other methods in the classroom that will help learn the material, such suggestions are welcome.  If you have a disability which may affect your work in this course, please see the instructor during the first full week of class.  If you need special accommodations, those can be arranged with the University and the nature of your disability can be kept confidential from the instructor if that is your choice.

 

 

METHOD OF ASSESSMENT

 

Assessments will include but not be limited to:

 

1.         Instructor evaluation of written problems and examinations

2.         Student evaluations, both quantitative and qualitative

3.         Discussions and coordination with fellow criminal justice instructors to determine if students who
                            have completed the course bring the necessary skills into other courses required by the Criminal
                            Justice Program.

  

STUDENT CONDUCT POLICY

The rules of the University expect that students will refrain from engaging in certain behaviors that are more fully set forth in the University Catalog.  Specifically, but not limited to the following, students are expected to refrain from plagiarism and cheating on exams.  It is important to note that plagiarism can include any instance where a student presents work to the instructor claiming the work to be that of the student and failing to disclose the true source of the material.  In the event of a violation of the academic code of conduct, the instructor reserves the right to impose any and all penalties authorized by the University and at a minimum an instance of plagiarism and/or cheating will result in a failing grade on that particular exercise with the instructor reserving the right to impose a harsher penalty which could include failing the class.  Since most students in this course are criminal justice majors, a high standard of integrity and student conduct is expected.