Criminal Justice-COAS | Courts and Criminal Justice
P302 | 15122 | Luskin
"Courts and Criminal Justice" takes a social science perspective on
the criminal courts. We begin by considering the place of courts in
the political system, including the structure of the federal and
state judicial systems and the selection, roles, and working
environments of the major participants. Against this background, we
review the stages in the processing of criminal cases and consider
several stages -- e.g., the decision to charge, pleas, and
sentencing -- in detail. In all our discussions, we will be
concerned explaining how courts allocate rewards and penalties to
defendants, victims, court participants, and the community at large.
Readings may include:
Campion, Dean John, Richard Hartley, and Gary A. Rabe. Criminal
Courts: Structure, Process, and Issues. Second Edition. Upper
Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. 2007.
Anderson, David C. 1996. In New York City, a “Community Court” and
a New Legal Culture. National Institute of Justice “Program
Focus”. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National
Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.
Stanko, Elizabeth Anne. 1981-82. "The Impact of Victim Assessment
on Prosecutor's Charging Decisions." Law and Society Review 17:225-
Uphoff, Rodney, J. 1992. “The Criminal Defense Lawyer: Zealous
Advocate, Double Agent, or Beleaguered Dealer?” Criminal Law
Bulletin 28. 419-456 .
Requirements: Class meetings will combine lecture, discussion, and
in-class exercises. Students also will be required to participate in
an in-class simulation of the plea bargaining process.
Students' performance will be evaluated through exercises, short
essays, a final examination, and participation in and report on
the plea bargaining simulation. The examinations may consist of
multiple choice, short answer, or essay questions. Your answers will
be graded on accuracy, completeness, clarity, and organization.
Class meeting: Tuesday and Thursday, 11:15-12:30
Instructor: Professor Mary Lee Luskin, criminal justice department