Criminal Justice-COAS | Courts and Criminal Justice
P302 | 2790 | 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  include :

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. Bonneau, Chris W.
2001. “The Composition of State Supreme Courts, 2000.”  Judicature 85
(1, July/August): 26-31. Baum, L. American Courts: Process and
Policy 4th ed.   Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997, Stanko, Elizabeth
Anne. 1981-82. "The Impact of Victim Assessment on  Prosecutor's
Charging Decisions." Law and Society Review 17:225-39. 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, quizzes,
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, 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Instructor:  Professor Mary Lee Luskin, criminal justice department