Avoid PLAGIARISM Read, Read, Read Instruction
Discussion Thread: ETHICS AND THE CRIMINAL LEGAL SYSTEM
Explaining that today’s system is NOT a criminal justice system, but, rather, a criminal legal system, author Alec Karakatsanis notes https://theintercept.com/2019/11/09/criminal-justice-mass-incarceration-book/
“Anyone who observes court in the U.S. or works in the system understands that there is simply no way to process two million human beings from their families, homes, jobs, communities and into cages without coming up with shortcuts at every single step in the process. It’s just a really significant bureaucratic achievement to transfer that many people and their bodies and their lives into government-run cages. And to do that, the system basically has to ignore the main constitutional rights that are provided for in the Bill of Rights, because those documents were not written with a world of mass incarceration in mind. In fact, they were written precisely to avoid mass human caging.”
Karakatsanis and many others note that, although the U.S. constitution extends extraordinary protections meant to prevent abuse, find truth, and create justice, these core purposes are non-existent in today’s criminal legal system. Pointing to an abundance of shocking statistics–the fact that approximately 3/4 of the people currently in jail have not been convicted of a crime, (Links to an external site.), the reality that less than 5% of criminal cases go to trial because more than 95% of cases end with a plea bargain (Links to an external site.)–critics note that the constitutional basis of our criminal court system has been abandoned.
When considering vast gulf between the constitutional design and the daily reality in today’s system, then, it is important to interrogate the ethical underpinnings of the U.S. criminal court system in the provision of liberty and justice– does our system work as it should? How should the system work? What, ultimately, is the most ethical outcome when it comes to difficult subjects like crime, safety, and determining guilt and innocence?
It is important that all those who engage in making the U.S. criminal justice system function on a day-to-day basis consider these questions in order to critically understand the system that they actively make possible. While answering these questions may be uncomfortable, doing so is an ethical responsibility for educated individuals who work in a field in which they play some role –no matter how small–in making the U.S. justice system function. This week, we will examine the ethical underpinnings of the existing criminal legal system.
To begin our discussion of the ethical underpinnings of our existing criminal legal system, please:
1) Complete these readings related to criminal justice practices in theory and reality:
Reading One: Halvorsen – Better That Ten Guilty Go Free? download
Halvorsen, V. (2004). Is it better that ten guilty persons go free than that one innocent person be convicted?. Criminal Justice Ethics, 23(2), 3-13.
NOTE: This reading is rather complex, so I recommend focusing some time here.
Reading Two: Yoffe – Innocence is Irrelevant download
Yoffe, E. (2017, September). Innocence is Irrelevant. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/innocence-is-irrelevant/534171/
Reading Three: Walsh – Why U.S. Criminal Courts are so Dependent on Plea Bargaining download
Walsh, D. (2017, May 2). Why U.S. Criminal Courts are so Dependent on Plea Bargaining. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/plea-bargaining-courts-prosecutors/524112/
2) Review the ‘Ethics and the Criminal Legal System’ PowerPoint download
NOTE: For this week’s PPT, I added some notes in the “notes” section of some of the slides, and, additionally, I’ve inserted some audio commentary on some slides–if you click on the ‘microphone’ icon you see on slides, you should hear my comments.
NOTE: The PowerPoints I post here are simply an effort to provide a little visual stimulation/accompaniment to the topics–they are not meant to be comprehensive explanations.
3) Watch this piece on some new progressive prosecutors making waves (Links to an external site.)
…. and, if you’re so inclined, feel free to check out this John Oliver piece on prosecutors (Links to an external site.) (it’s helpful for framing the issues we’re talking about this week in an engaging way.
5) After reviewing the materials, post a brief reflection in which you address ALL of the questions below. Make sure that your post cites AT LEAST THREE of this week’s assigned readings AND AT LEAST ONE VIDEO (either the assigned video OR the optional John Oliver video) and BE SURE that your post and reply fulfill Discussion Post requirements BELOW.
A) In your opinion (and considering the full implications for the U.S. system of justice), do you believe it is better that ten guilty persons go free than that one innocent person be convicted?
Explain the Perspective on Justice (Due Process Model, Crime Control Model) AND the Dominant Ethical Perspective (Deontology, Utilitarianism) informing your answer and discuss why your approach matters for your future as a criminal justice professional.
B) Is plea-bargaining and the way that it is currently employed in the U.S. criminal justice system an ethical approach? Explain.
Be sure to recognize the multiple parties affected by this approach (the accused, the victim, prosecutors, the U.S. justice system as a whole, and the sanctity of justice) and to FULLY explain and APPLY the deontological or teleological ethical approach to support your answer.
C) What changes can be made to make the criminal legal system more ethical? Explain at least two potential changes/new policies and why they are necessary and identify the ethical perspective informing your suggestions.
MAKE INITIAL DISCUSSION POST BY MIDNIGHT ON FRIDAY, JULY 29TH
MAKE SURE DISCUSSION REQUIREMENTS. LOOK AT THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW.
TCRIM441: INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE DISCUSSIONS
FOR TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL DISCUSSION POSTS–THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT/USEFUL FOR SUCCESSFUL DISCUSSIONS)
Throughout the quarter, you will be responsible for engaging in class discussions based on selected class materials. These discussions will find you posting your thoughts and replying to peers.
ONLINE CLASS DISCUSSIONS WILL CONSIST OF:
I) REFLECTIVE DISCUSSION POSTS: Approximately every other week of this quarter will find you writing and posting reflective discussions of AT LEAST 450 WORDS (approximately the equivalent of three quarters of one double-spaced page in a word document) to the appropriate thread on the course discussion board.
I will provide specific discussion topics and guidelines for exactly what you should write your reflection about. Reflection/discussion posts should be written in a scholarly manner and demonstrate you have read, understood, and thoughtfully considered the material. It is important that you read and synthesize the concepts, theories, and ideas we’ll be discussing and be prepared to explain them IN YOUR OWN WORDS.
While every reflection post MUST directly refer to AND cite the week’s assigned readings, YOU MAY NOT USE ANY DIRECT QUOTES IN DISCUSSION POSTS!!!
This prohibition against using direct quotes means that you will be drawing from the assigned readings and materials by synthesizing ideas, paraphrasing important points, and discussing the authors’ points in your own words. As such, it’s important that you utilize in-text citations when drawing on resources and that all sources cited in the body of your discussions are included in a “Works Cited” section at the close of each post.
IF I’M NOT ALLOWED TO QUOTE, WHEN AM I SUPPOSED TO CITE?? Great question! Check out these resources for more guidance on when/where/how to cite without direct quotes: 1) Quoting and Paraphrasing (Links to an external site.) 2) When to Cite (Links to an external site.) 3) When You Must Cite (Links to an external site.) 4) Integrating Sources (Links to an external site.)
PLEASE USE APA CITATION FORMATTING (Links to an external site.) FOR IN-TEXT CITATIONS AND “WORKS CITED” SECTION. See here (Links to an external site.) for more.
IMPORTANT: TCRIM441 is a senior-level, seminar course–as such, there should be senior-level discussions occurring: You must go beyond merely including an in-text citation to a reading and calling it a day…posts that contain in-text citations but fail to actually DISCUSS the points made in the readings/materials will NOT receive high marks. Your posts and replies must actually USE AND INTEGRATE THE COURSE MATERIALS IN A FULL AND IN-DEPTH WAY.
Whenever appropriate, posts should include relevant references and information you have learned in previous courses, from earlier readings in this course, and from other outside scholarly sources such as journal articles and books.
As these reflections account for 40% of your final grade, it is in your best interest to spend a good deal of time carefully crafting each post.
Please demonstrate critical thinking through a willingness to question your own pre-existing ideas and perspectives on various topics. Also, don’t be afraid to challenge the authors: In other words, questions about/critiques of authors’ and researchers’ methods, assumptions, conclusions, and perspectives should form within your own mind as you read.
II) CRITICAL THINKING DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: At the end of each reflection/discussion post, provide AT LEAST TWO questions related to the assigned readings/material that you think would be interesting for the class to discuss.
Discussion questions MUST BE in-depth, interesting questions that require your classmates to draw on the assigned materials and readings: THESE ARE NOT OPINION QUESTIONS! The goal is to inspire sophisticated and analytical conversation; thus, it is important to take the time construct thoughtful, answerable questions that are clear, engaging, and relevant to the topic and reading(s) for the week.
Make the section with your discussion questions separate from the rest of your reflection by including an extra empty line before the discussion questions makes the questions easier to see.
Discussion questions DO NOT count as part of the 450-word minimum required of initial reflection posts.
Note. Write according to the instructions, there is no chance for amendments. THREE sources’ citations of the ATTACHMENTS material must be specified.
Note: When you post your original post in order to receive full credit ensure you are demonstrating analytical thought, referring to course material and answering the question FULLY. Simply stating your opinion, or “good job” will not suffice for credit. YOU MUST READ READ READ: INSTRUCTIONS FOR DISCUSSIONS TO DO GREAT REFLECTION.
reflection/discussion post, provide AT LEAST TWO questions related to the assigned readings/material that you think would be interesting for the class to discuss.
Use the materials in the attachments. WITH VLC RECORDER.
Note: Avoid PLAGIARISM and copying and pasting you will get you ZERO. I will scan the papers.450 words or more