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Criminal Justice 655

CRJU 655
Constitutional Law and the Criminal Justice System

1. Catalog Entry

CRJU 655
Constitutional Law and the Criminal Justice System

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

Credit hours (3)

Examination of constitutional civil liberties and their impact upon criminal law and field behavior.

2. Detailed Description of Course

This course focuses on constitutional law as it applies to the criminal justice field, specifically as it pertains to law enforcement, courts, and corrections.  Topics may include:
• The Constitution and criminal justice
    a) The rule of law and discretionary power
    b) The principle of legality
    c) Historical trends and criminal justice compliance
• Civil liberties and police practices
    a) Arrest, search, and seizure
        i. Foundation of the Fourth Amendment
        ii. Scope of protected privacy
         iii. Definition of a search
        iv. Actors who are covered under the Fourth Amendment
        v. The warrant requirement
        vi. The probable cause requirement
        vii. The critical role of police authority to conduct stops and frisks
        viii. The role of consent to search
    b) Confessions
        i. The voluntariness doctrine
        ii. The Miranda case and the right against self-incrimination
        iii. The right to counsel and the Massiah/Brewer rules
    c) The exclusionary rule
        i. The role of the constitution in controlling police conduct
        ii. Collateral use exceptions to the exclusionary rule
        iii. Limited good faith exceptions to the exclusionary rule
        iv. The possibility and implications of a full-blown good faith exception to the exclusionary rule

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will be taught as a seminar in which the students will assume an extensive role in the conducting of the course.  Their active participation in the course will be solicited through comprehensive discussion of problems (hypothetical situations) in class and submission of several written analyses of selected problems.

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

At the end of this course, students should:
• Describe the role of the Constitution and the courts in constraining the behavior of criminal justice officials
• Describe the historical development of the rights of persons accused of crimes and of persons convicted of crimes
• Articulate and analyze alternative means of protecting rights
• Explain why many Supreme Court decisions affecting rights are controversial and have some insight into why the Courts decided these cases as they did
• Demonstrate an understanding of how Supreme Court decisions dealing with the constitutional authority of the police to stop and arrest suspects affect the practice of pretextual stops

5. Assessment Measures

Graded assignments may include the journal, essay examinations, written analyses of role playing exercises, written analyses of hypothetical cases, and book and article reviews.  A grade may also be awarded for class participation.

6. Other Course Information

Guest speakers may be invited to speak in this course.  Judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys would be particularly relevant speakers.

Review and Approval
April 1, 2008