Race and the Criminal Justice System



2017 Fall

About This Class

Requirements: Can meet AWR This course will explore the connection between racial subordination and mass incarceration in the United States. The course is designed to develop some of the undercurrents of the introductory Criminal Law course, encouraging students to make connections between our emphasis on criminal law enforcement and the social costs. It will do so by reading the required text, Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow (2010) and related readings and film. The final grade will be based on the following: Class attendance and participation: 25% This is a seminar the goal of which is to explore the law and literature that discusses race and criminal justice in our country. The exploration requires and depends on student participation. That participation is expected to be respectful and sincere. You are expected to attend all classes. To be excused, you must communicate with the professor and the reason must be compelling. Paper: 65% To complete this course, you must submit a 20 page, double-spaced research paper. The paper must develop an issue directly related to the subject matter of the course, must reflect serious research, and must be the appropriate form for a scholarly legal research paper. The subject of the paper, a one-page description and your research plan must be submitted in writing after the 5th class. You must schedule a meeting with the professor to discuss the paper within two weeks of submitting description and research plan. The paper is due two weeks before the end of class. Oral Presentation: 10% Each student is expected to do a 10-minute presentation of their paper. The last two classes will be devoted to these presentations. Student Learning Outcome Competencies: Legal Analysis and Reasoning o Use legal and non-legal principles and other relevant information to advocate for or against a position or policy Legal Research o Use strategies and technologies to retrieve and evaluate cases, statutes, secondary sources and other materials effectively and efficiently Written and Oral Communication o Express ideas clearly orally and in writing  Organize and present legal analysis in writing  Attribute appropriately and effectively, including proper use of citation  Explain concepts clearly orally in formal and informal presentations Recognize the following ethical obligations: o The responsibility to enhance the capacity of the law and legal institutions to do justice, including access to legal representation o The obligation to rid the profession of prejudice based on race, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, or socio-economic status

Class Code



Criminal Law