1. Assignment: The call for reform of the early juvenile justice system was possibly based on the following:
. It was formed out of a feeling of benevolence, as espoused by the Progressive era “child savers”. This was to protect children by changing child labor practices, child abuse, runaways, homeless children and new immigrants.
. Others claim it was simply a mechanism to control the effects of the Industrial Revolution, such as poverty, urban decay, and crime.
. The third possibility was a big business backed conservative influence to control and train the poor to be workers in a newly industrialized society.
In your opinion state which one of the three was possibly correct and why. This assignment must be no less than 500 words. You must back your opinion with facts supporting your position.
2. You are a new community police officer assigned with seven other officers to a low income, heterogenous, high turnover, high crime neighborhood. How should you and your fellow officers address the following problems?
a. Neighborhood residents, neighborhood business owners, and community leaders disagree about the most important problems of the neighborhood and what to do about them. What should you and your fellow officers do?
b. You organize and heavily publicize a meeting to discuss neighborhood problems and their solutions. However, only about 10% to 20% of neighborhood residents attend, and most of them are white and more affluent homeowners who live in the better parts of the neighborhood. Few minorities or renters atend. What should you and your fellow officers do?
c. Your precinct captain disagrees with neighborhood residents about the most important problems in the nieghborhood. Your precinct captain’s top priority is abandoned cars used for drug dealing. The top priority of neighborhood residents in the overall appearance of the neighborhood. What should you and your fellow officers do?
- Seek out a site which explains the process by which DNA identification is established. (there is more than one process; choose only one and give a generalized step by step process). Identify research web site. Post your answer via email directly to your instructor.
- After completing research on (a), give your opinion as to safeguards needed to ensure presented DNA evidence is credible. Post your answer via email directly to your instructor.
4. In John Grisham’s 1992 novel, A Time to Kill, the defendant, a black man whose young daughter was viciously raped by two white men , is on trial for gunning down the two men on the courthouse steps in full view of many bystanders. Even thought it was obvious to all the defendant had killed the two men, the jury in the case returned a not guilty verdict, and the defendant was allowed to walk free. This is an example of jury nullification, the power of a jury in a criminal case to acquit a defendant despite overwhelming evidence. The jury can acquite for any reason or for no reason at all, and the decision of the jury cannot be appealed. Jury nullification is one of the problems cited by critics who call for the abolition of the present American jury system. Another complaint about the jury system is the inability of some jurors in some trials to understand legal arguments, the evidence presented, or the instructions of the judge. Critics of the jury systems suggest replacing jury trials with bench trials or with trials before a panel of judges or subsittuting professionally trained jurors for the current amateur jurors.
a. Should the American jury system be abolished? Why or why not?
b. Do you believe that any of the alternatives suggested by jury critics would produce a better or more just system? Defend your answer.
5. The average citizen. the ex convict is an individual of the questionable character. This image is reinforced by the fact that the only thing that is usually newsworthy about exconvicts is bad news, such as when they are rearrested. Few citizens know a rehabilitated offender, for obvious reasons. Yet the rehabilitated exconvict faces variety of civil disabilities. Not the least among those is the difficulty of getting a good job. On virtually every job application there is the question have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor or denied bnond in any state? In addition, prospective employers generally ask applicants to reveal their former substance abuse, which is a problem that most former offenders had. An affirmative answer to either question almost always eliminate a persons chance for employment.
a. How can ec offenders shed the exconvict status? Should they be allowed to shed it? Why or why not?
b. Do your answers to the questions in part a change depending upon the ex convict’d conviction offense?
- Go to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website at http://www.bop.gov/news/quick.jsp. Access “Public Info” and then “Quick Facts and Statistics” from the topic list.
- Use the data provided to construct a current profile of inmates.
- Access the “Weekly Population Report” and search for data about any federal prisons in a state of your choosing.
- Write a brief report on your findings and post your answers via email directly to your instructor.
7. Paul, a 15 year old, sexually assaulted, robbed, and killed Billy an 11 year old boy. Billy was missing for 2 days. Paul hid Billy’s body for those 2 days in his family’s garage before dumping it in a wooded area near the house. Neighbors described Paul as quiet and introverted. His parents state that he grew increasingly vilent after they kept him from a 43 year old man named Smith who Paul met in a chat room. Smith was subsequently charged with sexually assaulting Paul. The two apparently had sex in motels five times during the previous 4 months.
a. Should Paul be handled bu the justice system (either juvenile or adult) or be diverted, perhaps to a mental health facility? Why?
b. Should he be charged with first degree murder (as well as the other crimes)? Why or why not?
c. Should he be transferred to criminal court and tried as an adult?
d. If tried as an adult, should he enter a plea of not guilty by reason on insanity? A plea of guilty by insane? Why or why not?