Categories: Criminal Law

Instructor(s) Findley, Keith

Introductory survey of the criminal justice process with emphasis on appropriate controls on the discretion of system actors (a) trial judge - sentencing, (b) police - arrest or cite, (c) prosecution - the charging decision, and (d) allocation of decision-making authority between defendant and defense counsel. Students examine how human discretion rather than statutes or rules dominate the various systems which comprise the criminal justice process.

Learning Outcomes - By the end of this course, you should be able to:
1. Understand the purposes and functions of criminal law.
2. Understand the basic procedural steps of a criminal case, from investigation through corrections, and the complexities of the decisions at each stage of the process.
3. Describe the basic legal standards that govern decision-making by prosecutors, judges, and juries in criminal cases.
4. Be able to think critically about the systemic features of the criminal justice system, and the degree to which they achieve or fail to achieve the objectives identified above.
5. Understand the basics of legal professionalism: ethics, competence, diligence, timeliness, and civility.

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