California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: July 27, 2003
Latest Update: October 8, 2009
You will be held accountable for purposes of grading for the readings and exercises listed here. There will be no "testing." That means that you will not have to live in anxious anticipation of what we will ask and how much you will have to know. Instead, we will provide weekly discussion questions, lectures, essays, and concepts we feel that you should know as a result of having taken this course. You will assure us of that learning and receive your grade for the questions and concepts about which you choose to write and talk with us. In addition you will find detailed explanations and examples on our grading policies in the first week's reading.
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Week 7: Week of October 11, 2009
** Midterm meetings wrap up on October 14th. If you miss your meeting, it is an automatic "0".
** Midterm Visual Projects due beginning of class on Monday, October 19th (be sure to include your bibliography and self-assessment).
Topic: The Courts
- Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic. The Derrick Bell Reader . Chapters 7.
- Samuel Walker and others. The Color of Justice. Chapter 5.
- Gordon Fellman. Rambo and the Dalai Lama. -- entire book!!
- Documentary: "-----" (to be shown in class)
Lecture related links:
- Critical Race Theory
- Race, Ethnicity, and the Criminal Justice System
- Adversarialism AND Mutuality
- other Gordon Fellman related materials on the Dear Habermas site.
- Sticks and Stones -- Labelling Matters.
- W.I. Thomas "Definition of the Situation
- "Who's Habermas? Why Habermas?"
Concepts to be covered:
- the Scottsboro case
- Gideon v. Wainwright
- public defender
- pretrial detention
- plea bargaining
- prosecutorial discretion
- due process
- equal protection
Note: In order to answer these discussion questions, you will need to view "---," and do the assigned readings for this week.
- . . . Are racial minorities represented by public defenders or assigned counsel treated more harshly than those represented by private attorneys? How would Gordon Fellman and Derrick Bell answer the previous question? Why. If you were an African American, Hispanic or Native American defendant and could choose whether to be represented by a public defender or a private attorney, which would you choose? Why. [ For the complete question, refer to Walker, p. 194, Q. 1]
- Racial minorities make up a very small proportion of the lawyers and judges in the United States. What accounts for this? What difference, if any, would it make if more of the lawyers representing criminal defendants were racial minorities? What do you think Derrick Bell's response would be? Why. [from Walker, p. 194, Q.2]
- . . . But he [Randall Kennedy] asks, "on balance, are black communities hurt by prosecutions of pregnant women for using illicit drugs harmful to their unborn babies or helped by intervention which may at least plausibly deter conduct that will put black unborn children at risk?" How would you answer this question? What might Fellman's reaction be? Bell's reaction? Why. [For the complete question, refer to Walker, p. 194, Q.5]
- Should the black community look to whites for support, or learn to tend its own garden? When whites are the main architects of a civil rights breakthrough, is it likely to endure? [from D & S, page 217]
Suggestions for Visual Projects:
Note: Start thinking about ideas for your visual projects. Must relate to "race, crime, law." Must be approved before starting your creative measure. Cannot be something that you are doing or have done for another course. Research cannot be 100% online (i.e., google, askjeeves). Must conduct library research using scholarly works, (not the popular press -- Time Magazine, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated). You are expected to turn in a bibliography with each visual project. No term papers! Allow time to dialogue and present your visual project progress. Email me your ideas ASAP.
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. An excellent resource for juvenile justice related issues.
- National Criminal Justice Resource Service. Administered by the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.
- Make A Box a Week focusing on this week's topic or related issues.
- Go to the county courthouse, and observe "law in action." Relate your observations to this week's readings.
- View the movie, "Gideon's Trumpet." How does this movie relate to "race, crime, law"?
- Find out nationally, statewide, and/or locally, the number and proportion of practicing attorneys of color.
- Research the Scottsboro case.
- Examine one or more of the following issues relating to racial minorities and:
--- the right to counsel.
--- pretrial detention.
--- plea bargaining.
- Study the issue of racial minorities in the legal profession. What are some of the major issues and challenges? Why.
- Examine Race, Ethnicity, and the Criminal Justice System published by the American Sociological Association (September 2007).
- Research the Dalai Lama -- his past and present.
- Research "forgiveness". Begin with these books: Martha Minow, Between Vengeance and Forgiveness. Desmond Tutu, No Future Without Forgiveness.
Self-Assessment Questions for Visual Projects:
- List the names of the individuals in your group. What did you do exactly for this visual project? (If in a group, explain the division of labor and your individual contribution to this visual project). What small item did you create to "give away" to those visiting your visual project?
- Explain in depth, how your visual project specifically relates to the course (i.e., the readings, the documentaries, class discussions, major concepts). Demonstrate how your visual project relates to "theory, policy, practice". What did you learn?
- Assess how the 6Cs apply to your visual project, with special attention on competence and creativity. What is your visual project self-assessment (provide a letter grade) ___ ? Explain why this particular grade.
--- Paula DiPerna. Juries on Trial.
--- Alan Dershowitz. The Best Defense.
--- Steve Bogira. Courtroom 302: A Year Behind the Scenes in an American Courthouse.
--- Deborah L. Rhode. Access to Justice.
--- Mark Weiner. Black Trials.
--- Dan T. Carter. Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South.
--- Anthony Lewis. Gideon's Trumpet.
--- Harriet Ziskin. The Blind Eagle.
--- Jonathan Casper. Criminal Courts: The Defendant's Perspective.
--- Samuel Walker. Taming the System: The Control of Discretion in the Criminal Justice System.
--- Kenneth Culp Davis. Discretionary Justice.
--- James P. Levine. Juries and Politics.
--- Bruce Wright. Black Robes, White Justice.
Course Syllabus for CRMJ/SOCA 365 "Race, Crime, Law"