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Detailed Course Information


Fall 2021
Sep 29,2022
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Information Select the desired Level or Schedule Type to find available classes for the course.

The descriptions and topics of this course change from semester-to-semester, as well as from instructor-to-instructor. Prerequisite: varies with the topic offered. LAWS 390 01 FORENSICS. Multidisciplinary and reality based approach introduces students to "Forensic Investigation" to demonstrate how Anthropology, Botany, and Entomology provide critical data in resolving investigational goals. The coursework covers origin, history and the role of science in bringing criminals to justice. Student's work in the field and classroom environment locate, identify, collect and transport physical evidence that may be used at trial for determining causation and linking the accused to a crime. LAWS 390 02 CRIME, CRIMINALS AND BILL OF RIGHTS. This course shall analyze selected landmark criminal cases addressing issues arising out of the prosecution of various criminal offenses, such as: homicide; sexual crimes; terrorism; arson; kidnapping; weapons offenses; controlled dangerous substances; RICO; organized crime; fraud; white collar crimes; etc. The case method approach, as utilized in law schools, shall be followed in the study of these decisions which involve analysis of Bill of Rights guarantees such as: probable cause; due process; search and seizure; confessions; cruel and unusual punishment; right to keep and bear arms; right to counsel; competency; speedy trial; confrontation of witnesses; double jeopardy; etc. LAWS 390 03 PROOF, SCIENCE & COURTS. This topics seminar will address the principal themes of (1) certainty and proof in science and the law, including the historical development of epistemological criteria applied in science and the courts; (2) forensic science and the law, particularly the concepts of "scientific reliability" and the admissibility of scientific evidence; (3) advances in biomedical science and the law, including their impact on traditional ideas of family and kinship; and (4) intellectual property in the digital culture, and other issues as they may arise in class discussions. LAWS 390 DEATH PENALTY: The course will look at the history of the death penalty in the United States and examine empirical data. Heavy emphasis will be given to Supreme Court decisions concerning the death penalty as well as political arguments about capital punishment. We will view the death penalty from the vantage point of citizens, judges, lawyers, juries, and the accused. State and federal death penalty issues will be discussed from a legal and political perspective. LAWS 390 LAW & SEXUALITY. The course examines the law attempting to regulate human sexuality. It looks at the theories behind sexual morality laws, the methods used, the effectiveness of such regulation and its effects on us as sexual beings. Topics covered include marriage, laws covering sexual conduct, sexual orientation and gender identity. LAWS 390 TRANSGENDER EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION: "This Topics course will focus on the nuts and bolts of civil rights litigation, specifically the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, and its application to transgender employees who experience discrimination on the job. Professor Weiss has extensive experience in high-profile high-impact litigation of this type. The course will also look at the intersection of other forms of oppression and their treatment in law, including but not limited to race, class, sexual orientation and disability. Students will learn to brief cases, and to construct and present written and oral arguments regarding the law." LAWS 390 RESPONSES TO WRONG-DOING: The course explores the various responses to wrong-doing from a legal systems approach. Students will consider the philosophical bases for approaches to wrong-doing such as retribution, rehabilitation, incapacitation, deterrence, restorative justice, and therapeutic justice. The substantive applications to be examined include: criminal law, juvenile law, dependency law, and civil tort law. The emphasis of the course will be on case studies comparing the efficacy of different legal systems and models including: procedures for resolving conflict, results for the parties – including non-legal impact, role of the professional actors, ethical considerations, and impact on society. While the emphasis will be on assessing best practice models for the United States legal system, the case studies for comparison will include systems used in other domestic legal systems. This course satisfies the Criminal Justice Elective requirement of the major. LAWS 390: COMPARATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL LAW This course is a study of environmental law from a comparative perspective, primarily focusing on common law countries, EU jurisdictions and indigenous legal traditions. The course will provide students an overview of the philosophical debates, principles and ethics that are foundational to the development of environmental law. Students will examine critical approaches to the study of environmental law in the Global North and Global South. Students will work with laws that govern the protection and management of environment, liabilities for environmental harm, environmental human rights, indigenous rights, and international treaties on climate change to analyze how different legal traditions respond to issues of environmental harm, protection and justice. The course is appropriate for those with a general interest in law, as well as for those concerned with environmental problems. This course satisfies the Law and Globalization Elective requirement of the major. LAWS 390 Topics: Technology, Crime, and Justice -- This topics seminar explores the massive impact of technology on the nature of crime, crime control, and criminal justice. Particular emphasis is on contemporary advances in technology and the ongoing reshaping of the modern world. The course will cover five broad areas. First, conceptual understandings of technology and its relation to crime and justice. Second, how criminals employ technology and how technology shapes crime. Third, technology as a part of crime control, both through law enforcement and informal social control. Fourth, technological incorporation and influence within legal practice, the judiciary, and judicial process. Fifth, the potential wonders and worries of the future to come! LAWS390: WII INTERNSHIP: Students will take an in-depth look at a variety of different domestic and/or foreign policies and policy-making systems. In this course, students will learn the theories, trends, and major historical events in U.S. and/or foreign policies. External speakers will facilitate discussions on contemporary U.S. and foreign policy issues and challenges. Co-requisites: POLI 389 and POLI 390; Credits: 4 LAWS390: ACTUAL INNOCENCE: This course covers wrongful convictions that lead to innocent people being sentenced to prison or death. Through the study of individual cases of wrongful conviction and exoneration, students will learn about the legal and cultural practices and beliefs that contribute to wrongful convictions. Throughout the course, students will consider possible solutions to the problem of wrongful conviction, as well as barriers to those solutions. An overarching goal of the course is to explore what wrongful convictions reveal about the criminal justice system. TOPICS: FORENSIC GENETIC GENEALOGY LAB: Students will learn how to apply the tools of forensic genetic genealogy (FGG) to help resolve cases of potential wrongful conviction by identifying candidates who might be the true perpetrator. While students will learn the concepts of human genetics, the bulk of the course will be devoted to learning to analyze and solve genealogical problems once a genetic profile has been established for third-party crime-scene DNA potentially belonging to the true perpetrator.
0.000 TO 4.000 Credit hours
0.000 TO 4.000 Lecture hours

Levels: Undergraduate
Schedule Types: Lecture, Online Course

Law and Society Department

Course Attributes:
MJ-LAWS-Law & Society Elective, TS-Sch Core- SCP Category

Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels:     

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