Excelsior College Criminal Ju

Part 1

NOTE: Throughout this course there are assignments in which you will be exposed to portions of a real case and trial from 2015-2017. Even though it will be easy to find information about this trial from outside sources, it is highly suggested that you limit your exposure to what is presented in class unless specifically instructed otherwise. The progression of the course is intended to give you information about the events from beginning to end as they happened and looking ahead in the case may diminish your overall experience. In the event that you are already familiar with the case, attempt to remain unbiased throughout the semester for tasks involving the case.

On the morning of April 4, 2015, Officer Michael Slager made a routine traffic stop after observing a car driving with a non-functional third brake light. Officer Slater approaches the vehicle and engages in a conversation with Walter Scott concerning the ownership of the vehicle and whether it is insured. After collecting Mr. Scott’s driver’s license, Officer Slager returns to his police cruiser and continues investigating.

Shortly thereafter, Mr. Scott flees his vehicle with Officer Slager in pursuit. In his incident report, Officer Slager claims that he attempted to deploy his taser but that it did not function properly. Additionally, during a scuffle between the two men, Mr. Scott managed to obtain the officer’s taser, which could still be used as a stun gun, even after the prongs had already been deployed. Officer Slager claims he feared for his life when the taser was taken from him. Moments later, Walter Scott is fatally shot multiple times by Officer Slager.

Officer Slager radioed dispatch to let them know shots were fired and that his taser had been taken from him. The report states that when other officers arrived on the scene, they administered CPR to Mr. Scott but he ultimately succumbed to his wounds.

The initial interaction was captured on video by the dashcam in Officer Slager’s cruiser:

INSTRUCTIONS

For this discussion, you will focus on the officer’s actions as he reported them and the dashcam footage above.

Based solely on the information you have been given, respond to the following prompts in your initial post by providing an explanation for each topic:

Was the traffic stop legal?

Was Officer Slager at the appropriate level of proof to make the traffic stop?

Did Officer Slager act appropriately in his initial interaction with Walter Scott?

Is there anything that Officer Slager should have done differently prior to pursuing Mr. Scott?

What would be an appropriate response by the police department following the filing of the incident report?

Were any of Mr. Scott’s constitutional rights violated?

Part 2

What court case had an impact on your life?

  • This case does not have to be a high profile case, although it can be.

Explain a bit about the case and why it made an impact.

  • Was the case one that affected you directly or indirectly?
  • Did the case play a role in your decision to be part of the field of criminal justice?
  • If so, what role did it play?
  • Share an image that reminds you of the case or circumstances surrounding the case. 
  • The image could be a photograph, painting, or anything else that is either from the case or makes you think about the case.

Explain why you chose that image and what about it reminds you of the case.

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Excelsior College Criminal Ju

It has been demonstrated to this point in the course that the task of comparative criminal justice is to compare and contrast our ways of responding to crime with those practiced globally. This often involves trying to learn from what is done in other places.

In an upcoming discussion, you will explore how issues in the United States criminal justice system can have a global impact. Because of the potential for that to happen, the United Nations has an interest in what happens here and will look for answers when there are problems. For this final major assignment, you are tasked with creating a policy and procedure report for the Department of Justice in response to a UN inquiry into recent unrest related the to United States criminal justice system.

For the purpose of this assignment, assume the UN has requested information about how the United States will overhaul the criminal justice system to prevent the recent issues from becoming more prevalent and further spreading to other countries. Taking what you have learned from being exposed to criminal justice systems in other countries into account, your report should include some best practices based on that global exposure.

First, read the following:

van Steden, R. (2020). Governing through care: A qualitative assessment of team play between police and nurses for people with mental illness. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlp.2019.101532 (Links to an external site.)

Policies and Resolutions (Links to an external site.). (2019). Corrections Today, 81(3), 56–72.

O’Connor, C. D., & Shon, P. C. (2019). Civilising the police: reconceptualizing the role of the state in theories of American policing. Global Crime, 20(1), 45–64. https://doi.org/10.1080/17440572.2019.1583106 (Links to an external site.)

  • Then, watch the following videos:

This video explores how an international criminal justice system has evolved over time (12:23)

This video addresses challenged faced by international criminal justice systems (3:39)

Finally, you can explore the following optional resources if you choose to:

Where Incarceration Isn’t the Answer…  (Links to an external site.)

Robert Moore (2020) – Preserve “not proven” and reform Scotland’s Jury System (Links to an external site.)

ASSIGNMENT

  • Create a report in response to the UN addressing the following: 

the social, cultural, and economic variables which contribute to the variation of crime problems across nations;

the structure and function of the criminal justice systems in other countries;

the development an appreciation of various dilemmas confronting criminal justice systems worldwide;

the methods, procedures, and theories employed by other countries compared to the American Criminal Justice system.

Limit your response to 5-7 pages. Upload your submission in a Word document or PDF.

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Excelsior College Criminal Ju

Part 1

In court proceedings, both prosecutors and defense attorneys have the right to file a motion for a change of venue. There are numerous reasons why a change of venue would be requested but ultimately it all comes down to the potential for a fair trial given the pool of potential jurors in the current location of the trial.

The video below is a news story concerning a motion for a change of venue in a murder trial in Texas. In this case, the change of venue was granted by the judge, although that outcome is rare. If you would like to read more about the outcome of this case, please read the following article: Accused Santa Fe shooter declared incompetent to stand trial (Links to an external site.).

ASSIGNMENT Portfolium Icon

This assignment focuses on the Slager case introduced in M1.1. Please see case attached. 

There are two parts to the assignment that will be written in a paper. First, you will determine if a motion for a change of venue should be filed by either the prosecution or the defense. Then, you will put yourself in the role of the judge and decide if the motion should be granted.

In the quick links below you will find an example motion for a change of venue that you can use for reference although you are not expected to actually write the motion, only to explain what would be included in it.

Part A

Decide if a motion for change of venue should be filed. The motion could come from the prosecution or the defense. It is possible that you do not think either side should file such a motion. If that is the case, justify your decision.

If you decide that either side should file the motion, explain why you came to that conclusion and what specific information should be included in the motion. Your justification may also include examples of similar trials where a motion for a change of venue was granted.

It is important to understand that often motions for a change of venue are filed because one side is hopeful that if it is granted they will be in a better position than they would otherwise, even if they do not think that the motion will be granted.

Part B

Now think about the case from the judge’s perspective. You are no longer considering if it is best for your side to move the case but whether there are legitimate legal reasons to do so. What constitutional standards must be met to grant the change of venue? Support your decision by citing specific laws and cases.

Limit your paper to 3-5 total pages. Use the APA citation style for references.

Part 2 – Submit a word document I will create the journal.

For this ongoing assignment, you must create an online journal that will be shared with your instructor. You can choose to use whatever online journal tool you are comfortable with, including potentially using Google Docs. The only requirement for the tool used is that you can share it with your instructor and add entries as necessary.

Note: You may choose to make one entry for the entire module or you could add new entries as you complete assignments or have significant milestones within a module. The point is for your instructor to be able to monitor your progress and for you to be able to refer back to the journal in the future to see how you have personally evolved.

Be creative with the narrative in your journal while relating the virtual experiences through the assignments to hypothetical real-life experiences.

For each module, you should cover both parts listed below.

Part 1 – Prompts related to the content of this module

  • How would you rate your knowledge of the Fourth Amendment prior to beginning this course?
  • Do you feel that the Fourth Amendment has the potential to impose an unnecessary burden on officers when they are attempting to conduct an investigation?

Part 2 – General thoughts about the module

Below are some examples of the types of things you should include in your journal:

  • How did the assignments in the module benefit you?
  • Was there anything you struggled with in the module?
  • What did you learn in this module? (A brief summary would be appropriate)
  • Are there any course materials from this module (readings, videos, etc.) that you plan to retain for future reference?

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