criminal justice assignment 7

To truly understand these concepts, students must see the criminal justice system in action. In one paper, you will describe two criminal court observations.

For this observation and report,

  • You must watch an appellate argument. The observation can be done in person or streamed online. If you would like to stream oral argument, follow the same search path on this video. This video shows you a specific argument on jury instructions. You can follow the same path, but I encourage you to pick a different example – one that interests you.

Click to view

You can watch whatever oral argument you want, as long as it relates to a criminal action. The steps are outlined in the video, but they are:

1. Go to the California Supreme Court website. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. You can also click here (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..

2. Initially, you will just have to click around on the “Case Information” links to see what was argued that day. Click on several and read the docket until you find a criminal case of interest to you.

3. Once you find a case on the docket that interests you, return to that case on the (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. page. Click “video” next to the case name.

4. Remember, several cases are heard in that video. So you have to cue the video to the criminal court argument. So once you open the video for that case, click on that specific case name under the video box. This will fastforward the video to where that argument begins.

5. Again, I encourage you to explore the various arguments to find one that is interesting to you. If you cannot find one, here are some options:

Supreme Court Oral Argument 10-3-2018 – People v. Johnson – automatic appeal of death

Supreme Court Oral Argument: 10-2-2018 – People v. Franco – for purposes of felony vs. misdemeanor is forgery determined by the value written on the forged check or the value of the check’s paper.

Supreme Court Oral Argument 9-5-2018 – People v. Rodas – did the court error in failing to suspend the proceedings after the attorney questioned the defendant’s competence

Supreme Court Oral Argument 9-5-2018 – there are three cases re automatic appeals of death on the calendar. You can compare them.

Supreme Court Oral Argument 4-4-2018 – People v. Farwell – reviewing what it means to “knowingly and intelligently” waive constitutional rights

6. Listen/Watch the argument. (again make sure you fastforward the video to the correct argument on the calendar). Write a brief reflection paper (approx. 1 – 2 pages) that answers each of:

i. Give the name of the name of the case you watched/listened to

ii. A brief description regarding what was the subject of the appeal (example – defendant appeals the denial of his request to continue the trial date so he can get a key witness)

iii. Briefly (approx. 2 sentences) identify what issue(s) this case relates to in our class (example – “in our class, we studied a defendant’s right to confront witnesses against him)

iv. Briefly (approx. 1-2 paragraphs) summarize/describe each of the arguments defendant’s attorney presented.

v. Briefly (approx. 1-2 paragraphs) summarize/describe each of the arguments the government’s attorney presented.

vi. In your opinion, which argument was more persuasive. Explain specifically your reason why. (approx. 1-2 paragraphs)

You are graded not on your ability to perfectly recite the case. Instead, you are graded on your ability to show you actively and watched the whole arguments presented. You tied the argument to a lesson in our class. And that you critically listened to the arguments to determine what you believe was persuasive. You must support your opinion with specific examples or things that stood out to your in the argument.

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