Criminal Justice 315

CRJU 315: Constitutional Rights and the Criminally Accused

Prerequisites: CRJU 100  

Credit Hours: (3)

The course is a study of the legal rules and procedures that are essential to the criminal judicial process.


Detailed Description of Content of Course


1. Introduction to criminal procedure


            a) The difference between criminal procedure and criminal law
            b) Application of Bill of Rights guarantees to the states
            c) The role of the Supreme Court
            d) An overview of the criminal process


2. Arrests, searches, and other seizures


            a) The Fourth Amendment
            b) Protected areas and interests: What is a search?
            c) Probable cause
            d) The warrant requirement


3. Confessions


            a) The confession dilemma
            b) The due process voluntariness test
            c) The Miranda rules
            d) Miranda problems


4. The exclusionary rule

5. Other important procedural rights


            a) Right to a jury trial
            b) Jury selection and the right to a representative jury
            c) Right to speedy trial
            d) Double jeopardy



Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will consist primarily of class lecture and discussion. After the presentation of principles, definitions, and/or rules concerning most of the subjects in the course outline, students will discuss fact situations to which the principles, definitions, and rules presented will be applied. These exercises are designed to develop further their understanding of the material covered.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

After completion of the course, the student should be able to:


a) Describe the role of the U.S. Constitution in defining the rights of persons accused of crimes.
b) Describe the role of the U.S. Supreme Court in defining the rights of persons accused of crimes.
c) Identify the basic rules and explain the reasons for the rules dealing with searches and seizures, confessions,the exclusionary rule, the right to a jury trial, the right to a speedy trial, and the right against double jeopardy.
d) Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of the difficult task facing the Supreme Court in its attempt to protect rights that are essential to a free society while still permitting law enforcement officials enough freedom to be effective in investigating crime.


Assessment Measures

Knowledge and understanding of the material covered in this course, as well as the ability to apply it to real life situations, may be measured using an array of assessment tools that can include tests, formal papers, informal writing assignments, and formal oral presentations. Instructors of this course can choose among these assessment tools and may develop others if they deem it appropriate.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval

Date Action Approved By
July 2005, Reviewed by Dr. Isaac Van Patten, Department Chair