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PSCI 242 Courts, Communities, and Injustice in America

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  • Fall 2006
    Fall 2006
    Course Syllabus

    This seminar will confront the legal and social conditions that promote injustice and the ways diverse communities yield to the judicial system\'s failings. Our inquiry will identify how the problem of injustice is situated at the local and national levels. Foundational legal doctrines will be mined, including the shift from lawyer-free to lawyer-driven trials, right to counsel, burden of proof, and the development of plea bargaining. We will then turn to the shapers of justice and examine the problem from the perspective of the prosecutor, police, defense attorney, and judge. In the end, a view of how the system works, and does not work, will emerge. And finally, we will ask what social forces perpetuate the misdiagnosis of this state of affairs.