How the legal system of police detection works and the mechanics of an official accusation (charge). Covered topics include the reasonable suspicion, probable cause, the Fourth and Fifth Amendment, and also the process of indictment. Popular cases and events are incorporated into the lectures.
Students learn the legal elements of crime and how lawyers rely upon them to construct theories of defense. Covered topics include mental state, actus reus, affirmative defenses and popular tactics to negate scienter. Students also learn about the different types of crimes and how the proliferation of criminal codes in the 1900s greatly enhanced charging options and made criminal defense much more difficult.
How the criminal trial arose as a social pageant for legitimate public consequence, and the degree to which the modern adversary system retains the social elements of its past. Does the trial reveal truth or does it manufacture a social conclusion? What are the rules that govern a lawyer's theory of the case: must the underlying basis be true? Particular attention is paid to witch trials, the trial of Socrates and Jesus, and to the modern spectacles involving the OJ Simpson double murder case, the Casey Anthony case, and other controversial verdicts
This module examines theories of judicial choice on the Supreme Court. The two basic theoretical approaches, attitudinal and institutional, are examined. The Court's unanimity and agreement rates are used as a background for assessing the theories, as are individual accounts of famous judicial personalities and cases. At the end a complex and integrated model of judging is provided.
This module is almost exclusively focused upon measures of liberal voting on the Supreme Court and the degree to which political parties have established judicial regimes on the high court. Most of the empirical attention is given to the binary indicies in the Supreme Court Data Set. What do these measures say, and how flawed are they? To what extent do they show that political party voting regimes occur on the Supreme Court?
I'm a tenured full prof at an American university teaching in the areas of American politics, law & courts, and political theory. I am an internationally recognized scholar of Ludwig Wittgenstein and am well published in the field of legal theory.