Criminal Procedure and Evidence

Course Number: CRIMLJUS 6330
Course Name: Criminal Procedure and Evidence (Online)
Course Description:    A study of case law defining constitutional constraints on police behavior in the areas of arrest, search and seizure, interrogation, identification and investigation; rules on the exclusion of illegally seized evidence.
Prerequisites:    None
Level: Graduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online
Program: Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to

  • Define the concepts of seizure, search, reasonableness and probable cause through U.S. Supreme Court cases concerning the Fourth Amendment.
  • Define "custody" and "interrogation" through U.S. Supreme Court cases interpreting the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.
  • Explain how the concept of due process under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments has been defined by the U.S. Supreme Court in identification and investigation procedures.
  • Identify the view of the U.S. Supreme Court majority regarding the proper role of courts in supervising police behavior in the 1960s, the 1980s, and the present.
  • Identify the holdings of the U.S. Supreme Court in key criminal procedure cases.
  • Distinguish the reasoning of dissenters from that of the majority in key criminal procedure cases.
  • Locate recent lower court cases in which key Supreme Court cases have been used as precedent.
  • Using a standard briefing format, analyze any assigned appeals court case.
  • Define the "new federalism" and appraise its effect on workers in the criminal justice system.

Unit Descriptions
Course Organization and Assignment Descriptions

Unit 1: Defining Search and Seizure
The first part of the course looks briefly at the history and philosophy of the Fourth Amendment, and then takes a close look at the definitions of search, seizure, probable cause, and reasonableness that have evolved during the work of two groups of justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, roughly labeled "the Warren Court" and "the Rehnquist Court."

Unit 2: Specifics of Search and Seizure Law
While Unit 1 was largely devoted to definitions of broad philosophical concepts, Unit 2 is more pragmatic, defining the limits of various kinds of law enforcement activities such as search warrant execution and the use of roadblocks to find drunk drivers.

Unit 3: Due Process and the Individual
Several topics are covered in this final unit. Due process regarding searches for other than criminal purposes (special-needs searches), interrogation, identification, and use of illegally seized evidence in criminal proceedings are discussed.

In Unit 3, we examine several of the situations in which people may feel the government: on-the-job drug screening, protection against being identified by a witness as the perpetrator of a crime that one did not commit.

Grading Criteria for Activities

Assignment Possible Points
Repeatable Quizzes (10 @ 10 pts. each) 100 points
Briefs and Critiques (4 @ 100 pts. each) 400 points
Group Collaborations (3) 100 points
Research Paper 100 points
Final Examination* 100 points
Total: 700 points (800 with Final Exam)

*The final exam is an instructor's option and will only be part of this course if needed. If included, total course points will equal 800 and grading scale will be adjusted accordingly.

Grading Scale

A Distinguished 90% - 100% 620 - 700 points
B Proficient 80% - 89% 540 - 619 points
C Limited 70% - 79% 460 - 539 points
D Unsatisfactory, but Passing 60% - 69% 380 - 459 points


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