• The Trials of Darryl Hunt
http://darrylhunt.journalnow.com

The most astonishing story I’ve ever read/heard/viewed
Watch this brief video on the astonishing book, just released: “Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption”
http://www.amazon.com/gp/mpd/permalink/mVGP11B9DQJ29

Featured on CBS “60 Minutes”
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/06/60minutes/main4848039.shtml

Featured on NPR:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101469307

Here’s more on this remarkable story:
http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/1896.php


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Additional readings:
These are wonderful examples of the work investigative journalists have done:

1. Center for Public Integrity: Harmful Error Series
http://www.publicintegrity.org/pm/default.aspx

2. “Win At All Costs” Series
http://www.post-gazette.com/win/
Bill Moushey at the Innocence Institute at Point Park University (http://www.pointpark.edu/default.aspx?id=1246

3. The Chicago Tribune Series:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-dpdpclemency-special,0,7602742.special

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/specials/chi-dplegacyofwrongfulconvictions-special,0,3526892.special

****************************************************************************************

Watch:

1. Faces of the Wrongfully Convicted:
http://www.facesofwrongfulconviction.org/videos.htm

2. DNA Helps Free Inmate After 27 Years:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/02/60minutes/main4065454.shtml

3. OSU Art Professor Julie Green has created an art installation that has gained national recognition. “The Last Supper” is fascinating:
http://www.greenjulie.com/

Read:

1. Fix the System:
http://www.innocenceproject.org/fix/

2. Reform efforts:
http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/248.php

3. Eyewitness Misidentification Reform:
http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/165.php

4. Young people build momentum to fix the criminal justice system – Here’s how you can help The Innocence Project’s new “947 Years” campaign is reaching thousands of high school and college students across the U.S. each week. Students from all 50 states have signed the petition for DNA access, and thousands of people have watched our new two-minute video: “Freed by DNA.”
Visit the new website and watch the video today: http://ip.convio.net/site/R?i=YSeKshmDJqYsJGGgYO7qYQ..

Young people are affected by wrongful convictions and they are uniquely positioned to help prevent injustice if they learn about these issues and get involved now. More than one-third of the 216 people exonerated by DNA testing were 22 or under when they were arrested. They served a combined 947 years in prison, losing the prime of their lives for crimes they didn’t commit. The Innocence Project’s new campaign is increasing youth awareness of the causes of wrongful convictions and engaging young people in efforts to reform the criminal justice system.

On Thursday, Brandeis University student Cindy Kaplan wrote on the Innocence Blog about the club she started at Brandeis to raise awareness about wrongful convictions. “Groups like this can’t just exist at Brandeis,” she wrote. “We need to see students mobilizing around this issue on college campuses and high schools around the country. Innocent people are having their lives torn away from them every day, and we have the power to voice the need for change.” Read her full blog post here.

You can help the Innocence Project reach young people with this campaign. Visit our site to send a call to action to young people you know, as well as teachers and parents.
http://ip.convio.net/site/R?i=jxjU-5wRCGfwU3uVlfbLXQ..

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Two days to execution, still no DNA test For nearly 25 years, Tommy Arthur has sat on Alabama’s death row. His appeals have been repeatedly denied, and he is now scheduled to die on Thursday night, July 31, despite the fact that critical evidence in his case has still not been subjected to DNA testing. The evidence could help show whether Arthur is guilty or innocent, and Alabama Gov. Bob Riley has the authority to order the tests, but he has refused to do so. In recent weeks, thousands of Innocence Project supporters have sent emails directly to Riley, urging him to order DNA testing in the case. Last year, Riley’s aides insisted that state governors couldn’t order DNA tests, but George W. Bush ordered testing for a death row inmate when he was the governor of Texas and several other governors have done the same. Nationwide, 16 people who served time on death row for crimes they didn’t commit have been exonerated by DNA evidence.
http://ip.convio.net/site/R?i=hqnqFO-UhTtO-PHq380udA

****************************************************************************************************************************

Reality show on DNA exoneration stirs ethics issues
USA Today – USA
By Shaul Schwarz, Discovery Channel By Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY For the first time, reality TV will explore the growing use of DNA evidence to exonerate the


Read more on the War on Justice
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92528583&sc=emaf

The New York Times reports on a federal report that slams Cook County jail for horrible conditions. It’s right out of Courtroom 302. I’ve included the link and actual story from today below:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/18/us/18cook.html?ex=1217131200&en=c55ab9aea1fdf2cc&ei=5070&emc=eta1

*******************************************************************************************
HERE’S A CASE FROM OSU’S SOCIOLOGY PROF. M. INDERBITZEN AND HER BLOG

***********************************************************************************************

Resources on the Death Penalty:

Read:
The death penalty’s other victims
By David Lindorff

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2001/01/02/death_penalty/index.html

Blind Justice: Study on Death Penalty Juries
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/BlindJusticeES.pdf

Blind Justice: Juries Deciding Life and Death With Only Half the Truth
A new study by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), entitled Blind Justice: Juries Deciding Life and Death With Only Half the Truth, illustrates that juries in capital cases are often not provided with the whole truth in order to make their life-and-death decisions. The study enumerates the sources of some of these half-truths, including prosecutors withholding exculpatory evidence or presenting questionable scientific evidence as undeniable evidence of guilt. Additionally, defense lawyers can be unqualified, incompetent, and underpaid, thus compromising the defendant’s right to a thorough defense. In fact, DPIC cited a 2000 study (Liebman et al.) that found that “two-thirds of the death penalty trials reviewed by appellate courts between 1973 and 1995 contained serious violations of law.”
DPIC reported that prosecutorial misconduct played a significant role in 62% of the convictions overturned since 2000, stating that the pressure to solve a murder can lead prosecutors and detectives to portray a suspect as clearly guilty and deserving of death even with evidence to the contrary. According to DPIC, prosecutors can also withhold vital evidence of innocence, and there is no real punishment for those who do so. A study by the Chicago Tribune found that 381 defendants in homicide cases have had their convictions thrown out because prosecutors withheld evidence or presented evidence they knew to be false. 67 of these defendants had been sentenced to death. DPIC also asserted that the state can present DNA evidence as infallible evidence of guilt, even when concerns are growing about contaminated, mishandled, or misinterpreted DNA evidence in labs around the country. In addition, the study documented cases wherein prosecutors based their case on testimony from jailhouse informants, even if they have lied in the past, without informing the jury of the incentives given to these informants.
The study also presented cases of defendants being represented by underpaid and unqualified defense attorneys and argued that there are numerous cases of lawyers sleeping in court or failing to investigate or present all the evidence. DPIC concluded that “states have not provided effective lawyers for capital cases because they have been unwilling to supply the resources that such representation demands…most capital defendants go to trial heavily outgunned by the prosecution.”

Death Penalty Information Center website. Explore the website. It is an excellent resource for your final projects, if this is the topic you choose.
For this week please follow and read the links below. Note that I have provided a variety of viewpoints related to the death penalty. There are other perspectives as well. If you choose to explore this topic in your final project you will need to immerse yourself in all the complexities of the issue.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/

Read: The Death Penalty and Race
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=45&did=539

Read: On Innocence
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=412&scid=6

Read: Death Penalty is arbitrary
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=1328

OPPOSING VIEWS:

“The Myth of Innocence” by Astoria, Oregon District Attorney Joshua Marquis (nationally known critic of innocence project work.)
https://www.nationalreview.com/comment/marquis200501270742.asp

Joshua Marquis, district attorney of Clatsop County, in Astoria, Oregon, since 1994, is a former president of the Oregon District Attorney’s Association and serves on the board of directors of the National District Attorney’s Association as co-chair of the Capital Litigation Committee. He debates the death penalty across America and in Europe and Mexico. He is one of six authors of Debating the Death Penalty, just released by Oxford University Press of New York.

Death penalty/Innocence critics:

http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/DPIC.htm

http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/DP.html

“We’re not executing the innocent” Wall Street Journal
http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/Liebman/Cassell_Innocents.htm

Death penalty is a deterrent: Gov. George Pataki speech
http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/Articles/Pataki.htm

***************************************************************************************************

Here’s the syllabus to my Liberal Studies 428 Summer 2008 course:

American Justice: Race, Class, Power and the Press

I’m posting the syllabus because it has a solid list of resources (books, articles, studies, websites etc…)

LS 428 Intersections
Summer 2008 Syllabus

SU08 Theme
American Justice: Race, Class, Power and the Press

Instructor Contact Information
Pam Cytrynbaum
541-207-3747
pamc@oregonstate.edu

SPREAD OF INNOCENCE PROJECTS SEEN AS
‘NEW CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT’
-Dallas Morning News
Class Overview
This course is an interdisciplinary writing intensive course for Liberal Studies majors. Our theme is the American criminal justice system. We will examine how the system works, for whom it works, how it is set up to work, what happens when it fails, and for whom it fails. We will explore the system from a variety of perspectives – political, economic, racial, sociological, historical, making it a perfect fit for LS students. In this class we will read, write, and discuss the myths and realities of American justice that we experience on the local and national level.

The course will involve reading, writing, discussion boards, videos, possible field trips and Internet research. Each offers a different way to approach the subject matter, and each provides something different to your understanding of events and ideas. We will also focus on improving your writing skills through a variety of assignments. This will include graded and ungraded assignments, informal and formal papers, and feedback and rewriting opportunities. Comprehending justice from an interdisciplinary point of view and becoming better writers requires you to actively participate. Your success depends on your involvement in this class.

Required Texts
There are several required books for this class. All are available for purchase from the OSU Bookstore or inexpensively through Amazon.com. These are not textbooks. All are highly readable and well written. All but one are available in paperback. Expect additional readings and videos that will be available on Blackboard as we progress through the term.

1. Author: Barry Scheck, Peter Neufeld
Title: Actual Innocence
Publisher: New American Library
Edition: 2003
ISBN: 0-451-20982-6

2. Author: Steve Bogira
Title: Courtroom 302
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 0-679-43252-3

3. Author: David Protess and Rob Warden
Title: A Promise of Justice
Publisher: Hyperion
Edition: 1998
ISBN: 0-7868-6294-7

Course Objectives
Students will…
• Be able to critically evaluate key issues in research related to American justice
• Understand relationships among players in the criminal justice system
• Consider alternative viewpoints
• Be able to critically evaluate the ways cultural, political, economic, gender, and socio-economic variables interact within the justice system
• Actively participate in discussion boards
• Engage in free writing assignments
• Demonstrate the ability to revise and edit writing drafts
• Engage in critical analysis of course assignments and accurately cite sources
• Become proficient in writing short and long written pieces
• Develop a persuasive editorial on a controversial topic
• Critically analyze and understand written and visual arguments
• Write and revise final creative project
• Connect learning in this course to overall educational and career goals

This is not a class you can do on your own time (ie: all in Week 10). You have weekly reading/viewing and writing assignments, as well as longer-term projects with specific due dates. The course requires weekly, active participation from you and from me.

All Discussion Board posts are due by the Friday of each week, unless otherwise marked. If I hear from you that there is too much — or too little:) — work, or that the deadlines or work feel unreasonable, I will adjust things accordingly. Do not let things get backed up. I’d MUCH RATHER hear from you early and make changes as we go along so we’re all clear throughout the course.

I set up the Discussion Board to allow you to post separately – each week – your reactions to the readings and your other assignments. The sections for you to post in are marked by week and topic. Each post has guiding questions that should inform your answers. You must also read your classmates’ posts and be in dialogue with them.

As always, your posts must be respectful and civil no matter how intensely you disagree with the opinions presented. This course tackles some of the nation’s hot-button issues. They, and we, deserve a free, open and respectful conversation.

If any of you are in Corvallis or nearby, I’d love it if we could set up a time to get together to meet in person and talk (not required, just fun mainly for me!)

Writing Assignments
This course is a writing intensive course. We will use the lens of the American criminal justice system as a vehicle to improve writing proficiency and critical thinking skills. In this class, you will learn not to see writing as a one-time activity – instead, in this class you will be asked to see writing as a process involving multiple steps, including pre-writing, drafting, and revising. Writing is not, however, merely a three-step process either – it is a flowing process in which each individual writer functions differently based on their composing style.

Each writing assignment should be 12-pt font, double spaced, with 1 inch margins. All writing assignments need to be submitted to the instructor through Blackboard by the date and time identified each week. Late work will be graded down a letter grade for every day it is turned in after the deadline.

• Free-Writing Assignment – 2 pgs (500 words)
• Final Project Outline – 2 pgs (500 words)
• Critical Book Review – 2 pgs (500 words)
• Critical Documentary Review – 4 pgs (1000 words)
• Paper Rewrite of any of the assigned writing work
• Final Project – Two drafts 7 pgs (1200-1500 words)

Grading
There are no exams for this course. Your grade is based on writing assignments, the completion of a final project, and participation in class discussion boards.

Assignments:
• Writing Assignments:
Free-Writing (5)
Outline of Final Project (5)
Critical Book Review (15)
Critical Film Review (20)

• Final Project:
First draft (5)
Final project (20)

• Discussion Boards/Participation: (25)

Discussion Boards
Discussion boards are your opportunity to engage the ideas of the class, to help strengthen your own arguments and opinions, and to learn from others. Since we can not see each other face-to-face in a classroom, the discussion boards are the venue we will use to explore our readings, react to written assignments, collaborate over shared ideals, and share our experiences as we explore the many facets of the American justice.

This is a small class, so you will have to participate frequently to make the discussions work well. You will need to log-in to Blackboard several times a week to post your ideas and statements regarding the week’s topics and to respond to other people’s posts. I will create discussion board forums with discussion topics for each week. You are required to participate. Failure to participate in discussion boards will automatically lower your overall course grade.

Course Outline
The outline below highlights the topic and readings for each week. The “Assignments” section of Blackboard provides details regarding each of the assignments. Assignments may change as we progress through the term.

Week 1 – Introductions and Setting the Stage June 23 – June 27
• Read:
Read the first half of “Courtroom 302”

Read through the Innocence Project’s youth project: http://www.innocenceproject.org/fix/947/index.php

Read this introduction to the criminal justice system: http://www.justicejournalism.org/crimeguide/chapter01/chapter01_pg03.html#thearrestprocess


• Write:
o DO THIS FREE-WRITE ASSIGNMENT BEFORE YOU DO ANY CLASS READINGS!!

Introductory free write: What is “justice” to you? Describe your impressions of the American criminal justice system. What are your assumptions about what does and does not occur in courtrooms across America? Where do your ideas come from: television, real-life experience, courses? Is the criminal justice system fair? If yes why? If no why not? Post your free-writing assignment, read and respond to your classmates’ free writes. Explore the diversity of ideals/values illustrated in the free writing assignments. Do you see areas of common ground? Opposing ideas? What strengths do other students bring to the class?
Put your response in the discussion forum I set up for this assignment.
o 2 pages – 500 words

• Additional Discussion Board Assignments:
o 1A: Welcome to class. Tell us about yourself. What brings you to this course? Why are you taking it? What are you hoping to get out of it? What are you interested in learning about?
o 1B: After completing the first week’s reading and the free write assignments – what surprised you about your own reactions and those of your classmates?

Week 2 – The Courts and Convictions June 30 – July 3
Introduction to Factors in wrongful convictions
(Police/Prosecutorial Misconduct, Eyewitness Misidentification; Snitches; False Confessions; Junk Science; Ineffective Assistance of Counsel; Race/Class)
o • Read:

o Finish “Courtroom 302” and begin “Actual Innocence.”

Read through the “Understand the Causes” section of the Innocence Project’s website:
http://www.innocenceproject.org/understand/

Read the quick Fact Sheet:
http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/351.php

View interviews with exonerees:
http://www.innocenceproject.org/news/AV-Archive.php

View the documentary “After Innocence,” which is available through Netflix or in most video stores. Directed by Jessica Sanders, written by Marc Simon. Pay particular attention to the case of Jennifer Thompson and Ronald Cotton, as well as the cases of Dennis Maher of Massachusetts and Wilton Dedge of Florida.
Review: Review Summary
“Calm, deliberate and devastating, Jessica Sanders’s documentary confirms many of the worst fears about weaknesses in the American criminal-justice system. In examining the cases of seven men wrongly convicted of murder and rape and exonerated years later by DNA evidence, the film reinforces the queasy feelings you have while following high-profile criminal trials. The film, written by Ms. Sanders and Marc Simon, was made in collaboration with the Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal clinic founded in 1992 by the lawyers Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in Manhattan. The clinic handles only cases in which post-conviction DNA testing can yield conclusive proof of innocence. Its work has helped exonerate more than 160 people, and it estimates that DNA testing could free thousands more.” — Stephen Holden, The New York Times

• Discussion board:
o 2A: Courtroom 302: Write a letter to author Steve Bogira. Tell him your thoughts on his book, “Courtroom 302: A Year Behind the Scenes in an American Criminal Courthouse.” What questions do you have for him – about his writing, his reporting, his opinions, his reasons for writing the book? Describe your experience reading it. Were you surprised? Shocked? Offended? Bored? Outraged? BE SPECIFIC. Use specific examples from the text to back up your opinions, your questions and your own analysis.

Week 3 – Seeing and Believing: Eyewitness Misidentification in Wrongful Convictions July 7 – July 11

Read: Finish “Actual Innocence”

Additional readings:
Paste the URLs and you’ll get the sites I want you to read and/or view. (Don’t panic. Several of these are quickly viewed and the rest are interesting, fast reads.)

1. The Chicago Tribune’s “Trial and Error” Series
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-dptrialerror-special,0,632955.special

2. Website of Gary Wells, the nation’s expert on eyewitness misidentification
(This is for your reference. Check it out but you do not have to read through the entire thing!) http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/FACULTY/gwells/homepage.htm

YOU DO HAVE TO take the eyewitness test: http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/FACULTY/gwells/theeyewitnesstest.html

3. Chicago Tribune: When Believing isn’t Seeing
http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/FACULTY/gwells/chicagotribunesept30.html

4. Chicago Tribune multimedia series on eyewitness misidentification:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/specials/broadband/chi-tx-htmlstory,0,7935000.htmlstory

5. Examples of biased and unbiased lineups:
http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/FACULTY/gwells/badandgoodlineups.htm

6. ABC News on eyewitness case:
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=2115406

Write:
Write 2 pages (500 words) in which you begin to outline your ideas for the final project. Which project are you learning towards and why? What types of research will you complete – outside secondary, primary, field research? Provide a basic thesis statement and outline of your project. Plan out your time over the next 4 weeks as it pertains to this project and include these deadlines in your paper (make sure to look ahead at future reading/writing assignments).

Discussion Board:
o 3A: As you read through “Actual Innocence” and learned the factors that contribute to wrongful convictions and you heard the stories and saw the faces of the wrongfully convicted, what common themes do you notice? WHO are the wrongfully convicted? What part do race, class, education and gender play in our criminal justice system? There are crucial differences in the way some people are treated. Is it fair? Is it just? What are those differences? Who benefits? Who loses? What do you think one needs to be fairly treated by the American justice system? What is a fair trial?

Week 4 – On Penalty of Death July 14 – July 18
Read:
The death penalty’s other victims
By David Lindorff

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2001/01/02/death_penalty/index.html

Blind Justice: Study on Death Penalty Juries
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/BlindJusticeES.pdf
Summary: Blind Justice: Juries Deciding Life and Death With Only Half the Truth
A new study by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), entitled Blind Justice: Juries Deciding Life and Death With Only Half the Truth, illustrates that juries in capital cases are often not provided with the whole truth in order to make their life-and-death decisions. The study enumerates the sources of some of these half-truths, including prosecutors withholding exculpatory evidence or presenting questionable scientific evidence as undeniable evidence of guilt. Additionally, defense lawyers can be unqualified, incompetent, and underpaid, thus compromising the defendant’s right to a thorough defense. In fact, DPIC cited a 2000 study (Liebman et al.) that found that “two-thirds of the death penalty trials reviewed by appellate courts between 1973 and 1995 contained serious violations of law.”
DPIC reported that prosecutorial misconduct played a significant role in 62% of the convictions overturned since 2000, stating that the pressure to solve a murder can lead prosecutors and detectives to portray a suspect as clearly guilty and deserving of death even with evidence to the contrary. According to DPIC, prosecutors can also withhold vital evidence of innocence, and there is no real punishment for those who do so. A study by the Chicago Tribune found that 381 defendants in homicide cases have had their convictions thrown out because prosecutors withheld evidence or presented evidence they knew to be false. 67 of these defendants had been sentenced to death. DPIC also asserted that the state can present DNA evidence as infallible evidence of guilt, even when concerns are growing about contaminated, mishandled, or misinterpreted DNA evidence in labs around the country. In addition, the study documented cases wherein prosecutors based their case on testimony from jailhouse informants, even if they have lied in the past, without informing the jury of the incentives given to these informants.
The study also presented cases of defendants being represented by underpaid and unqualified defense attorneys and argued that there are numerous cases of lawyers sleeping in court or failing to investigate or present all the evidence. DPIC concluded that “states have not provided effective lawyers for capital cases because they have been unwilling to supply the resources that such representation demands…most capital defendants go to trial heavily outgunned by the prosecution.”

Death Penalty Information Center website. Explore the website. It is an excellent resource for your final projects, if this is the topic you choose.
For this week please follow and read the links below. Note that I have provided a variety of viewpoints related to the death penalty. There are other perspectives as well. If you choose to explore this topic in your final project you will need to immerse yourself in all the complexities of the issue.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/

Read: The Death Penalty and Race
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=45&did=539

Read: On Innocence
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=412&scid=6

Read: Death Penalty is arbitrary
http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=1328

OPPOSING VIEWS:

“The Myth of Innocence” by Astoria, Oregon District Attorney Joshua Marquis (nationally known critic of innocence project work.)
https://www.nationalreview.com/comment/marquis200501270742.asp
Joshua Marquis, district attorney of Clatsop County, in Astoria, Oregon, since 1994, is a former president of the Oregon District Attorney’s Association and serves on the board of directors of the National District Attorney’s Association as co-chair of the Capital Litigation Committee. He debates the death penalty across America and in Europe and Mexico. He is one of six authors of Debating the Death Penalty, just released by Oxford University Press of New York.
Death penalty/Innocence critics:
http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/DPIC.htm

http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/DP.html

“We’re not executing the innocent” Wall Street Journal
http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/Liebman/Cassell_Innocents.htm

Death penalty is a deterrent: Gov. George Pataki speech
http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/Articles/Pataki.htm

Discussion board:
o 4A: Follow and read the links and articles from the perspectives above. In a thoughtful, calm, well-reasoned and well-researched post, use evidence from the readings provided (and as always, you are free to find more) to answer the following questions:
1. Is the death penalty fair? Why or why not?
2. I support/do not support the use of the death penalty because (you must list three reasons backed up by research that you cite.) If you choose not to pick a “side” you are free to explore evidence offered by both sides and evaluate how compelling each piece is. The point of the post is to show me you’ve done the reading and to demonstrate you are thinking critically and analytically about the research through writing.

• Write: Critical Book Review due next week:
Select a book from the list below and write a critical analysis and review. Write a 500-word (or two page) review that must include:
1. A brief summary of the book, the author’s main thesis and main points. If you only provide a summary, you are not writing a critical book review and will not get credit for the assignment.
2. Your analysis of the book. The analysis must include: What were the strengths, weaknesses; What was missing? Whose voice/perspective was missing? What was thorough? What was the author’s perspective? What key questions did the author/authors ask by writing this book? What key questions were answered? What did you think of the writing, the writer’s voice or tone? Did you like the person writing the book? Was there a clear bias? You must provide specific examples from the text (cite the page number) to back up your argument and opinions. Would you recommend this book to someone interested in the topic? Why or why not?
3. Post your book review by NEXT WEDNESDAY and respond to others

SELECT ONE BOOK FROM THE LIST BELOW FOR YOUR BOOK REVIEW:
**You may select your own book choice but you must clear it with me first.

Author: Sister Helen Prejean
Title: The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions
Publisher: Random House

Author: David Feige
Title: Indefensible: One Lawyer’s Journey Into the Inferno of American Justice
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, Boston
Edition: 2006
ISBN: 978-0-316-15623-3

Author: Edited by Lola Vollen and Dave Eggers
Title: Surviving Justice
Publisher: Voice of Witness, McSweeney’s Books, San Francisco
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 1-932416-23-4

Author: Bill Kurtis
Title: The Death Penalty On Trial: Crisis in American Justice
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Edition: 2004
ISBN: 1-58648-169-x

Author: Murat Kurnaz
Title: Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (April 1, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0230603742
ISBN-13: 978-0230603745

Author: Eric Lichtblau
Title: Bush’s Law: The Remaking of American Justice
Publisher: Pantheon (2008)
ISBN-10: 037542492X
ISBN-13: 978-0375424922

Author: David Protess and Rob Warden
Title: Gone in the Night

Week 5 – Journalists on the case
July 21 – July 25

Read: “A Promise of Justice”

Additional readings:

1. “Win At All Costs” Series
http://www.post-gazette.com/win/
Bill Moushey at the Innocence Institute at Point Park University (http://www.pointpark.edu/default.aspx?id=1246

2. The Chicago Tribune Series:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-dpdpclemency-special,0,7602742.special

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/specials/chi-dplegacyofwrongfulconvictions-special,0,3526892.special

• Discussion board:
o 5A: As you read “A Promise of Justice” and the stories written by the investigative reporters, what similarities do you notice? Are there themes or situations that keep coming up in these cases? If so, identify them. Since fewer than 10 percent of all possible innocence cases have any DNA evidence available, the work of the few journalists out there is often their only chance at exoneration. Shrinking resources and major cutbacks in newsrooms mean fewer and fewer reporters have the time or resources to do these lengthy investigations. Does it matter if these cases go unexplored?
Whose responsibility are they?
o 5B: Write a mini review of “A Promise of Justice.” Did you like the book? Why or why not? What do you think about the role of undergraduate students working on the case? How did they know what to do? What kind of experience do you think they leave college with after doing that kind of investigative journalism? Should college students be given that kind of real-world responsibility? Why or why not?

• Write: Critical film review
After viewing the film, read through their website:
http://darrylhunt.journalnow.com

o This assignment should be 4 pages (1000 words):
• 1) Write a critical film review of The Trials of Darryl Hunt, the documentary, in which you outline the primary argument of the film, the evidence used to make that point, and your opinion of the strengths and weaknesses of that argument. Consider how the argument is made in the film, remembering to assess both visual and audio components of the documentary.
2) Consider and develop an argument around one of the points of the documentary
• NOTE: A critical film review provides a basic idea of what the film is about and provides the writer’s critical assessment of the success/failure or effectiveness/ineffectiveness of the film in an essay format that is supported by evidence. It is more than a plot synopsis and opinion-based adjectives and/or publicity hype. NOTE: if you are providing only plot synopsis you are not writing a critical film review. The key to writing a good review is to know what you think and why you think it.

Week 6 – July 28 – August 1 Faces of Innocence and Reform Efforts
Watch:
1. Faces of the Wrongfully Convicted:
http://www.facesofwrongfulconviction.org/videos.htm

2. DNA Helps Free Inmate After 27 Years:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/02/60minutes/main4065454.shtml

3. OSU Art Professor Julie Green has created an art installation that has gained national recognition. “The Last Supper” is fascinating:
http://www.greenjulie.com/

Read:

1. Fix the System:
http://www.innocenceproject.org/fix/

2. Reform efforts:
http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/248.php

3. Eyewitness Misidentification Reform:
http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/165.php

4. Young people build momentum to fix the criminal justice system – Here’s how you can help The Innocence Project’s new “947 Years” campaign is reaching thousands of high school and college students across the U.S. each week. Students from all 50 states have signed the petition for DNA access, and thousands of people have watched our new two-minute video: “Freed by DNA.”
Visit the new website and watch the video today: http://ip.convio.net/site/R?i=YSeKshmDJqYsJGGgYO7qYQ..

Young people are affected by wrongful convictions and they are uniquely positioned to help prevent injustice if they learn about these issues and get involved now. More than one-third of the 216 people exonerated by DNA testing were 22 or under when they were arrested. They served a combined 947 years in prison, losing the prime of their lives for crimes they didn’t commit. The Innocence Project’s new campaign is increasing youth awareness of the causes of wrongful convictions and engaging young people in efforts to reform the criminal justice system.

On Thursday, Brandeis University student Cindy Kaplan wrote on the Innocence Blog about the club she started at Brandeis to raise awareness about wrongful convictions. “Groups like this can’t just exist at Brandeis,” she wrote. “We need to see students mobilizing around this issue on college campuses and high schools around the country. Innocent people are having their lives torn away from them every day, and we have the power to voice the need for change.” Read her full blog post here.

You can help the Innocence Project reach young people with this campaign. Visit our site to send a call to action to young people you know, as well as teachers and parents.
http://ip.convio.net/site/R?i=jxjU-5wRCGfwU3uVlfbLXQ..

• Write:
Post first draft of final project.
o Look forward to Week 8 and the final projects. Review your initial ideas in Week 3 and remember, your final project is due in a matter of days. The project constitutes approximately 25% of your final grade. Take the initial assignment completed in Week 3 and expand your work into a rough draft of your final project. Include rough drafts of all components of your work – written work, videos, pictures, etc. Also include an outline of the work you plan to complete for the project and a timeline outlining when and how this work will be completed. This work will be graded and returned promptly. You will be expected to use this commentary to help finalize your project. 750 words

• Discussion Board:
o 6A: After reading through the various efforts continuing to reform the system, and reading through the Innocence Project’s “947 Years” reaching out to people your age, evaluate these efforts. Do the reforms make sense within the current system?

• 6B: Post your draft of your final project.

Week 7 – August 4 – August 8 Police and Prosecutorial Misconduct and False Confessions
Read:
Center for Public Integrity: Harmful Error Series
http://www.publicintegrity.org/pm/default.aspx

View:
The documentary “Deadline”
(available through Netflix or in any video store)
Summary: In January 2003, Republican Governor George Ryan granted blanket clemency to all 167 people on death row in Illinois, commuting their sentences to life without parole. With astounding access to special clemency hearings, the death row prisoners, exonerated men and Governor Ryan himself, directors Katy Chevigny and Kirsten Johnson bring us directly into the emotional and legal storm surrounding Ryan’s extraordinary decision.

• Write:
Rewrite and post of any of the previously graded writing assignments. This is your opportunity to incorporate commentary and suggestions and improve your previous grade. Have your ideas changed over the course of the summer? Do you want to revamp an argument you made earlier? This is your chance to change your mind and change your grade. The higher of the two grades for your rewrite will be included in your final grade.

• Discussion Board:
o 7A: From prior readings and this week’s Harmful Error series I’d like you to explore the relationship between the culture of winning and “tunnel vision” experienced by many police and prosecutors and its impact on wrongful convictions. What are the consequences of the tremendous pressure from higher ups, media, victims’ families and their peers to “clear cases” and “catch the bad guy at all costs,” From what you have read, how does the law enforcement culture relate to wrongful convictions. What are the incentives to admit you might be wrong and reopen the case? What are the hinderances?
What about the idea of punishing police and prosecutors who commit misconduct? Research shows that is almost never done, so there is, essentially, no real deterrent or punishment for those in power who continue the broken system. Thinking about what you now know, what solutions seem most possible and realistic?

o 7B: After his legendary decision regarding the death penalty in Illinois, former Illinois Gov. George Ryan was convicted on sweeping federal corruption charges of wielding power to help himself and his friends and sent to prison. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/custom/newsroom/chi-060417ryantrial,0,4525779.story
After watching “Deadline,” what do you think his legacy should be?

Week 8 – August 11 – August 15 Final Projects and Evaluations
• Post your final projects!!

Discussion Board:
o 8A: Post a brief introduction to your final project. Describe what you did, how you came to it, what you wanted to accomplish by doing it, what you hope we get out of it and what you got out of doing it.
o 8B: This is your chance to provide an informal course evaluation (you will also be asked to complete an anonymous, formal evaluation). What worked in this class? What did not? How did this course relate to your Liberal Studies plan? Your career goals?

Final Project Options

Final projects are due by 5:00PM PST on Thursday, August 14. No late projects will be accepted.

Please review the following projects and choose one to complete. Contact me by e-mail with questions you have.

#1 “If Only” …Wrongful Convictions Research Project
This is the “traditional” option.
Through online research, outside reading, and course assignments, write an essay in which you choose an existing case of a wrongful conviction and explore the factors that lead to that conviction. Think of it as a case autopsy, where you dissect the failing parts – the failures of people, of policy, of politics. You may choose a case we explored in class or select one you find from your own research. After you have explained what went wrong, suggest ways this injustice could have been avoided. For example, “If the initial responding police officer had not ignored the statements by…” or “If the new eyewitness identification procedures had been in place and had been properly followed….”
This is your chance to, in a sense, rewrite history. You may use any variety of multimedia or visuals to illuminate your ideas or to bring your work to life.

#2 Multimedia/Performance/Artistic rendering of your learning
Read the play “The Exonerated.”
Through online research, outside reading and viewing the documentaries chronicling the experiences of the hundreds of the exonerated individuals, create an artistic or multimedia project that reflects your understanding of their experience. You may choose one exoneree’s story or you may select several. You must be certain to give full and direct credit to any words or images you use. Using the words, images, stories of the exonerated, find a new way to explore those stories through your own artistic filter. You may create a website which illustrates your research. You could include music or poetry which helps to illustrate your ideas. I WILL NOT accept magazine or newspaper pictures glued onto paper in a collage, known by my colleagues as the “Cosmolage.”
It could include images, videos, music, weblinks, movie clips, blogs, etc. You must reflect and respect the experience of these people by sharing your experience in learning about them. All mediums, however, must include a writing component of at least 1200 words.

#3 Field Experience (WARNING: This assignment requires you to think way ahead and make specific arrangements long before the assignment is due!!)
Arrange to spend the day in a location that encapsulates the worlds we are studying. You may spend a day observing a courtoom (criminal, civil, youth, family, traffic). You may visit a juvenile detention center or a prison. You may do a “ride-along” with a police officer or spend a day shadowing a lawyer. If you can talk a judge into letting you observe her/his courtroom and then interview him/her afterwards, or during breaks, that would be fantastic!
In an essay based on primary sources (information you gather through your own observations and interviews) and secondary sources (books, websites, pamphlets/brochures), make a connection between this local site of Ameican justice and the larger nationally debated issues we explored in class.

Plan carefully in advance to ensure your own safety and to obtain any permissions you need to be on this site.
Be creative – come up with an original idea for your field project. Also, this project could be completed entirely in a written form. Feel free to set up a blog for the experience, or write a traditional paper. The final project could also include images, videos, music, weblinks, movie clips, blogs, etc. As with all of the final projects, the written text of this assignment must include at least 1200 words.

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE:

Cool YouTube and tutorial on restorative justice PLS READ/VIEW
In addition to the book review I just sent out, please view the tutorial linked below on restorative justice, as well as the YouTube video.

http://www.restorativejustice.com
is a website describing this worldwide alternative way of approaching issues of justice. Please take the 20-minute tutorial to learn about this process and idea. After you’ve read that, please view the brief videos on YouTube demonstrating and exploring the concept, reality and practice of restorative justice.
Link to the tutorial:
http://www.restorativejustice.org/intro/tutorial

Please view the brief videos on YouTube:
http://www.restorativejustice.org/editions/2007/november07/youtube/

Here’s the basic definition:
http://www.restorativejustice.org/intro/tutorial/definition

*********************************************************

Seeing Isn’t Believing: Eyewitness Misidentification in Wrongful Convictions July 7 – July 11
Read: Finish “Actual Innocence”

Paste the URLs and you’ll get the sites I want you to read and/or view. (Don’t panic. Several of these are quickly viewed and the rest are interesting, fast reads.)

1. The Chicago Tribune’s “Trial and Error” Series
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-dptrialerror-special,0,632955.special

2. Website of Gary Wells, the nation’s expert on eyewitness misidentification
(This is for your reference. Check it out but you do not have to read through the entire thing!) http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/FACULTY/gwells/homepage.htm

YOU DO HAVE TO take the eyewitness test: http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/FACULTY/gwells/theeyewitnesstest.html

3. Chicago Tribune: When Believing isn’t Seeing
http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/FACULTY/gwells/chicagotribunesept30.html

4. Chicago Tribune multimedia series on eyewitness misidentification:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/specials/broadband/chi-tx-htmlstory,0,7935000.htmlstory

5. Examples of biased and unbiased lineups:
http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/FACULTY/gwells/badandgoodlineups.htm

6. ABC News on eyewitness case:
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=2115406

***************************************************************************************************

Here’s a story from Sunday’s Gazette-Times that a classmate has pointed out. I was actually just going to send it out. This has definite relevancy to our class. It’s about a police officer who was put under investigation last year after a lawsuit was finally filed against him by one of the many individuals who say they were swindled into guilty DUI confessions after a night of being harassed. This story was on the cover of the Gazette Times on Sunday.

http://www.gazettetimes.com/articles/2008/07/06/news/community/1aaa02_cox.txt

2. Racial Profiling story in Newsweek:
http://www.newsweek.com/id/88300

3. More on racial profiling:
http://www.aclu.org/racialjustice/racialprofiling/15912pub19990607.html

***********************************************************************************************

Seymour Hersh is one of the nation’s premier investigative reporters. In his 40-year career he has — more than anyone else — uncovered the kind of abuses of power that otherwise would have been silenced. He’s a controvertial figure as well. I’d love to assign all of his stories and books, but since you already have so much to read, please read his most recent New Yorker piece on the link below. It’s an important journalistic view of governmental power related to justice. See what you think:

Seymour Hersh New Yorker story:

Please read the story available through the link below:
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/07/080707fa_fact_hersh

***************************************************************************************

Read through this introduction to the criminal justice system: http://www.justicejournalism.org/crimeguide/chapter01/chapter01_pg03.html#thearrestprocess

* Read through the Innocence Project’s youth project: http://www.innocenceproject.org/fix/947/index.php

***************************************************************************************

Read NEW Supreme Court rulings

Just this week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on issues right up our alley: the death penalty and guns.
Earlier this week I sent out a New York Times article on the death penalty ruling. Below I pasted in the link to several NPR stories and interviews covering a variety of perspectives and aspects about the gun decision. Please take a look at both, as they have huge implications for the American criminal justice system.
Again, thank you for your participation. I’m really pleased to have so many interesting perspectives and minds working on these complicated issues in our class.

Link to NPR stories:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91934889

WHERE WE BEGIN assignment:

Credit goes to OSU’s  Prof. Susan Shaw and her spectacular DPD seminar:

Where we begin ASSIGNMENT
In her response to Courtroom 302, one of your classmates noted thoughtfully her new awareness of the systemic racism present in the system. Here’s how she put it:
“This awakening of some of the racial inconsistencies and prejudices in our country was more than enlightening. Growing up in the Northwest you don’t really see any of this first hand. And when you do see such a case that is heated over race and the NAACP is all over it we just kind of think “Give me a break, we’re so over that. Stop bringing it up,” we say this however not realizing that it’s due to our own lack of diversity in our geographical location. It’s as well hard to recognize the racism when it’s surrounded by criminal convictions, drugs, police batteries, armed robberies, etc. The first thing people are going to notice is the negative tag on the situation and not the individual at the center of it—most often being those of racial minorities. Such racism is latent without pealing away the layers, which is precisely what you have done, and oh how I appreciate it.”

This observation is a perfect opening to an assignment I’d like you to complete for this week.
Where we begin
We all grow up and make our way in the world with a variety of privileges and disadvantages – some of them visible (they’re obvious and we’re aware of them), many of them invisible (we don’t even think about them yet they benefit us every day). Your social class, race, network, hometown, sexual orientation, physical abilities/disabilities, education, family status, parents’ education and background and social class all work together to create privileges or obstacles. Here’s an exercise that lets us see in graphic terms just how those differences help and hinder us in our everyday lives, and then if our lives intersect with the criminal justice system. To be clear: This is not an exercise in judgment or assigning moral value to our lives. The point system reflects the statistical realities we all face

Ideally we’d do this exercise in person, starting with everybody lined up evenly. With each statement, students would take a step backward or forward if the statement applied to them. After finishing, we’d see where everybody ended up and thus begin our “race” to life’s finish line. Since we won’t have the powerful visual of seeing how far forward and backward different people begin, after I get your scores I’ll plot them visually and we’ll see it in a graph form.
— (Credit for this exercise goes to Prof. Susan Shaw, DPD seminar director, director of Women’s Studies. I took her first list and built the second one for purposes of this course.)

Instructions:
Please give yourself one point for every statement I say adds a point, and subtract one point for every statement I say requires you to take a way a point.
We will do two sets of questions. First, answer the questions as they apply to your family of origin, with whom you grew up. The second set will refer to your life now. Please place your final “score” on the Discussion Board forum I put up entitled: Week 4: Where we begin final score.

First set of questions:

Your parents owned their home – add a point
You attended a private school – add a point
Your family used food stamps – subtract a point
You grew up in a neighborhood regarded as safe and well-kept – add a point
You had a car in high school – add a point
Your family shopped mainly at K-Mart, Wal-mart etc.. – subtract a point
One or both of your parents are college-educated – add a point
Your parents work at white collar jobs (professor, lawyer, doctor) – add a point
Your family used public assistance – subtract a point
Your family ate out a lot while you were growing up (not fast food) – add a point
You grew up in a single-parent home – subtract a point
If the single parent was a mother – subtract a point
Your family shopped at Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, Meier and Frank, etc…- add a point
Your family lived in subsidized housing – subtract a point
Your family had to use public transportation (because of no car, not as a political statement) – subtract a point
You grew up in a neighborhood regarded as unsafe – subtract a point
Your family had a country club membership – add a point
Your parents are paying or helping pay for your college education – add a point
You took private music/dance/etc…lessons – add a point
You often wore hand-me-downs – subtract a point
You had regular dental appointments – add a point
Your family attended plays, concerts, museums, etc… – add a point
Your family received charitable gifts for holidays – subtract a point
Your family had a maid or someone who cleaned the house – add a point
Your family employed a nanny for childcare – add a point
Your family had health insurance – add a point
You worked after school to supplement your family’s income – subtract a point
You could not afford college directly so you took time off to work after high school – subtract a point
You had your own CD, DVD, music/entertainment set up in your bedroom growing up – add a point
You attended Head Start as a child – subtract a point
Your family lived in a rental apartment – subtract a point
You had a cell phone or your own phone line growing up – add a point
You received most of your health care at the county health department, clinic or emergency room – subtract a point

Second set of questions:

Please answer these from the perspective of your life now, if you were to get arrested tonight.

You have never been arrested before – add a point
You have a college education or beyond – add a point
You have been arrested before but the charges were dropped – subtract a point
You have been arrested, charged and convicted of a felony – subtract five points
Your family of origin has the financial ability to pay tens of thousands of dollars for your defense – add five points
You have the ability to pay tens of thousands of dollars for your defense – add five points
You can be described as Caucasian, or white – add a point
You are not in the country legally – subtract five points
You have an excellent credit rating – add a point
You are a good looking, tall, white male with a well-paying professional career, an excellent education – add a point
You have a bad credit rating – subtract a point
You can be described as a person of color – subtract a point
You or members of your family have friendly connections with police officers, attorneys or judges in the area – add a point
You follow your religious dictates which require you to cover your head with a scarf or turban, or otherwise dress in a way that calls attention to your religious beliefs – subtract a point
You have friends or family members who are in prison – subtract a point
You have a physical disability (hearing or visual impairment, for example) that requires court assistance – subtract a point
You and members of your family have no connections with police officers, attorneys or judges in the area – subtract a point
Your family paid for you to attend an expensive rehab center at some point in your life – add two points, then subtract one point
You speak English as a second language – subtract a point
You come from a position in society that assumes the criminal justice system is generally fair – add a point
You or your family are from the Middle East – subtract two points
You have a diagnosed learning disability – subtract a point
You have a diagnosed psychological disorder – subtract a point
You do not know anybody who has dealt with the criminal justice system as a defendant – add a point
You do not speak English at all and require a translator – subtract five points
You are on public assistance – subtract a point

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