CJI 0702 Criminal Law, Procedure and Individual Rights
Summer 2018 Mid-Term Writing Assignment
Below are instructions for how the research paper should be written.
MID-TERM WRITING TOPIC
“Exoneration: Criminal Law, Theories of Punishment, and Victimization”
Purpose, Deadlines, and Formatting
Use the topic above to write a 5-page paper (5-pages is the minimum and 7-pages is the maximum) using the quote, poll, and questions below to frame your paper. You are expected to apply what was examined and discussed in this course during the term as the backdrop for your analysis of the research paper. While your paper should not be limited to the questions below, you are required to include a response to each of the questions to your paper (in the order you desire).
(1) In a 1993 Gallup Poll, respondents were asked whether they agreed with the following statement, “It is better for society to let some guilty people go free than to risk convicting an innocent person.”
a. The results: 41% agreed (strongly or somewhat); 56% disagreed (strongly or somewhat).
(2) Central Park Five (also known as the Central Park Jogger Case)
With the above poll and quote and the case and follow-up results of the Central Park Five story/case in mind, consider the following questions.
1. With the number of exoneration cases increasing over the last 25 years since the cited 1993 Gallop Poll, would the results of the original poll be different in 2018? Why or why not?
2. What (if any) impact has the Central Park Five case had on society’s trust for the Criminal Justice System (not just law enforcement?)
3. Would the results of the poll be impacted by the recent publicized police involved shootings?
4. Who are the victims in exoneration cases (i.e. the crime victim, the wrongly accused/convicted, the criminal justice system, society)?
5. Is justice served for the initial crime victim when it is subsequently determined that the wrong person was convicted?
6. Should compensation be automatically awarded to individuals that are exonerated? Who should be responsible for paying financial damages as a result of a wrongful conviction?
7. Although the majority of cases that result in exoneration involve DNA evidence, what happens to criminal cases where the defendant is declaring his/her innocence and there is NO DNA evidence in the case to potentially exonerate (i.e. eyewitness misidentification of a suspect and others)?
8. How are the theories of punishment impacted by exoneration cases?
9. What are the major causes of wrongful convictions and what can be done (if anything) to prevent the increase in wrongful convictions?
10. What is the difference between how the federal government handles wrongful convictions versus the states? Pick a state and compare and contrast how that state handles wrongful conviction lawsuits, versus the federal government.
The paper should not be an abstract one. This, of necessity, requires creativity, not mere regurgitation of something you read up. I expect you to prioritize literature and events that relate to or impact Florida. When you write your paper it is imperative that you also demonstrate your awareness of opposing or alternative ideas or approaches to the problem, and then explain why you think that your proposed approach is the most appropriate. Your paper must use APA formatting ONLY. The NSU library site has links to APA tutorials. Failure to follow APA guidelines will lower your grade.
The paper should be double spaced, properly formatted, and the body of the paper not be shorter than the stipulated number of pages, (in this case, 5-five pages). Cover, abstract, reference pages, etc. do not count for purposes of the length of paper. It must have pagination (pages should be consecutively numbered at the bottom-in Word click on the Insert icon to insert page numbers.) You should have at least ten references from academic journals/texts. Wikipedia is NOT an academic source. All and any references from the course texts will together only count as one, so you need to get external references.
Finally, I also want you to certify that this is your own original work, and further that it is not going to be, nor has it previously been submitted, for credit for another course anywhere else. If, using the tools available to me, (including Turnitin.com, to which you must submit your paper) I find out that this is not your own work, for instance, that you have purchased it online, or copied it off somewhere, you will not get credit for the paper, and I will be forced to initiate disciplinary proceedings commensurate with University Policy. The mid-term writing assignment is due, Sunday, June 3, 2018 by 11:59PM.
Format and Set-up of the Paper
Introduce the topic; explain why it’s an important topic to research. State opinion on the topic; in other words, whether you agree or disagree with the said main thesis of the topic and why. To put it another way, write a thesis statement. This section should be approximately ½ a page (1-2 paragraphs).
1. Present arguments, through research, for arguments both for and against the topic.
a. Should present 4 to 5 major points for each argument (otherwise paper becomes unbalanced).
b. Explain arguments fully. In other words, do not simply state arguments. Defend, elaborate, and cite sources.
c. This section should be the crux of the paper.
2. Conclusion. Restate thesis (opinion).
a. Determine whether thesis is valid based on the information presented in the paper.
b. If your thesis has changed, explain why it has changed (using points put forth in your paper). This section should be ~1/2 page to a page.
3. Your paper must have the necessary References, in APA.
Below are additional writing requirements for a college level course research paper (Courtesy of Dr. Mark Cavanaugh)
1. Know and honor the difference between plural and possessive forms.
2. Know and honor noun-verb agreements (in number); pronoun-noun agreements (do not use the word “their,” for example, to refer back to the noun “person”).
3. Know and honor the difference between complete sentences and sentence fragments; conversely, avoiding run-on sentences and those which contain comma splices.
4. Use paragraphs and indent the first line of each new paragraph.
5. Ordinarily, use the simple past tense in your writing. Avoid shifts in tense, such as from present to past tense in the same sentence or paragraph, unless they are necessary for clarity.
6. Know and honor the difference between “its” “it’s” and “its”; “too”, “to” and “two”, and “their”, “they’re” and “there”. The spelling checker on your computer will not recognize when you have used these words in the wrong context.
7. Vary the way you begin your sentences, and vary the length of them as well. Your writing will be soporific otherwise.
8. Punctuation creates a sound in the reader’s mind and should therefore be used wisely. Review the correct use’ of the comma, semi-colon, colon, quotation mark, question mark, dash and hyphen. Eschew the use of the exclamation point (ordinarily, only one is used in any context): let your words themselves convey any intended excitement. Commas do not belong after the subject of a sentence, as in:
-I, just wrote a sentence.
-The Challenger, exploded shortly after its launch.
9. Write in the third person, leaving your reactions and responses out. Rather, try to create a sensation in the reader, either through the judicious use of description or the weight of evidence carefully presented.
10. Double space between lines and paragraphs, and use at least a 12-point font.
11. Eliminate, as much as possible, the following weak verbs:
-Be, was, being, been, is, are, were, am, appear, become, continue, look, remain, seem, shine, sound, smell, taste, and their various tenses (“have been”, etc.)
-The verb is the most important word in any sentence. Choose it carefully.
12. Know how to form plurals and possessives (see #1, above)
13. Know and honor the standard spellings of commonly used words, as well as the correct use of capital letters.
14. Writing is not speech; while it has become common practice to slur the pronunciations of words, this practice is unacceptable in writing. Always use the correct forms as in the following cases:
-Could have rather than “could’ve” or, worse, “could of”
-“Scientists have discovered...” rather than “scientist have discovered...” -“This person is biased” rather than “this person is bias”.
15. Avoid anything that sounds colloquial: “First off”; “Often times” (“First” or “often” will do).
The above constitute writing skills which you should have mastered by fifth grade.
Below are additional requirements which are widely accepted for high school and collegiate writing:
1. Avoid the use of passive constructions, which lead to wordiness.
2. Avoid wordiness.
3. Pay careful attention to correct word usage. Do not “invent” words. Use a dictionary to clarify the meanings of words.
4. Always be clear about who is speaking at any point in a sentence or paragraph. Make sure the reader is able to tell whether it is your idea or someone else’s that is being expressed. Be vigilant about giving proper credit.
5. Organize your work carefully.
6. Understand and use the correct form for citing the work of others.
A: The "A" essay expresses original thought with grace, clarity, and force. Its purpose is clear from the start: it contains a thesis that is imaginatively, logically and precisely developed. Not only is the paper correctly organized, the organization does not seem mechanical or imposed. Each topical paragraph has a controlling idea, solid detail and smooth transitions. The sentences are varied in length and structure. The writer chooses concrete, specific words and uses them correctly, employing diction that is distinctive and mature, with effective metaphors and analogies for clarity or emphasis. The essay contains no colloquialisms, clichés or trite expressions. It is virtually free of grammatical and mechanical errors.
B: The "B" essay is also a superior essay. It contains a clear thesis statement supported with good examples. The writer controls the essay's development by arranging the examples supporting the thesis in an orderly and logical fashion. The organization is correct, but transitions are sometimes strained. Each topical paragraph has a controlling idea and good supporting detail. The sentences are usually varied. The word choice is generally correct. The writer goes beyond the automatic word choice to find one more precise and effective. The paper is generally correct mechanically, though there are some problems with complex grammar and punctuation traps.
C: The "C" essay contains satisfactory writing and is acceptable as college work. Though the paper has some interesting parts, the interest is not uniformly maintained and the purpose is not always clear. The writer approaches the topic in a conventional and predictable manner. The essay lacks imagination and insight. It is mechanically developed and lacks adequate support of generalizations. There are very few errors in sentence structure, but the sentences are not varied in length and structure. The word choice is generally correct, but the range of words is limited, so that the diction is sometimes imprecise and monotonous. The writer uses vague, ordinary words and relies on clichés and jargon. The "C" essay also has frequent errors in syntax, agreement, pronoun case and reference, spelling and punctuation. Above all, it lacks an original, significant purpose or point of view.
D: This essay falls below acceptable college standards. Only in a few places does the paper find its purpose and audience. Too often it seems as unfocused exercise rather than an interesting essay. Some principle of organization is apparent but it is not successfully followed. The paragraphing is rational, but the topical paragraphs are underdeveloped--often a series of generalizations. The essay contains sentence fragments and run-on sentences, and basic errors in syntax, agreement, reference, spelling and punctuation. The writer chooses words carelessly, relying on colloquialisms, clichés and jargon.
F: The "F" essay is markedly below college standards. The paper seems to be a mechanical exercise without a purpose or an audience. There is no apparent principle of organization; there is no apparent rationale for the paragraphing. There are frequent sentence structure errors. Words that should be within the range of college students are misused or confused. Some errors indicate a failure to understand the basic grammar of the sentence. Simple words are frequently misspelled.