Wikipedia:United States Education Program/Courses/Criminal Process (Professor Heather Winslow)

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Criminal Process - Spring 2012

Course description[edit]

The criminal law lies at the very heart of democratic government and a free society; it is the criminal law, after all, that ultimately provides the conditions under which a government may legitimately utilize severe sanctions to coerce its citizens. Every lawyer - and, in fact, every citizen - should therefore have a thoughtful understanding and appreciation of both the policies and the process of the criminal law.

To provide such an understanding, this course explores in detail the manner in which a formal criminal proceeding is initiated and processed by our court system. Topics include arraignment and preliminary hearings, commitment or release on bail or personal recognizance, the grand jury, prosecutorial discretion, discovery and disclosure requirements, competence to stand trial, plea bargaining, right to a speedy trial, jury selection, joinder and severance of charges and/or defendants, management of jury deliberations, sentencing, and appeals. In order to provide a deeper understanding of these criminal proceedings, the course will explore their historical and theoretical bases, as well as the current Supreme Court jurisprudence that is shaping them.

Download Print Version of Syllabus (rev. 3)

Instructor and Ambassadors[edit]

Professor Heather Winslow
Wikipedia Campus Ambassador
Christopher Nofal
Online Ambassador
Swarm (talk)

Required Reading Materials[edit]


  • Final Exam counts for 100% of final grade.
  • Exceptional classroom participation may raise your final grade by a third.
  • Wikipedia contribution counts as extra credit, which may raise your final grade by a third depending upon the quality of your contribution.

Schedule and Readings[edit]

Week 1 (Jan. 5)[edit]

Classroom Discussion
  • Course Overview
  • Crime and Criminalization
Guest Speaker
  • AUSA Tom Shakeshaft

Week 2 (Jan. 12)[edit]

Classroom Discussion
  • Policies Underlying the Criminal Process
Guest Speaker
  • Douglas Blanchard

Week 3 (Jan. 19)[edit]

Classroom Discussion
  • Prosecutorial Discretion – Part I
Reading For Next Class
  • United States v. Armstrong (p. 820)

Week 4 (Jan. 26)[edit]

Guest Speaker
  • Chris Nofal
    • Introduction to how Wikipedia will be used in the course
Classroom Discussion
  • Prosecutorial Discretion – Part II
Reading For Next Class
  • Blackledge v. Perry (p. 828)
  • Coleman v. Alabama (p. 832)
  • United States v. Williams (p. 845)

Week 5 (Feb. 2)[edit]

Classroom Discussion
  • Prosecutorial Discretion – Part III
  • The Preliminary Hearing
  • Grand Jury Screening
Guest Speaker
  • AUSA Tom Shakeshaft
Reading For Next Class
  • Stack v. Boyle (p. 791)
  • United States v. Salerno (p. 796)

Week 6 (Feb. 9)[edit]

Classroom Discussion
  • Bail Reform Act
  • Preventative Detention
Guest Speaker
  • AUSA Tom Shakeshaft
Reading For Next Class

Week 7 (Feb. 16)[edit]

Classroom Discussion
  • The Fifth Amendment and the Grant Jury Investigative Function
  • Constitutional Discovery in Criminal Cases
Reading For Next Class

Week 8 (Feb. 23)[edit]

Classroom Discussion
  • Joinder and Severance
  • Speedy Trial
Reading For Next Class
  • Nix v. Whiteside (p. 943)
  • Gideon v. Wainwright (p. 950)
  • Scott v. Illinois (p. 957)
  • Douglas v. California (p. 963)
  • Ross v. Moffitt (p. 968)
  • Faretta v. California (p. 973)
  • Strickland v. Washington (p. 989)

Week 9 (Mar. 1)[edit]

Classroom Discussion
  • Role of Defense Counsel
  • Right to Have Appointed Counsel
  • Right to Decide Whether to Have Counsel
  • Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel
Reading For Next Class
  • Brady v. United States (p. 1027)
  • North Carolina v. Alford (p. 1039)
  • Bordenkircher v. Hayes (p. 1044)
  • Santobello v. New York (p. 1051)
  • United States v. Brechner (p. 1057)
  • McMann v. Richardson (p. 1063)

Week 10 (Mar. 8)[edit]

Classroom Discussion
  • Characteristics of a Valid Guilty Plea
  • Plea Bargaining
  • Procedural Effect of a Guilty Plea
Guest Speakers
  • Christopher Nofal
  • AUSA Tom Shakeshaft
Reading For Next Class
  • Duncan v. Louisiana (p. 1071)
  • Taylor v. Louisiana (p. 1084)
  • Ham v. South Carolina (p. 1092)
  • People v. Newton (p. 1098)
  • United States v. Salamone (p. 1103)
  • Batson v. Kentucky (p. 1114)
  • United States v. Thomas (p. 1136)

Week 11 (Mar. 15)[edit]

  • No Class - Spring Break

Week 12 (Mar. 22)[edit]

Classroom Discussion
  • Right to Trial by Impartial Jury
  • “Fair Cross-Section” Requirement
  • Race and Racism in Jury Selection
  • Voir Dire
  • “For Cause” Challenges
  • Jury Nullification
Reading For Next Class
  • Olden v. Kentucky (p. 1154)
  • Maryland v. Craig (p. 1160)
  • Crawford v. Washington (p. 1170)
  • Cruz v. New York (p. 1187)
  • Gray v. Maryland (p. 1192)
  • United States v. Burr (p. 1202)
  • Taylor v. Illinois (p. 1203)
  • Griffin v. California (p. 1214)
  • United States v. Thomas (p. 1226)
  • Michigan v. Bryant, 131 S. Ct. 1143 (2011)

Week 13 (Mar. 29)[edit]

Classroom Discussion
  • Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment
  • Right to Face and Cross-Examine Prosecution Witnesses
  • Right to Require State to Produce Witnesses at Trial
  • Right to Exclude a Co-Defendant’s Confession
  • Right to Compulsory Process
  • Defendant’s Right to Testify
Reading For Next Class
  • 18 U.S.C. §§ 3553, 3582
  • Mistretta v. United States (p. 1238)
  • Williams v. New York (p. 1248)
  • McMillan v. Pennsylvania (p. 1253)
  • Apprendi v. New Jersey (p. 1260)
  • Blakely v. Washington (p. 1277)
  • North Carolina v. Pearce (p. 1303)

Week 14 (Apr. 5)[edit]

Classroom Discussion
  • Federal Sentencing Guidelines
    • Adjustments
    • Departures
    • Variances
  • Imposing a Sentence – Constitutional Limits
  • Judicial Vindictiveness in Sentencing
Reading For Next Class

Week 15 (Apr. 12)[edit]

Classroom Discussion
  • Federal Sentencing Guidelines
  • Disparity in Sentencing
  • Review of Course
  • Discussion of Final Exam

Extra Credit Procedure[edit]

  • Procedure
    • Signup for a Wikipedia account and email your username to Chris Nofal.
    • Browse Wikipedia and find three (3) cases for which Wikipedia has no article.
    • Email your three (3) proposed cases to Chris Nofal by February 23, 2012.
    • Chris will make sure everyone has a unique case.
    • Write a legal brief for the case that Chris selects for you.
  • The legal brief should include:
    • Summary of the Holding(s) (1 paragraph)
    • Background of the Case (2-3 paragraphs)
    • Majority Opinion (5-6 paragraphs)
    • Dissenting Opinion (2-4 paragraphs)
    • Controversy, Public Opinion, or Legal Criticism (1-3 paragraphs)
  • The following articles are examples that you should look to:
  • Your legal briefs should comply with the following Wikipedia policies
    • Five pillars, a explanation of Wikipedia's basic rules and principles
  • E-mail your legal briefs to Chris Nofal by Friday, March 30, 2012.
  • All sources must be cited using the Bluebook. Do not use footnotes. Legal briefs should be of publishable quality.

List of Extra Credit Articles[edit]

This table will list each article that a student is working on, and which other students will be peer reviewers for the article.

User Article Reviewer Status
Lorin Jenkins Williams v. New York Chris in progress
Tess Tannehill Spears v. United States Chris in progress
Dara Goodman North Carolina v. Pearce Chris complete
unassigned McMillan v. Pennsylvania open n/a
Nick Jones Taylor v. Illinois Chris in progress
Kilie Latendresse United States v. Burr Chris in progress
Rocio Palomo Gray v. Maryland Chris in progress
Len Audaer Cruz v. New York Chris complete
Katherine Seid Olden v. Kentucky Chris in progress
Rachel Lindner United States v. Salamone Chris in progress
Souvik Saha People v. Newton Chris complete
Cornell Wilson Ham v. South Carolina Chris complete
Amit Patel McMann v. Richardson Chris in progress
Sam Hayman United States v. Brechner Chris in progress
Jonathan Siegelaub Santobello v. New York Chris in progress
Kate McClelland Bordenkircher v. Hayes Chris in progress
Colleen Smeryage State v. Reldan Chris in progress
Shilpa Avasare Coleman v. Alabama Chris in progress
Jannette Pulido Blackledge v. Perry Chris in progress
Robin Fagan United States v. Armstrong Chris in progress

Student Usernames[edit]

List of students' usernames in no particular order.

  1. User:LorinJenkins
  2. User:Ttann1984
  3. User:DaraFG
  4. User:Njlaw
  5. User:Bkwirm
  6. User:Rlp2102
  7. User:Readua
  8. User:Ksslaw
  9. User:Pubdefender
  10. User:Shaka7
  11. User:Cwcrimprac2012
  12. User:Amitbpatel
  13. User:Brindle21
  14. User:JS150
  15. User:Mmc856
  16. User:Cls220
  17. User:Tikibird49
  18. User:Grapesdarken
  19. User:Robinfagan

Article banners

To mark each article the subject of a student project, add the following code at the top of the talk page for each article: {{ WAP assignment | course = Wikipedia:United States Education Program/Courses/Criminal Process (Professor Heather Winslow) | university = Northwestern University | term = 2012 Spring | project = WikiProject Law }} That will result in the following banner (and make the articles easy to track):