Law Question


Research Paper (20%)


As you write your paper, consider the moral rules that will support your decision.

General structure of your policy analysis
1. Conduct a brief review/synopsis of the relevant facts.
2. Identify what you believe to be the major ethical issues and the relevant underlying values of each opposing side.
3. Set forth your recommendations for the continued use, modification, or discontinuation of this policy. Your decision must have some sort of rationale behind it. This is where you will present an answer to the policy issue at hand. Before you can do this, you will have to decide on what ethical system underlies your analysis. There is no right/wrong system of ethics—choose the one with which you most closely identify. If you are a utilitarian, your stance may be very different than if you identify with ethical formalism or an ethic of care. But, as we know from our class exercises, despite our different ethical systems, we may encounter the same results.

Some topic suggestions: (these are not required; just ideas for you to consider)

1. A policy of racial profiling by police officers to reduce and prevent crime on the streets.
2. The use of plea-bargaining for defendants charged with felonies.
3. The waiver of very young offenders (namely, “kids that kill”) to adult court and making them subject to adult processing and punishment.
4. The use of rehabilitation as the dominant model for corrections.
5. The use of restorative justice programs.
6. The use of “chain gangs,” “tent city,” and other novel punishments and how they impact prisoner rights.
7. Any other current criminal justice policy issue, if approved by me (the death penalty is not an option since we will be discussing this in class)

Please adhere to these directives:

Organization: Title page, Abstract, Introduction, Body of the Paper, Conclusion.

The papers should have a brief introduction, appropriate transitions between topic areas, and a short conclusion. I am interested in each student’s ability to craft an organized approach to an ethical issue in criminal justice. Synthesize the literature on the subject and critically assess the ethical issue.

Substance: Each student should be able to craft a well-reasoned ethical argument. Since we will be addressing “hot” topics of current debate, emotions will run high. However, please try to support your argument with more than just emotion. Where appropriate, essays should draw from course readings, lectures, and discussions particular to the subject matter.

References: Consult at least five (5) outside peer reviewed sources to complete this assignment (the course readings do not count). Please consider the five-source requirement as establishing the baseline; students seeking higher grades are advised to broaden their research.

APA citation is an absolute MUST!!

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