Supreme Court Case Analysis



Assignment: Each student must select two cases decided by the Supreme Court to analyze in terms of their impact on the criminal justice system. That cases must deal with police or other law enforcement agencies, criminal trials and the courts, or the corrections system and your two analyses must be on cases related to two different topics. The cases must each also have at least one dissenting opinion. The papers must be four to six pages not counting any title page. No sources other than the court decision itself are necessary.
Analysis: The papers must discuss six issues. First, what issue did the Supreme Court have to decide? Second, what were the facts that led to the case. Third, what did the Supreme Court decide and how will it affect the operation of the criminal justice system. Fourth, what did the dissent want to decide and why. Fifth, if the dissent had prevailed (i.e. if the court had decided as the dissenter(s) desired), how would the criminal justice system be affected. Finally, do you agree with the court or the dissenter(s) and why.
Style: Please use arial 12 point font double-spaced for you paper. Also, please make sure that you leave a margin of 1.5 inches on the left-hand side. Also please attach a blank page to the back of your paper for instructor comments.
Electronic Submission: In addition to submitting the papers as hard copies in class (with no name on the paper), the papers must be submitted to the instructor electronically. This is for the purpose of running all papers through the Turn-it-in plagiarism detection program. Please submit the papers electronically as Microsoft Word attachments to an e-mail message to the instructor. The attachment should be just one file (no separate files for cover pages or lists of sources) and it should be named as follows: yourlastnameyour initial-220case. So if John Smith is in the class, his attachment would be called SmithJ-220case1.doc if he did the first set of cases and SmithJ-220case2.doc if he did the second set and SmithJ-220case3 if he did the third.

Due Dates (these are also on the syllabus):

Police and Law Enforcement Cases - February 27

Criminal Trials and Courts Cases - March 22

Prisons and Corrections Systems Cases and Juvenile Justice - April 10

Other Information: The cases must use citations and any quotations, ideas or facts that come from the case must be appropriately cited. For material from the case, simply indicating whether it comes from the decision of the court, a concurring opinion (indicate the author) or a dissenting opinion (indicate the author) will be sufficient in most cases. See the format link on the web page if you are unsure how to do this. Improperly cited papers will be returned for correction with a grade deduction.
Links: This website has links to most of the Supreme Court decisions in the last hundred and ten years. This website Compulegal has links that will help you find cases (i.e. identify the names of cases you might wish to consider, at least on some topics). You can find a list of cases suitable for this assignment here. If you use cases not on this list, you do so at your own risk!