CJ 200 Criminal Evidence & Procedures-Police Officer • 5 Cr.
Surveys the steps in collecting evidence, both real and circumstantial, in a criminal case. Students examine the legal processes from investigation through the trial process.
After completing this class, students should be able to:
- Applicability of Constitutional protections form stop/arrest to sentencing.
- Students will be able to learn the spectrum of police activity in a criminal proceeding from arrest to sentencing.
- Students will be able to understand the relevance of the protections afforded by the Bill of Rights in a criminal proceeding.
- Students will be able to know the source of the rights to privacy, counsel, bail, and freedom from coercion and intimidation.
- Students will be able to gain the ability to analyze whether the conduct of police has, in a given set of facts, run afoul of constitu9onal and statutory restrictions on the police power.
- The role of police in criminal investigations and prosecutions
- Student will be able to learn the importance of the police function in detecting and apprehending criminals.
- Students will be able to understand the relationship of the role of the police to the prosecution, bench, and defense bar.
- Students will be able to identify the significance of tactics they, as police officers, might choose of the evidence those tactics could produce.
- Students will be able to differentiate between proper and improper methods of evidence collection.
- CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR EVIDENCE IN CRIMINAL TRIALS
- The Bill of Rights and Its Significance in Criminal Law
- By study of the first ten Amendments to the united States Constitution, particularly the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th, students will develop an understanding of the importance our democratic form of government attaches to individual liberties when the government seeks to restrict those liberties.
- Students will learn of the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment from a review of Washington and United States case decisions.
- Students will become familiar with the requirements for introduction of confessions, prior convictions, and other bad acts in criminal trials.
- The American Adversarial System
- Students will learn that the American system of criminal justice is unique in the world because two opposing sides bring "evidence" of their claim to an impartial fact finder.
- Students will be able to identify and discuss the roles and professional responsibilities of the judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney during the criminal process.
- THE RULES OF EVIDENCE FOR CRIMINAL TRIALS
- History of Rules of Evidence
- Students will learn the historical basis for the rules to which they must adhere if involved in criminal prosecutions.
- Students will learn, through court case analysis, modern American rules of evidence which focus on the "search for truth" in admitting relevant evidence at trial.
- The American Exclusionary Rule
- Students will be able to differentiate between the American Exclusionary Rule and rules of evidence in other countries.
- Students will examine and understand the Constitutional sources of the Exclusionary Rule.
- Students will learn that violation of the rule requires suppression of evidence obtained as a result of the violation.
- Students will learn determine whether cases law will require exclusion of evidence at trial, or whether the law will permit its introduction.
- Burdens of Persuasion, Proof, and Presumptions
- Students will learn that the law of evidence moves the parties and their proofs from point to point while ensuring that the state bears the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Students will learn that, where evidence is not available, the law will supply missing components in the form of inferences and presumptions.
- Students will be able to recognize when a presumption is created and when the burden of proof may be shifted to a criminal defendant.
- THE USE OF EVIDENCE IN TRIALS
- Types of Trial Evidence
- Students will learn to analyze the relative value of various classes of evidence; real and demonstrative, direct and circumstantial, physical and testimonial, documentary and scientific.
- Students will learn the situations they will encounter and which will require them to decide the relative merit of one type of evidence over another in the truth-finding process.
- Students will develop the ability to recognize various grounds for admission and exclusion of evidence at trial.
- The students, as prospective law enforcement officers will develop the ability to see the merit or folly of various types of evidence or evidence collection techniques.
- Students will learn what evidence can and should be collected during a criminal investigation, how that evidence should be collected and preserved, whether a duty to disclose such evidence might exist, and how that evidence will be introduced in a court of law.
- To gain a broader understanding of the role of evidence rules, throughout the course students will be required to view the rules of evidence and procedure from the perspective of police, judge, defense, and prosecution.