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-Each student is required to write 1 post on the discussion board for each chapter(2 in total). Each post has to demonstrate a meaningful synthesis of

-Each student is required to write 1 post on the discussion board for each chapter(2 in total). Each post has to demonstrate a meaningful synthesis of the material posted (typically a research article) and the corresponding chapter assigned for that week. Keep in mind that your discussion forum postings will likely be seen by other members of the course. Care should be taken when determining what to post.

Specifically, your posts should be critically reflecting on each week’s postings, relate it back to the week’s chapter, and will be graded based on your ability to connect the two in a thoughtful and coherent way. You can earn up to 3 points per post, please refer to the attached rubric when submitting your post to see the criteria upon which you will be graded. Keep in mind that these posts are meant to flow as a dialogue between all students enrolled in the class. It is very important that you reference your readings in these weekly posts as just making a post does not guarantee points. Your grade for each post will be based on the quality of your response. Hence, giving a blanket “I agree/I disagree” answers or opinions that anyone could write without having an in-depth understanding of the material assigned will not be accepted. It is also important that you read the week’s posting in its entirety. It is highly recommended to read previous posts so that you do not write similar ideas. Again, part of the grading criteria includes the student’s ability to add value to the ongoing discussion by connecting the material with information from the book and possibly outside sources. Weekly postings should be no longer than two paragraphs and should show your understanding of the week’s readings.

Chapter 9: Jury Selection and Trial Procedure

The website has jurors blogging about “what really happens on juries.” 

Look at these sites(see attached) and think about whether knowing what these bloggers are thinking would have been helpful in voir dire and/or during trial presentation.

During the National Jury Summit in 2001, most attendees surveyed (many of whom were judges) indicated that they had reported for jury duty, a few even serving through to a verdict.

Here are some more “excuses” people gave to explain why they couldn’t serve as jurors (these responses were taken from the above mentioned website): “We had one juror who said that they just could not serve because they could not go that long without a cigarette! A doctor submitted a note on his behalf. We had a caretaker of a cemetery who called and said he couldn’t serve because people just keep dying and he couldn’t get away.”

Look for similarities and differences across different juror questionaire (

During the voir dire process in capital trials, prospective jurors are asked about their views regarding the death penalty. Those who would automatically vote for the death penalty or those who could not vote for the death penalty are excused. Is this an acceptable procedure?

Chapter 12: Juries and Judges as Decision-Makers

Should “evidence” on sites like Facebook affect sentencing? Joshua Lipton was charged in a drunken driving crash that seriously injured a woman. Two weeks later, Lipton attended a Halloween party dressed in an orange jumpsuit labeled “jail bird.” Someone posted pictures of him from this party on Facebook and they were used at his trial to portray him as unrepentant. The judge agreed, and Lipton was sentenced to two years in prison. See the following as a possible source:

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