Police Officer

JUS 347 Courts (3 credits)

Course Description

This course will examine the American court system and the components of the legal system that feed cases into the system, in both the civil and criminal legal process. Students will learn about the many elements of the court system and their interlocking relationships to the judicial process. Jurisdictional issues between state and local and federal courts will be examined, as well as the trial and appellate process. Students will have the opportunity to do a paper on a high profile case and review the social impact of decisions. Emphasis will be on the criminal justice system, since criminal cases make up the vast majority of court cases.

Learning Results

• Understand and be knowledgeable with an overview of the American court system
• Understand the foundations and functions of law
• Understand the roles and relationships of the court’s participants
• Examine the roles of law, judges, lawyers and litigants in the court
• Be familiar with the right to a jury trial and understand the role of jurors and witnesses in the trial process
• Understand the trial process, including rules of evidence, testimony, introduction of exhibits and the role of the judge in sentencing and rendering verdicts.
• Be conversant with court structure by understanding limitations of jurisdiction, types of cases and geographical limitations
• Understand the appellate process at various levels of appellate jurisdiction
• Review and understand issues facing the courts in contemporary society including the influence of politics in the process through judicial appointment


Learning Documentation

This class includes chapter quizzes, a research paper, and a court trial critique.

Learning Evaluation

The quizzes are worth 400 points, the research paper is worth 300 points, and the court trial critique is worth another 300 points, for a total of 1000 points for the class.

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