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LAW Democracy and Incarceration

Criminal Law: International Criminal Law & Immigration Law

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This course is also found in route(s):
Criminal Law: General
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This course is also found in route(s):
Criminal Law: International Criminal Law & Immigration Law
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Criminal Law: White Collar Crime
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LAW 439

Democracy and Incarceration

Law School

Recommended for route(s):

[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] Criminal Law: International Criminal Law & Immigration Law

Why it is relevant for ...

[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] as a Related Elective for those interested in Criminal Justice : Future criminal law practitioners will benefit from this look at the various levels of power and discretion afforded to participants in the criminal justice system -- from the legislature to the judge and jury. Teaching and interacting with prisoners will also give students the opportunity to see first hand how criminal law theory plays out in the real world and affects the lives of individuals.

General course Description:

This course will consider the breadth and limitations of democracy within the lens of American incarceration. In particular, we¿ll consider how various entities (the court, juries, the legislature, or the populace) are empowered with decision-making within the framework of the criminal justice system. Our central question will be: How does ¿ and how should ¿ the democratic process affect the criminal justice system? Classes will cover the following topics and more: theories of punishment; the judiciary and discretion in sentencing; jury nullification and clemency; districting and political representation; felon disenfranchisement, ballot initiatives; mental health law, privacy and prisons; prisons in China, death penalty jurisprudence; and the privatization of prisons. Each student will be responsible for leading one three-hour class at San Quentin State Prison to a blended class of Stanford and prisoner students. Students will be also be expected to write weekly reflection papers in response to the assigned reading and to attend and participate heavily in each class discussion. In addition, attendance at a training held by the Prison University Project is mandatory.

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