Criminal Justice Reform (Mayson/Bazelon)
R 3:00PM - 5:00PM
Tanenbaum Hall 345
Criminal Justice Reform and the Progressive Prosecution Movement
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has received national attention—both praise and opprobrium—as the vanguard of a “progressive prosecution” movement that seeks to leverage the power of the prosecutor’s office to pursue criminal justice reform. This course, co-taught by Professor Sandy Mayson and Dana Bazelon, Senior Policy Advisor to D.A. Krasner, will explore timely challenges and debates in criminal justice policy through the lens of the progressive-prosecution movement. We will consider what changes to the criminal legal system are most urgent and what the role of the prosecutor could or should be in enacting such change. Students will spend time outside of class watching court proceedings and several guest speakers will attend class meetings. A few class meetings may be held off-campus (for instance, at a court or at the offices of the public defender or DA). Beginning relatively early in the semester, each student will develop an independent project evaluating or contributing original research to an ongoing reform initiative. Student projects will culminate with a final presentation and paper.
The goal of this course is to immerse ourselves in the theory and reality of criminal justice reform efforts in Philadelphia, which are a microcosm of national trends. We will situate our study of local reform in the broader context of mass incarceration and structural inequality. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to confront complicated and difficult realities and to engage perspectives different from their own in good faith.
Course prerequisites: Criminal Law. Additional relevant experience or coursework (i.e. Crim Pro) preferred but not required.
Courts and the Judicial System Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of both substantive and procedural issues in the operation of our legal system; Perform legal analysis in the context of procedural issues and the judicial process; Communicate effectively on topics related to procedure and the judicial process; Demonstrate an understanding of how procedural issues and the judicial process affect all other area of our legal system.
Criminal Law and Procedure Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of criminal law and procedure; Perform legal analysis in the context of criminal law and procedure; Communicate effectively on topics related to criminal law and procedure; Demonstrate an understanding of the role criminal law and procedure play in society and their impact on other areas of law and society.
Public Interest Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of the varied legal aspects of public interest law; Perform legal analysis in the context of public interest law; Communicate effectively on topics related to public interest law; Demonstrate an understanding of how public interest law is connected to and affected by a wide variety of legal and regulatory structures and doctrines.