CJ 311 Criminal Investigation
F1T 2007 DL
Scheffner, Douglas W.
Senior Adjunct Faculty
CJ100, CJ105 and CJ200.
Required Text: Criminal Investigation, 8th Edition
Author: Wayne W. Bennett and Kären M. Hess
Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore
Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore
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Educational Philosophy: Your instructor's educational philosophy is based upon virtual lectures, examinations, information from web sites provided, writings from outside sources and dialogue with myself and fellow students. Assignments are intended to encourage a thoughtful exploration of ideas and application of information provided during the course. Contradictory thoughts are encouraged as part of the learning process.
Learning Outcomes: Core Learning Outcomes
For CJ311, all students will complete an essay, not less than 4 pages (1,000 words) in length (excluding the cover sheet, title, and bibliography pages) as follows:
It can be argued that the foundation for community support for law enforcement is in the trust built by faith that the police follow the law and adhere to the U.S. Constitution. For example, criminal investigative questioning must be guided by Fourth Amendment search and seizure protections. Harsh or questionable investigative methods may be unethical and illegal.
Discuss whether the concern for homeland security has redefined acceptable or ethical criminal investigative tactics used by law enforcement. Explain what impact changes in criminal investigative techniques and methods may have on police-community relations, criminal prosecutions, and the ability of police to investigate major crimes.
The essay should be typed, double-spaced, be written in APA format, including in-text source citations, and use a minimum of 4 course-external sources.
Link to Class RubricClass Assessment: Class Assessment:Each week, students are required to engage in discussion among themselves by answering and commenting upon questions posed for that week. Each week's discussion is worth 20 points, with 1-10 provided for content and 1-10 points provided for timliness of submitting the discussion answers. Weeks 2-8 require a paper which provides the students opportunities to apply material learned from reading, vitual lecture and discussions. Each paper carries a maximum of 100 points. During the eighth week, a proctored final exam will be taken by the student which will combine multiple choice with short answer questions.
Grading: The grading scale is as follows: A = 90-100; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 60-69; F = 0-59. The final exam will count 20% of your total grade, with each paper and discussion/participation worth 10%. Each student is responsible for: Completing weekly Reading assignments. Completing Weekly Discussion Questions. Completing seven writing assignments, referred to as Papers. Completing a proctored Final Examination
Late Submission of Course Materials: Work should be submitted to the instructor by the last day of each assigned week. Students experiencing a problem should contact the instructor to advise the reason work may be submitted late. Unless authorized, late work will be subject to a penalty of 10 points reduction for each week late.
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Course Topic/Dates/Assignments: Week 1: The Requirements for Criminal Investigation Readings: Text: Chapters 1 and 2 Class Activities: Introduction to online computer conference learning. Introduction & discussion of syllabus/assignment schedule and course overview. Overview of investigations and the various aspects of the preliminary investigation, proper documentation of investigative scenes and actions. On-line Conference Assignment: These chapters list the basics as well as the ideals. This week we will discuss what of these resources are available to a medium-to-small police agency and how smaller agencies can meet these expectations. Weekly Discussion Questions: Is it more difficult to be an investigator or a uniformed patrol officer in today's world? What characteristics make either more difficult than the other? How would you prioritize the equipment needed for crime scene documentation on a limited agency budget? What would you provide first, then second and so on. What should be done if investigators at the same scene take notes and write subsequent reports which indicate different information altogether? Week 2: Searches and Physical Evidence Readings: Text: Study Chapters 3 and 4 Applicable assigned web-site reading: http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/special/9704a/index.htm Class Activities: Learn and discuss the various types of searches as well as the legalities involved. In addition, study the basic types of physical evidence these searches seek to seize. Weekly Discussion Topics/Question: Examine and discuss examples of good and bad handling of physical evidence, who had been responsible, their results in court and what could have been done differently. Paper: After having examined the main points of the Dept. of Justice Inspector General's report of the allegations of improper evidence handling at the FBI lab, provide your own opinion. Do you agree with the IG, or do you feel differently? Provide some support for your opinion. Week 3: Obtaining information and Arrests Readings: Text: Chapters Chapters 5 and 6. Class Activities: Learn the basic considerations of questioning people, compare and contrast the differences between interview and interrogation. Study arrest procedures and legalities involved in various circumstances to include problems with court presentation. Weekly Discussion Topics/Question: Often a great deal of emphasis seems to be placed upon obtaining a confession. It can be argued that, by itself, a confession is worthless because it is so easily attacked in court. Of what value, then, is a confession? What are the legal basis for arrest? This may vary in different states, so be prepared to examine some differences. What are the ramifications of improper arrests? Paper: Offer your opinion regarding the gradual dilution of the court mandates of the 1960's such as Miranda. Each year the courts seem to find more circumstances and cases in which these rules are set aside. Is this a good or bad trend for investigators? Week 4: Death Investigation, Assaults and Sexual Offenses Readings: Text: Chapters Chapters 7, 8 and 9. Weekly Discussion Topics/Question: Are there any factors which make homicide investigation more or less difficult than investigation of other crimes? Or is homicide investigation no different than investigation of any other crime? What are the elements of crimes of assaults (what kind of assaults are there?)? What evidence would be available and would you seek to prove these elements? What are the elements of the various crimes of sexual assaults (again, what kinds of sexual assaults are there?)? What evidence would be available and would you seek to find to prove these elements? Paper: Read the Application scenario A on page 231 of your text and provide answers to the two questions. In addition, provide a list of what physical evidence you would search for in this incident. Week 5: Crimes Against Children, Robbery, Burglary Readings: Text: Chapters 10, 11 and 12 Applicable assigned web-site reading: http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cri15.htm; http://www.msbp.com/ Weekly Discussion Topics/Question: What makes crimes against children so different if the elements are essentially the same as for adult victims? How do these differences impact the work of the investigator? What are the elements of the crime of robbery? After determining these, what evidence would you seek to support and prove these elements? On page 341 of your text, read the Application and provide answers to the questions posed after this example, with particular emphasis on question 5. Provide discussion to each others' responses. Paper: Examine the unique aspects of Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy. Provide information of how you would investigate this type crime. Week 6: Fraud and White-collar Crime, Motor Vehicle Theft and Arson/Bombings Readings: Text: Chapters 13, 14 and 15 Weekly Discussion Topics/Question: In an actual situation in your instructor's community, an inmate of the county jail engaged in fraud by enticing elderly people from all over the United States into "investing" money into a bogus company he claimed to own. Under your state laws, what crime(s) have been committed, what evidence would be found and how should this be investigated? Read Application situation A on page 384 (page 404 of the 6th edition) and provide answers to the two questions posed. How serious would you view this screw-up? What measures could be taken to prevent this in the future? In what ways are arson and bombing investigations the same or different? What additional measures, if any, are needed for bomb investigations? Paper: Using the concept of White Collar Crime as found in the text, what do you consider the most dangerous form and why? Provide supportive reasoning for your choice. Week 7: Computer Crime, Organized Crime/Cults and Gangs Readings: Text: Review Chapters 16, 17 and 18. Class Activities: Review for Final Exam under "Final Exam Review" button. Weekly Discussion Topics/Question: What do you consider the most significant challenges to investigating computer crimes? Is it necessary that official corruption be present in a community for organized crime to be active? Paper: What do you see as the future of computer crime? What types do you believe will increase or decrease? Provide supportive reasons for your statements. Week 8: Terrorist Groups, Drugs and Court Preparation Readings: Text: Chapters 19 and 20 Class Activities: All students take final exam this week. Weekly Discussion Topics/Question: Do you feel that the Patriot Act is justified in our war on terrorism, or is it an unwarranted erosion of the Bill of Rights? What would you see as the differences between a "gang" and a "cult?" What would you see as the differences between terrorist groups and gangs or cults? Paper: Work through Application B, the LET Challenge, starting on page 510 (page 517 in the 6th edition), providing answers to the questions posed. E-mail your instructor your answers along with explanations of why you chose as you did.
Academic Honesty:Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86
Plagiarism:Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85
Attendance Policy:Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.
Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88
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Last Updated:7/27/2007 4:46:38 PM