CJ313 The Law of Evidence

for SP 2013

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


CJ 313 The Law of Evidence


SP 2013 HO


Greg Plumb


Professor of Criminal Justice


B.A. in History & Economics from University of Missouri at Columbia
J.D. from University of Missouri at Columbia

Office Location

Hawley Hall (HH) 302

Office Hours

Tue & Thu 8:00-8:30 a.m. and 10:00-12:30; Wed & Fri 11:00-12:00

Daytime Phone




Semester Dates

January 14, 2013 to May 10, 2013

Class Days


Class Time

9:00 - 9:50 AM

Credit Hours


Title: Criminal Evidence
Author: Judy Hails
Edition: 7th

ISBN-10: 1-111-34593-3 
Copyright 2012 Wadsworth Cengage

Additional Resources:
Additional resources will be provided on the course website. 

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
This intermediate course examines the rules of evidence as they relate to the prosecution and defense of criminal cases, general provisions, judicial notice, presumptions, relevancy, privileges, witnesses, hearsay, expert testimony, authentication, and identification.

Educational Philosophy:
Professor Plumb's educational philosophy is based on using a variety of methods in learning, focusing on the interactive.  Lectures, readings, quizzes, group work, class discussion, examinations, writing, and use of the Internet are significant components of this learning process. Students will be required to analyze, criticize, and synthesize information learned and apply this information in the analysis of evidentiary issues in case studies.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Distinguish what evidence is and how it affects the processing of a criminal case, the different types of evidence as introduced at trial, and the issues surrounding the use of witnesses as evidence in a criminal case.
  2. Critique hearsay evidence and privileged communications.
  3. Compare the types of searches utilized in the criminal justice system and the evidentiary issues that surround them, while understanding the process of preparing a case for trial.

Core Assessment:

·        Class participation, short answer-essay exams

·        Essay exams

·        Research paper(s) &/or project(s), presentation on paper &/or project

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:
A variety of methods will be used to assess the learning that occurs in this course.  Students will be assessed on their class participation, performance in group work, performance on periodic written assignments, examinations, and a major paper.  See “Grading” below for greater specificity.


Students will be evaluated on the total number of points each student earns as compared to the greatest amount of points that may be earned in each class activity.

In determining the number of points assigned to an activity, the major factors will be the following questions:

  • Was the work completed?
  • Was the work completed correctly?
  • Was the work completed on time?

All assignments are due at the beginning of the class period they are due. Course grades are determined on the following allocation of points:

  • Participation                    125
  • Written assignments       200
  • Examinations                   250
  • Major paper                     300
  • Group projects                125
  • Total                             1,000

Point accumulation for grades:

  • 900 - 1000 points - A
  • 800 - 899 points   - B
  • 700 - 799 points   - C
  • 600 - 699 points   - D
  • 0 - 599 points       - F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
For each class period an assignment is late, points will be deducted.  No course materials will be accepted after the last class meeting in the last week of classes.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

1. Attend class and be prompt.  Class attendance is part of class participation, which is a portion of your grade.  Roll will be checked at the beginning of each class period.  Since tardy entry to a class disrupts the class, your lateness for class will receive a reduction in points.  Occasional in-class quizzes are part of class participation, and may NOT be made up.

2. Due to abuses by students in past semesters, there will be no excused absences.  You are either present or absent.  To partially make up for an absence, you must submit to the instructor by the beginning of the next class meeting you attend, an essay of one to two pages in length, summarizing the assigned reading for the class period missed.  The essay must be submitted by e-mail to the instructor at the address above with the essay as an attachment.  IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE UP ANYTHING MISSED IN CLASS.

3. Be prepared for class.  This means that you have read the assigned readings and are prepared to discuss them.  This is a junior level course, and the expectation is that you will function at that level.  This course will consist of class discussion, small group discussion, group work, and individual reporting to the class.  You are expected to take part in the discussions and group work.  Your in-class participation is a portion of your grade.

4. Examinations.  There will be two examinations in this course - a Mid-Term and a Final. Both examinations will be in the essay format. Further information about these examinations will be provided in the website for this course.

5. There will be periodic written assignments in this course.  Further information about these written assignments will be provided in the website for this course.

6. Major Paper.  A major paper is required in this course.  Further information about this paper will be provided in the website for this course.

7. Group Projects.  There will be group projects in this course. The specifics of this requirement and the rubric for scoring this requirement will be available on the course website. Each student is required to submit a written segment of the project in the appropriate dropbox.

8. All assignments MUST be submitted using Microsoft Word in the appropriate dropbox in the eCompanion site for this course.  I will NOT accept assignments submitted by e-mail.  Please see me if you are unfamiliar with using eCompanion.

9. Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive.  Students must recognize though that technology can also cause problems.  Printers run out of ink and hard drives crash.  Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology.  Be sure to save copies of your work to a disk, a hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week  Date  Topic  Reading  Assignment 
 1  Mon Jan 14 Introduction to Course Course Syllabus  none 
   Wed Jan 16  Introduction to Evidence text pp. 1-12 none  
  Fri Jan 18  Introduction, contd.  text pp. 13-22  none  
 2  Mon Jan 21  Martin Luther King Day no classes  none
   Wed Jan 23  Role of Courts text pp. 23-35 none 
  Fri Jan 25   Role of Courts, contd. text pp. 35-48  none  
 3  Mon Jan 28 Adjudication Process  text pp. 49-65 Written Assignment 1 (50) 
   Wed Jan 30  Adjudication, contd. text pp. 65-83  none 
  Fri Feb 1   Types of Evidence text pp. 85-95  none 
 4  Mon Feb 4  Types of Evidence, contd. text pp. 95-103 Group Project 1 (25) 
  Wed Feb 6  Direct & Circumstantial Evidence  text pp. 105-117 none  
   Fri Feb 8  Direct & Circumstantial Evidence, contd. text pp. 118-131 none  
 5  Mon Feb 11 Witnesses  text pp. 133-143  Paper Topic (25) 
  Wed Feb 13   Witnesses, contd. text pp. 143-156  none 
   Fri Feb 15 Witnesses, contd.  text pp. 156-166 Group Project 2 (25) 
 6  Mon Feb 18  Presidents Day no classes  none 
   Wed Feb 20  Crime Scene Evidence text pp. 167-178  Written Assignment 2 (50)
   Fri Feb 22 Crime Scenes, contd.  text pp. 178-191 none  
 7 Mon Feb 25  Crime Scenes, contd.  text pp. 191-200  none  
  Wed Feb 27  Documentary Evidence  text pp. 201-212 none  
  Fri Mar 1   Documentary Evidence, contd. text pp. 212-221  Group Project 3 (25)
 Mon Mar 4  Documentary Evidence, contd. text pp. 221-227 Paper Reading List (75) 
   Wed Mar 6  Review    none
   Fri Mar 8  Mid-Term Exam   (100) 
Mar 11-15   Spring Recess no classes   none
 Mon Mar 18 Hearsay  text pp. 229-248  none 
   Wed Mar 20  Hearsay, contd. text pp. 248-265 none  
  Fri Mar 22   Hearsay, contd.  text pp. 265-281 none  
 10  Mon Mar 25 Privileges  text pp. 283-299  Written Assignment 3 (50)
   Wed Mar 27  Privileges, contd. text pp. 299-309 Group Project 4 (25) 
   Fri Mar 29 Good Friday  no classes  none 
 11 Mon Apr 1  Search & Seizure  text pp. 311-321 Paper Draft (100) 
   Wed Apr 3 Search & Seizure, contd.  text pp. 322-336 none  
   Fri Apr 5  Search & Seizure, contd. text pp. 336-354 none  
 12 Mon Apr 8  Field Interviews  text pp. 355-369  Written Assignment 4 (50)
  Wed Apr 10  Field Interviews, contd.  text pp. 370-384 none  
   Fri Apr 12 Plain View  text pp. 385-298 Group Project 5 (25) 
 13  Mon Apr 15 Plain View, contd.  text pp. 398-415 Paper Final (50) 
   Wed Apr 17 USA PATRIOT Act  text pp. 417-444 none 
   Fri Apr 19 Self-Incrimination  text pp. 445-464 none  
 14 Mon Apr 22   Self-Incrimination, contd. text pp. 464-479 none  
  Wed Apr 24  Identification  text pp. 481-501 none 
   Fri Apr 26  Preparing for Court text pp. 503-526 none  
 15 Mon Apr 29   Paper Presentations    Paper Presentation (50)
   Wed May 1 Paper Presentations, contd.     none  
  Fri May 3   Review   none 
16 Wed May 8 Final Examination 8:00-10:00 a.m. (150)

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Additional Information:



CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
The artifact assembles at least 8

Sources from class readings, observations, and other resources

The artifact assembles  at least 6-8 sources from class readings, observations, and other resources The artifact assembles 5 or fewer sources from only one resource The artifact does not utilize proper resources 
The artifact will display the use of at least 8 outside sources and the ability to draw a well supported conclusion about the case chosen The artifact will display the use of at least 6-8 sources and an adequate conclusion about the case chosen The artifact will display the use of 5 or fewer outside resources and show little ability to draw a conclusion about the case chosen The artifact does not display a proper conclusion about the case chosen 
The artifact demonstrates the student's ability to utilize 3 or more evaluation perspectives in examining the facts contained in the case chosen. The artifact demonstrates the student's ability to utilize 2 evaluation perspectives in examining the facts contained in the case chosen The artifact contains 1 evaluation perspective  in examining the facts contained in the case chosen Evaluation is not present in the artifact 
1, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
The artifact contains no errors in terminology The artifact contains 1-2 errors in terminology The artifact contains 3-4 mistakes in terminology The artifact contains 5 or more errors in terminology 
1, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
The artifact discusses more than 5 key elements and displays an exceptional understanding of the elements The artifact discusses 5 key elements and displays an understanding of the elements The artifact discusses fewer than five key elements and displays little understanding of the elements The artifact does not discuss key elements 
2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
The artifact shows multiple instances and exceptional understanding of terminology and concepts through out the paper The artifact shows sufficient and satisfactory use of terminology and concepts throughout the paper The artifact shows little and unsatisfactory use of terminology and concepts throughout the paper The artifact fails to demonstrate an understanding of terminology and concepts 
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
The artifact is in APA or MLA format, is at least 6 pages in length, and displays proper grammar and no spelling errors The artifact is in APA or MLA format, is 4-6 pages in length, displays proper grammar, and no more than 2 spelling errors The artifact is not in a proper format, contains multiple grammar errors, and more than 2 spelling errors The artifact is not in proper format, contains multiple grammar errors , and multiple spelling errors 
1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
The artifact contains the following:

-Title page


-Bibliography with at least 8 sources


The artifact contains the following:

-Title page


-Bibliography of at least 6-8 sources

The artifact does not contain one or more of the following:

-title page


-bibliography of at least 5 sources

The artifact is missing most of the required elements 


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Last Updated:12/13/2012 8:39:16 AM