PHIL 375K - Criminal Procedure: Theoretical Foundations

This course examines the theoretical foundations of criminal procedure- political, historical, and, above all, philosophical. What are the ideas at work in the American system of criminal procedure? How, historically, did the system develop, and why does it presently function as it does? Is the system broken and, if so, what principles should orient us in fixing it? This theoretical inquiry has a practical point. Procedure plays a major role in the present crisis of American criminal justice. By examining criminal procedure's theoretical foundations, this course aims to develop competing "big picture," synthetic perspectives on the criminal justice crisis as a whole. Thus, for students interested in criminal justice reform, this course will equip you to take a philosophically richer view of the underlying policy issues. For students thinking about a career in criminal law, this course will equip you to engage in large-scale thinking about how criminal procedure should change, rather than just working within the doctrinal and institutional structures that exist at present. For students interested in legal academia, this course will develop your ability to read sophisticated theoretical material, to write in the same vein, and to relate theoretical ideas to policy prescriptions. Elements used in grading: Class participation and, based on individual student preference, either a final reflection paper (2 units) or a final research paper with instructor permission. Students electing the final research paper option can take the course for either 2 or 3 units, depending on paper length. Cross-listed with the Law School (LAW 2019). Class Notes: Please contact instructor for permission to enroll. Please check LAW listings for rooms and times. Meets Wed 4:15 PM - 6:15 PM with Kleinfeld, J. (PI).
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