Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

CJAD 415: Criminal Procedures

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  Course Description

Detailed examination of the procedures utilized in the criminal justice system as they relate to criminal law and the administration of justice. Emphasis is placed on court decisions involving the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Prerequisite: junior standing and ENGL 112

Proctored Exams: None


As part of TruitionSM, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below.


  •  del Carmen, Rolando V. Criminal Procedure: Law and Practice. 10th ed, Belmont, California: Cengage Learning, 2017.  eText

Bookstore Information

Visit https://www.ccis.edu/bookstore.aspx for details.

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address. Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns: Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy. Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Note: Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.

  Course Overview

This course focuses on the elements and concepts of procedural criminal law at the federal and state level. The course will focus on national criminal procedures as established in US Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Bill of Rights. The course format will allow for discussion and consideration of topics of regional or local interest as well.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the competing values, theories and concepts involved with criminal procedure.
  2. Explain the process of constitutional decision making at the Supreme Court.
  3. Articulate the significance of important Supreme Court decisions involving the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
  4. Explain common legal terminology and methods used by professionals in the criminal justice system.
  5. Articulate the constitutional limitations upon police conduct.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 1800-2000 90-100%
B 1600-1799 80-89%
C 1400-1599 70-79%
D 1200-1399 60-69%
F 0-1199 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 200 10%
Journals 300 15%
Quizzes 100 5%
Papers 900 45%
Final Exam 500 25%
Total 2000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 5 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 2 5

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 4 10
Discussion 5 10
Journal 1 50 Sunday
Quiz 1 20

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 7 10
Discussion 8 10
Paper 1 100 Wednesday
Journal 2 50 Sunday
Quiz 2 20

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 10 10
Discussion 11 10
Journal 3 50 Sunday
Quiz 3 20

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 12 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 13 10
Discussion 14 10
Paper 2 100 Wednesday
Journal 4 50 Sunday
Quiz 4 20

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 16 10
Discussion 17 10
Journal 5 50 Sunday
Quiz 5 20

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 18 10 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion 19 10
Discussion 20 10
Paper 3 200 Wednesday
Journal 6 50 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 21 5 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 22 5
Paper 4 500 Wednesday
Final Exam 500 Saturday
Total Points: 2000

  Assignment Overview


Your initial postings are due by midnight Wednesday. Follow up postings are due by midnight Sunday (except in Week 8, when all work must be submitted by Saturday). When assigning grades for the discussion forum, I consider the quantity of posts, quality of posts, the timing of posts, follow-up posts where appropriate, and whether you read other posts. It is important for you to read the majority of the other posts in the discussions, and for you to respond to follow up questions suggested by me.


Journals are written assignments that require you to summarize what you have learned from the assigned chapters. Each journal must contain four sections and be written in a specific format. You will find more information about these assignments in the course Content area. The formal rules of proper English and grammar apply for these submissions, and points will be deducted for misspellings, incomplete sentences, poor sentence structure, etc.


You will write four papers in this class:

Week 3: Analysis of our founding documents (Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights)

Week 5: Analysis of a famous trial

Week 7: Analysis of a movie

Week 8: Analysis of a Supreme Court Justice


You will find more detailed descriptions of these assignments in the course Content area.  


Quizzes will be open book and open note and will be available each week through the Quizzes area. The quizzes will include short answer, multiple-choice, true/false, fill in the blank, and short answer/essay items. You may take the quiz any time during a given week that you like, provided that the deadline hasn’t expired.

Final Exam

The Final Examination will be comprehensive. It will present a number of cases and questions requiring short essay responses.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.


Chapter 1

Class Activities

Familiarize yourself with learning online. Take particular care to explore the companion website from the textbook publisher. It contains a lot of useful information.

Discussion 1

Introduce yourself in the "Introductions" topic of our class Discussion. Please give us more than your name. Include your profession, hobbies, interest in criminal law, and any other information that can help us get to know you.

Discussion 2

After reading the syllabus and all course announcements, post questions or comments in the appropriate topic.


Chapter 2

Discussion 3
Read In Action-Juror selection on page 53 of the text. Answer questions 1-2 following the section and discuss and debate this with classmates.
Discussion 4
Read the relevant sections on pp. 44-45 from Chapter 2 and comment in the designated forum about prosecutorial charging methods. In many jurisdictions (Missouri, for example), the State has the option of charging a defendant by a grand jury indictment or Information. What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of each method? What type of case would you opt for a grand jury indictment as opposed to an Information, and vice versa?
Discussion 5

Read the section about plea bargaining in Chapter 2. What is your opinion of plea bargaining? Should it be abolished or restricted? Why or why not?

Journal 1

Submit Journal 1 to the correct Dropbox by midnight Sunday.

Quiz 1

Complete by midnight Sunday.


Chapters 3 & 4

Discussion 6

Chapter 3 is primarily concerned with the distinction between probable cause and reasonable suspicion. Read the Test your Understanding Question 1 on page 86-87.  Answer the questions posed and justify your response. We'll then build by adding more questions as the week unfolds.

Discussion 7

Read the Future of the Exclusionary rule on pp 113-114 and the arguments for and against the rule on p 111. If you were a Supreme Court Justice, would you have voted to create/adopt the Exclusionary rule? Would you now vote to abolish it? Why or Why not?

Discussion 8

Our U. S. Constitution is frequently referred to as a "living" constitution, because it can change over time through new court decisions and amendments. Visit the web site of the NCVAP, and read as much as you can about the proposed victims’ rights amendment to the U. S. Constitution.

    • What does it propose?

    • How would the amendment change existing law?

    • What are the arguments for and against the amendment?

    • What is your own opinion of the merits of the amendment?

Paper 1

Paper 1 is due this week. Submit it to the correct Dropbox by midnight Wednesday. You can find more details about the assignment in the course Content area.

Journal 2

Submit Journal 2 to the correct Dropbox by midnight Sunday.

Quiz 2

Complete by midnight Sunday.


Chapters 5 & 6

Discussion 9

Consider the appropriate boundaries between citizens and police. Many argue in favor of the theme of "nothing to hide nothing to fear" assume that a police officer asks you for consent to search your car. What do you say? What if a police officer asks you if he can come in your home and look around. What do you say? Why?

Discussion 10
Read the highlighted section on Police Use of Force on page 181 of the text. What do you think about Taser use during police/citizen encounters?
Discussion 11

What "characteristics" and "qualifications" are relevant for a Supreme Court justice? Should demographic issues be relevant? Should prior service as a lower court judge be required? What do you think of the methods of selection and tenure for Federal judges? Should they be appointed or elected? Should they be allowed an unlimited term? Why or Why not? What do you think the role of the US Senate should be vis a vis the President in the nomination process? Should it be a rubber stamp? Should they exercise independent judgment? How should politics enter in (Republican/Democrat)? Should there be a "litmus test" for nominees (given either by the President or Senate?) For example, what if the nominee is opposed to abortion rights? What about the nominee's judicial philosophy? Should that be relevant?

Journal 3

Submit Journal 3 to the correct Dropbox by midnight Sunday.

Quiz 3

Complete by midnight Sunday.


Chapters 7 & 8

Discussion 12

Watch the videos linked in the content area, which concern a controversial search performed by Columbia Police. What do you think of the police conduct in this case? What, if anything, did they do wrong? Should night time police searches at a residence be abolished or restricted? Should there be consequences? Why or Why not?

Discussion 13
Locate a news story through Google or some other source that discusses drug checkpoints or alcohol checkpoints. These are totally suspicion-less stops, in which the government detains large groups of motorists or pedestrians. What do you think of these? After we have a few days of discussion, I'll introduce follow up questions for discussion, which may include questions on "the Access Road trap" on page 243.
Discussion 14

Locate a news story (Ex in Google or other search engine) about racial profiling by law enforcement and discuss it. As many of you know, several states are requiring law enforcement to collect and record data on the demographic characteristics of those stopped in a car. What do you think of this practice?

Paper 2

Paper 2 is due this week. Submit it to the correct Dropbox by midnight Wednesday. You can find more details about the assignment in the course Content area.

Journal 4

Submit Journal 4 to the correct Dropbox by midnight Sunday.

Quiz 4

Complete by midnight Sunday.


Chapters 9 & 10

Discussion 15

Read the materials in Chapter 9 dealing with the Plain view and Open Fields doctrine and sense enhancement technology, such as used in Kyllo v. United States. How has technology changed law enforcement? Have these changes all been for the better? When does government use of technology cross the line into invasion of privacy?

Discussion 16

What are the legal issues with lineups, show-ups, and eyewitness identification testimony? Should the accused be entitled to a lawyer at these proceedings? Why or Why not? What are the problems with eyewitness identification testimony? Does it produce wrongful convictions? Should we be skeptical about this testimony?

Discussion 17

Discuss the legal and ethical issues connected with border security and enforcement of the immigration laws.

Journal 5

Submit Journal 5 to the correct Dropbox by midnight Sunday.

Quiz 5

Complete by midnight Sunday.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.

Chapters 11 & 12

Discussion 18

Discuss the merits and current importance of the Miranda doctrine. What are the benefits and costs of this doctrine to society? Do the benefits offset the costs? Should we require all interrogations to be video/audio recorded? Why or why not?

Discussion 19

What can a judge do to properly balance the rights to a fair trial with the first amendment right of a free press?

Discussion 20
Review the website of the Innocence project at http://www.innocenceproject.org. Discuss the details of one of the cases discussed there. What was the reason for the wrongful conviction? How should the wrongfully convicted be compensated? Discuss the issue of finality of criminal trial judgments. How many appeals should be allowed? When should a Criminal case judgment/verdict be final? Should the court reopen all cases when witnesses change their story? After a trial and one appeal, shouldn't that be enough? Why or Why not?
Paper 3

Paper 3 is due this week. Submit it to the correct Dropbox by midnight Wednesday. You can find more details about the assignment in the course Content area.

Journal 6

Submit Journal 6 to the correct Dropbox by midnight Sunday.


Chapter 12

Discussion 21

Comment on the Constitutional rights of the accused at trial. Focus on the right to counsel. What do you think of the public defender system? What are the problems with this system? How could it be improved?

Discussion 22

The Right to trial by jury is one of the bedrock ideals upon which our country was founded.  What is your opinion of our jury system? What if any changes to the jury system would you recommend? Why?

Paper 4

Paper 4 is due this week. Submit it to the correct Dropbox by midnight Wednesday. You can find more details about the assignment in the course Content area.

Final Exam

You will have access to the Final Examination beginning on Monday and ending at midnight Saturday. The Final is comprehensive.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a cumulative process that begins with the first college learning opportunity. Students are responsible for knowing the Academic Integrity policy and procedures and may not use ignorance of either as an excuse for academic misconduct. Columbia College recognizes that the vast majority of students at Columbia College maintain high ethical academic standards; however, failure to abide by the prohibitions listed herein is considered academic misconduct and may result in disciplinary action, a failing grade on the assignment, and/or a grade of "F" for the course.

Additionally, all required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Columbia College is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body. If you anticipate or experience any barriers to learning, communicate your concerns with the instructor. In addition to speaking with the instructor, the following resources are available to ensure an opportunity to learn in an inclusive environment that values mutual respect.

  • For students with disabilities/conditions who are experiencing barriers to learning or assessment, contact the Student Accessibility Resources office at (573) 875-7626 or sar@ccis.edu to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in the course, including accommodations.
  • For students who are experiencing conflict which is impacting their educational environment, contact the Office of Student Conduct at studentconduct@ccis.edu or (573) 875-7877.
  • For students who have concerns related to discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy or parental status, please contact the Title IX Office at titleixcoordinator@ccis.edu. More information can be found at http://www.ccis.edu/policies/notice-of-non-discrimination-and-equal-opportunity.aspx

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

No makeup quizzes will be allowed. Late assignments will be penalized absent special circumstances approved in advance by the instructor.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.