We will examine 10 to 15 criminal cases and what they reveal about the justness of criminal justice. Cases will range from a sado-masochistic murder to a violation of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). The menu will probably include the subway vigilante case, a “now you’ve got AIDS” bite, manslaughter for stabbing the leg of a 6’8” 350-pounder who was strangling a friend, a pre-planned self-defense case, an attempted killing with a change of heart, a burning-bed husband killing, and the Poughkeepsie kayak conviction. Cases are from the study leader’s own practice, from public records, from Shakespeare, and from Stephen King.
We will discuss, among other topics, the justice and the scope of the following: society’s right tolock up people for many years, attempt liability, self-defense, plea bargaining, and the exclusionary rule. We also will consider whether the system is biased for or against the accused, and whether it should be permissible for the prosecutor or the defense counsel to mislead the jury.
There will be at most ten pages of optional reading for each class.
LARRY CROCKER received his PH.D. in philosophy from Harvard, his J.D. From Duke. He taught philosophy at the University of Washington and at Dartmouth, clerked for a federal Court of Appeals judge, litigated corporate and air crash cases, prosecuted and defended criminals in Manhattan, and taught law at NYU. His blog is www.lawrencecrocker.blogspot.com. For a clip of a public lecture see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXzS0N4P_fc&t=3s.
All OSHER@Dartmouth courses require a membership to attend. Membership costs $70 annually.