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Course Descriptions

Showing Criminal Law Classes

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Monday

Crime Scene Investigation: Mock Crime Scenes - Winter 2019

Term: Winter 2019     Class Meets: Monday,      11:00 am - 12:30 pm ET

Class Begins: Jan 14, 2019

Duration: 90 minutes,  Weeks: 10

Syllabus

Price: $300.00

$240.00 before Mar 15

Reg. Opens Mar 1 8:00 am


Mysteries?  Clues!  Who Dunnit?  Solve the Crime!

Together we will go through a simulation to put our detective skills to work.

Crime Scene Investigation: Mock Crime Scenes introduces students to the investigative process.

Together, we will explore two different mock crime scenes:  The Professor and His Watch and The Museum Case.   Each of the two simulations will follow the protocol listed below.

First, the students will then receive a full set of documents and images dealing with the first stage of the scene.

Second, there will be a discussion of the students’ findings from the first batch of information, along with their questions and requests for additional information and a look at the second batch of documents.  During this meeting, we will discuss three other locations/events that follow our initial crime scene event.  The students will begin to examine whether we have connections between these events or if they are merely coincidental.

Third, we will focus on crime scene reconstruction and creating viable scenarios with the evidence we have.  Any additional information that the students request will be sent out within one day of this session.  This session will also include some initial questioning of suspects and witnesses.

Finally, there will be the questioning phase, where the students will solve the case and determine exactly what happened.

 

Instructor: Thomas Jones

Grade Range: 6th - 8th

A minimum of 5 students must enroll for this class to be held.

Thursday

Introduction to Law

Term: Winter 2019     Class Meets: Thursday,      11:00 am - 12:30 pm ET

Class Begins: Jan 17, 2019

Duration: 90 minutes,  Weeks: 10

Syllabus

Price: $300.00

$240.00 before Mar 15

Reg. Opens Mar 1 8:00 am


Introduction to Law gives students an overview of legal philosophy and history, the elements of the legal system, and civil and criminal law.   We will cover the following topics but not limited to

 

  • Legal History
  • Legal Philosophy
  • Elements of a Crime
  • Mechanics of a Trial
  • Constitutional Amendments
  • Supreme Court System

 

Instructor: Thomas Jones

Grade Range: 8th - 12th

A minimum of 5 students must enroll for this class to be held.

Tuesday

Criminal Law: The Complex Case of the Grinch - Winter 2019

Term: Winter 2019     Class Meets: Tuesday,      1:00 pm - 2:30 pm ET

Class Begins: Jan 15, 2019

Duration: 90 minutes,  Weeks: 10

Syllabus

Price: $300.00

$240.00 before Mar 15

Reg. Opens Mar 1 8:00 am


Was he guilty?  OR…. Was he innocent?  YOU will be the one to decide!

The Complex Case of the Grinch provides a fictional case to analyze, as well as a setting for a mock trial where the students will play multiple roles—defense, prosecution, and jury.

This very Seussian trial will involve a lot of Noise, Noise, Noise, Noise (actually discussion and mock trial work).  Students will work through a series of questions about the charges to pursue, the legal issues that may trip up the case, and the approach that each side should take.

This class starts with a session on basic concepts of criminal law.  We will go over terms such as jurisdiction, venue, types of crimes, pleas, mens rea and actus reus, jury selection, and jury nullification.

After the first session, students will watch the Grinch (either the cartoon or the live action movie) so that we can discuss the issues that would arise in a hypothetical case against this green menace.  Students will discuss complicating factors in a case of this type.  We will finish this session with a discussion of the jury's duties.

In the third session, I will briefly explain opening and closing arguments, and then present the prosecution's closing statements.  After that, students will discuss their initial thoughts on the Grinch's fate.  I will then present the defense's closing arguments, and we will again discuss the student jurors' opinions on the Grinch.  In essence, would they touch a conviction "with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole?"

While it may initially sound somewhat silly to use this type of story as a hypothetical case study, such activities are used by creative law professors.  We go in knowing that the Grinch is completely fictitious, so we don't carry any biases into our discussions and deliberations.  By removing the real-world elements, students are able to explore many topics which might otherwise be hidden.

This class is intended to help students dip their toes into legal thinking in a creative and fun way.

 

Instructor: Thomas Jones

Grade Range: 8th - 12th

A minimum of 5 students must enroll for this class to be held.

Tuesday

Unsolved Crimes - Spring 2019

Term: Spring 2019     Class Meets: Tuesday,      1:00 pm - 2:30 pm ET

Class Begins: Apr 02, 2019

Duration: 90 minutes,  Weeks: 10

Syllabus

Price: $300.00

$240.00 before Mar 15

Reg. Opens Mar 1 8:00 am


Unsolved Crimes focuses on five of the most famous unsolved (or incorrectly solved) crimes in history through the lens of modern forensic science.

The iconic unsolved crimes offer puzzles that have lured thousands of people into devoting countless hours searching for solutions.  This class provides an age appropriate, science-based examination of these intriguing cases.  We will focus on the evidence that was found and the ways that it might be analyzed today.  We will critically analyze the main hypotheses in each case to develop conclusions about the proper direction of investigation.

The first case is Jack the Ripper.  We won't focus on the details of the killings, but rather on the physical evidence, such as real and fake letters, the Ghoulston Street Graffito, the geography of the crimes, and the suspects who have captured our attention over the years.  We will work through a new hypothesis that leads to a shocking conclusion about the identity of Jack the Ripper which connects London's Autumn of Terror to the city of my childhood, Chicago.

The second case is the Lizzie Borden case, which is the subject of a questionable nursery rhyme.  Again, we won't focus on the details of the crimes, but rather on the general sense of the scene.  Here, we will examine the prosecution's theory that suggested that Lizzie Borden committed the crimes alone.  As a teaser, I will say that I don't think she did it, and we will discuss the ways that investigators can reconstruct a crime scene which will lead us to doubt the physical possibility of her completing these crimes in the time frame provided.  If not her, then who?  While there are many potential suspects, one or two may stand out above the others.

The third case comes straight from a Hollywood movie--the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping, dubbed the "Crime of the Century."  The son of the most famous man in the world, and a national hero, was kidnapped in early March 1932.  The case resulted in a conviction and execution, but it has returned to the list of unsolved crimes because of a plank from a table that was discovered in police archives in 2003.  The implications of what was taped to the bottom of the plank, along with an oddly shaped piece of metal on the wood casts serious doubt on the guilt of the accused.  But, if not him, then who?  The questions that must be asked to take this case in directions that any mystery writer would be proud to devise.  We will look at some truly unique evidence and examine the history of the period and of some of the people involved.

I have taught Unsolved Crimes for over 5 years at the college and teen levels, and it is one of my favorite classes.  I have found new clues in some of these cases, and I have had students, including homeschooled teens, find more clues that had previously been unknown.

 

Instructor: Thomas Jones

Grade Range: 8th - 12th

A minimum of 5 students must enroll for this class to be held.

Wednesday

Crime Scene Investigation: Mock Crime Scenes - Fall 2018

Term: Fall 2018     Class Meets: Wednesday,      3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

Class Begins: Oct 10, 2018

Duration: 90 minutes,  Weeks: 10

Syllabus

Price: $300.00

$240.00 before Mar 15

Reg. Opens Mar 1 8:00 am


Mysteries?  Clues!  Who Dunnit?  Solve the Crime!

Together we will go through a simulation to put our detective skills to work.

Crime Scene Investigation: Mock Crime Scenes introduces students to the investigative process.

Together, we will explore two different mock crime scenes:  The Professor and His Watch and The Museum Case.   Each of the two simulations will follow the protocol listed below.

First, the students will then receive a full set of documents and images dealing with the first stage of the scene.

Second, there will be a discussion of the students’ findings from the first batch of information, along with their questions and requests for additional information and a look at the second batch of documents.  During this meeting, we will discuss three other locations/events that follow our initial crime scene event.  The students will begin to examine whether we have connections between these events or if they are merely coincidental.

Third, we will focus on crime scene reconstruction and creating viable scenarios with the evidence we have.  Any additional information that the students request will be sent out within one day of this session.  This session will also include some initial questioning of suspects and witnesses.

Finally, there will be the questioning phase, where the students will solve the case and determine exactly what happened.

 

Instructor: Thomas Jones

Grade Range: 6th - 8th

A minimum of 5 students must enroll for this class to be held.

Thursday

Crime Scene Investigation: Mock Crime Scenes - Spring 2019

Term: Spring 2019     Class Meets: Thursday,      3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

Class Begins: Apr 04, 2019

Duration: 90 minutes,  Weeks: 10

Syllabus

Price: $300.00

$240.00 before Mar 15

Reg. Opens Mar 1 8:00 am


Mysteries?  Clues!  Who Dunnit?  Solve the Crime!

Together we will go through a simulation to put our detective skills to work.

Crime Scene Investigation: Mock Crime Scenes introduces students to the investigative process.

Together, we will explore two different mock crime scenes:  The Professor and His Watch and The Museum Case.   Each of the two simulations will follow the protocol listed below.

First, the students will then receive a full set of documents and images dealing with the first stage of the scene.

Second, there will be a discussion of the students’ findings from the first batch of information, along with their questions and requests for additional information and a look at the second batch of documents.  During this meeting, we will discuss three other locations/events that follow our initial crime scene event.  The students will begin to examine whether we have connections between these events or if they are merely coincidental.

Third, we will focus on crime scene reconstruction and creating viable scenarios with the evidence we have.  Any additional information that the students request will be sent out within one day of this session.  This session will also include some initial questioning of suspects and witnesses.

Finally, there will be the questioning phase, where the students will solve the case and determine exactly what happened.

 

Instructor: Thomas Jones

Grade Range: 6th - 8th

A minimum of 5 students must enroll for this class to be held.

Wednesday

Criminal Law: The Complex Case of the Grinch - Spring 2019

Term: Spring 2019     Class Meets: Wednesday,      3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

Class Begins: Apr 03, 2019

Duration: 90 minutes,  Weeks: 10

Syllabus

Price: $300.00

$240.00 before Mar 15

Reg. Opens Mar 1 8:00 am


Was he guilty?  OR…. Was he innocent?  YOU will be the one to decide!

The Complex Case of the Grinch provides a fictional case to analyze, as well as a setting for a mock trial where the students will play multiple roles—defense, prosecution, and jury.

This very Seussian trial will involve a lot of Noise, Noise, Noise, Noise (actually discussion and mock trial work).  Students will work through a series of questions about the charges to pursue, the legal issues that may trip up the case, and the approach that each side should take.

This class starts with a session on basic concepts of criminal law.  We will go over terms such as jurisdiction, venue, types of crimes, pleas, mens rea and actus reus, jury selection, and jury nullification.

After the first session, students will watch the Grinch (either the cartoon or the live action movie) so that we can discuss the issues that would arise in a hypothetical case against this green menace.  Students will discuss complicating factors in a case of this type.  We will finish this session with a discussion of the jury's duties.

In the third session, I will briefly explain opening and closing arguments, and then present the prosecution's closing statements.  After that, students will discuss their initial thoughts on the Grinch's fate.  I will then present the defense's closing arguments, and we will again discuss the student jurors' opinions on the Grinch.  In essence, would they touch a conviction "with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole?"

While it may initially sound somewhat silly to use this type of story as a hypothetical case study, such activities are used by creative law professors.  We go in knowing that the Grinch is completely fictitious, so we don't carry any biases into our discussions and deliberations.  By removing the real-world elements, students are able to explore many topics which might otherwise be hidden.

This class is intended to help students dip their toes into legal thinking in a creative and fun way.

 

Instructor: Thomas Jones

Grade Range: 8th - 12th

A minimum of 5 students must enroll for this class to be held.

Tuesday

Unsolved Crimes - Winter 2019

Term: Winter 2019     Class Meets: Tuesday,      3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

Class Begins: Jan 15, 2019

Duration: 90 minutes,  Weeks: 10

Syllabus

Price: $300.00

$240.00 before Mar 15

Reg. Opens Mar 1 8:00 am


Unsolved Crimes focuses on five of the most famous unsolved (or incorrectly solved) crimes in history through the lens of modern forensic science.

The iconic unsolved crimes offer puzzles that have lured thousands of people into devoting countless hours searching for solutions.  This class provides an age appropriate, science-based examination of these intriguing cases.  We will focus on the evidence that was found and the ways that it might be analyzed today.  We will critically analyze the main hypotheses in each case to develop conclusions about the proper direction of investigation.

The first case is Jack the Ripper.  We won't focus on the details of the killings, but rather on the physical evidence, such as real and fake letters, the Ghoulston Street Graffito, the geography of the crimes, and the suspects who have captured our attention over the years.  We will work through a new hypothesis that leads to a shocking conclusion about the identity of Jack the Ripper which connects London's Autumn of Terror to the city of my childhood, Chicago.

The second case is the Lizzie Borden case, which is the subject of a questionable nursery rhyme.  Again, we won't focus on the details of the crimes, but rather on the general sense of the scene.  Here, we will examine the prosecution's theory that suggested that Lizzie Borden committed the crimes alone.  As a teaser, I will say that I don't think she did it, and we will discuss the ways that investigators can reconstruct a crime scene which will lead us to doubt the physical possibility of her completing these crimes in the time frame provided.  If not her, then who?  While there are many potential suspects, one or two may stand out above the others.

The third case comes straight from a Hollywood movie--the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping, dubbed the "Crime of the Century."  The son of the most famous man in the world, and a national hero, was kidnapped in early March 1932.  The case resulted in a conviction and execution, but it has returned to the list of unsolved crimes because of a plank from a table that was discovered in police archives in 2003.  The implications of what was taped to the bottom of the plank, along with an oddly shaped piece of metal on the wood casts serious doubt on the guilt of the accused.  But, if not him, then who?  The questions that must be asked to take this case in directions that any mystery writer would be proud to devise.  We will look at some truly unique evidence and examine the history of the period and of some of the people involved.

I have taught Unsolved Crimes for over 5 years at the college and teen levels, and it is one of my favorite classes.  I have found new clues in some of these cases, and I have had students, including homeschooled teens, find more clues that had previously been unknown.

 

Instructor: Thomas Jones

Grade Range: 8th - 12th

A minimum of 5 students must enroll for this class to be held.