Final Project on Just Mercy due May 8
You have two choices for your project. The first choice is to write a narrative account of someone in prison. The second choice is to research an aspect of the Criminal Justice System. You will be doing a 5 to 8 minute presentation, as well as a written paper of 4 to 5 pages.
Option #1 The Narrative:
A narrative tells the story of someone. You will need to include the person’s background, offense, and judicial outcome. What happened? Who was involved? What is the scene or setting? How were events shaped? What will the future hold? Consider the many models in Just Mercy of personal stories.
Option#2 Research on issue raised by Stevenson:
Your research is a roadmap to explain the problem or issue and the significance of the problem or issue. Provide a background for the issue. What is the controversy? Who is involved? Who is affected? What is to be gained or lost? What tensions arise from the issue? Find a topic that interests you: DNA testing, for-profit prisons, whether execution is a deterrent to crime, prison systems in Sweden or Norway, children in prison in Connecticut, Innocence Projects, Appalachian Prison Book Project, Inmate Statistics, treatment of mentally ill, the cost of incarceration, rehabilitation, minimum security prisons, parole, Stand Your Ground legislation, etc.
You are required to have 5 credible sources. Your presentation requires 5 slides. Be sure to cite your sources at the conclusion of the paper and the presentation. Your presentation is an oral format, so plan to use notecards. The paper is formal writing. This means that you will have two grades of this project: one for your presentation and the second for the write-up.
Resource from Just Mercy
- Equal Justice Initiative http://eji.org/just-mercy
Bryan Stevenson is the executive director of Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization that provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair treatment in the legal system. This website features reports, personal stories, fact sheets, statistics, and multimedia relating to the work done through EJI.
The National Registry of Exonerations is a project of the University of Michigan Law School. The Registry provides detailed information about every known exoneration in the United States since 1989.
The Innocence Project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.
Established in 1986, The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.
The Death Penalty Information Center is a national non-profit organization serving the media and the public with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment. The Center promotes informed discussion of the death penalty by preparing in-depth reports, conducting briefings for journalists, and serving as a resource to those working on this issue. The Center releases reports on various issues related to the death penalty such as arbitrariness, costs, innocence, and race. They also produce an annual report on the death penalty, highlighting significant developments and featuring the latest statistics.
National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) is a federally funded resource offering justice and drug-related information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide.
The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program has been the starting place for law enforcement executives, students of criminal justice, researchers, members of the media, and the public at large seeking information on crime in the nation. Today, four annual publications, Crime in the United States, National Incident-Based Reporting System, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, and Hate Crime Statistics are produced from data received from over 18,000 city, university/college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the program. The crime data are submitted either through a state UCR Program or directly to the FBI’s UCR Program.