|Extrajudicial Influences of Justice and the Court of Public Opinion
Greg Woods, J.D.
Students will examine trends through history and explore contemporary issues specific to community demand in response to flaws of the justice system, increase awareness and develop analytical skills regarding the impact of pre-trial media coverage calculated to inform, define and inspire dramatic interpretations of violence and influence those parties charged with the duty to provide fair results, satisfy community demand and preserve civil rights in the United States.
Week 1 Introductions/Course overview; Expectations of Justice, Media and Community Influences; When crime comes to your neighborhood: Perceptions of the dark figure of crime; Measuring and understanding violence; Sources of data on primary and secondary victimization; Parole Board Expected to Recommend O.J. Simpson's Release October 3, 2017; Discussion.
Week 2 Response, recovery and effective policing; Surveillance and the percipient witness; Committees of Vigilance and the Squeaky-Wheeled Guillotine; Johannes Mehserle, the San
Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant in 2009 and inspiration for the 2013 theatrical release Fruitvale Station, said he disagreed with the
jury's 2010 verdict convicting him of involuntary manslaughter; Discussion.
Week 3 No Justice, No Peace: Crime statistics, legislative intent and public policy; Zero-tolerance approaches; Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program; The case of Freddie Gray and Baltimore, Maryland, State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, and the burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; Discussion.
Week 4 The Cycle of Violence: Impact and perspective: Ferguson, Missouri, Mike Brown, Officer Darren Wilson and The Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division 2015 investigation
of patterns and practices of excessive force, biased policing and other unconstitutional practices by law enforcement; Discussion.
Week 5 Violence From A Stranger: Homicide; Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law and Black Live Matter; Surveillance and Crime Prevention through Environmental Design; Bifurcated criminal trials, victim impact statements, adjudication and restitution; Discussion.
Week 6 Anti-Recidivism: Vocational and academic training programs; Restorative solutions in criminal justice, Recidivism, Release, Community Integration and Expungement; After the four police officers who beat Rodney King were acquitted in 1991, riots spread through Los Angeles, California. Yet King himself, the man who had faced the most injustice, plead for peace: "Can we all just get along?” Future trends of criminal justice system; Discussion; Final thoughts.
Greg Woods, J.D. is a Lecturer with the Department of Justice Studies at San Jose State, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies at Sonoma State, and has taught with the Department of Criminal Justice Studies at SF State University. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from San Francisco Law School.