Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Revised Activity: Attempted Rape of a Nonexistent Child

HUP 109 Philosophy of Law Spring I 2012
Dr V. Albrecht

Part I
Due: Sunday March 18, 2012

Case:
Police had information that Steven Peterman, age 45, was involved in a child pornography ring. Police worked with a female acquaintance of Peterman to arrest him. They invented a ten-year-old girl, whom the acquaintance then pretended to know. The woman indicated she would give Peterman access to the girl if he would come to her residence. Peterman arrived at the woman’s home with several photographs, characterized by police as child pornography, along with a variety of sex toys. Peterman was arrested and is now charged with attempted rape of a child.

Students with last names A – L are prosecutors.
Students with last names M – Z are working for the defense.


Prosecutors:
You have to argue that Peterman is guilty of the charges and convince the jury of his guilt. Recall the concepts of actus reus and mens rea and apply them to this case. Explain their relevance for Peterman’s guilt. Explain the notion of an attempted crime and convince the jury that Peterman is indeed guilty of attempted rape. In your conclusion, you should note the legal and moral implications of the jury’s decision to find Peterman guilty.

Make your case in about 300-600 words, and post it on our class blog as “new post” with the title “Peterman/ Prosecution”.

Defense lawyers:
You have to argue that the charges against Peterman do not hold up and convince the jury (please keep in mind that you don’t have to be friends with Peterman, but that it is your sworn duty to defend your client to the best of your ability). Recall the concepts of actus reus and mens rea and apply them to this case. Explain their relevance for the fact that Peterman cannot be properly charged with this crime. Explain the notion of an attempted crime and convince the jury that Peterman cannot properly be found guilty of attempted rape. In your conclusion, you should note the legal and moral implications of the jury’s decision to find Peterman not guilty.

Make your case in about 250-500 words, and post it on our class blog as “new post” with the title “Peterman/ Defense”.



Part II
Due: Sunday March 25, 2012

Prosecutors:
Go to the Blog and select at least one but no more than three posts titled “Peterman/ Defense” and write a rebuttal. Please post your rebuttal(s) as comment under the post. The total word count of your rebuttal(s) should be at least 200 words.

Defense lawyers:
Go to the Blog and select at least one but no more than three posts titled “Peterman/ Prosecution” and write a rebuttal. Please post your rebuttal(s) as comment under the post. The total word count of your rebuttal(s) should be at least 200 words.


OBJECTIVES (using Bloom’s taxonomy, new version):

Remembering: Students recall and define the terms actus reus, mens rea, and attempted crimes, important concepts in criminal law.

Understanding: Students explain and recognize these concepts in context.

Applying: Students have to apply these concepts to case law and use them for their arguments, thereby deepening the understanding of the concepts.

Evaluating: Students have to evaluate a specific case and defend a point of view that may not be their personal standpoint based on reasoning.

Moreover: Students imitate the adversarial nature of our legal system that is based on reason and argument, thus strengthening their critical thinking skills.


Note: This is an online class now. Students are using Blog as discussion and participation tool, and about 10 very strong former students also participate in the blog with comments. I am not quite sure how to connect this to the rest of the cyber world, a perfect class to link would be a criminal justice class.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting activity, Vera. Do you know Scott White, the librarian? He is a scholar of criminal justice & created the program here. He used to co-lead DFL. You should definitely talk to him about how/where to connect.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, I would love to connect with some criminal justice people.

    ReplyDelete