Students will explore their ideas about fairness in the American criminal justice system and the role of race and ethnicity by analyzing the depiction of the Amadou Diallo shooting in Bruce Springsteen’s song “American Skin (41 Shots).” They will apply newly acquired knowledge about the protections and limits of the Fourth and 14th Amendment and law enforcement challenges to a reevaluation of their ideas about fair and equal treatment by the police.
Is sentencing a minor to life without parole for a non-homicide crime “cruel and unusual” punishment under the Eighth Amendment? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2010.
No matter who you are, crime affects your life. As a student, your school might be vandalized or your wallet stolen. As a taxpayer, you will be expected to contribute money in the fight against crime or to repair the damage it does. As a voter, you will be asked to chose candidates based in part, at least, on their views about solutions to crime. Everyone agrees that crime is a serious problem. Few agree about its causes or solutions. Teachers can help students explore these concepts in this unit plan with accompanying texts.
Is the use of a trained drug-sniff dog on the porch of a home a Fourth Amendment search requiring probable cause? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2013.
Does the 4th Amendment allow states to collect and analyze DNA from people arrested, but not convicted, of serious crimes? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2013.