Criminal Law & Justice in US

Subject Name: 
Honors College
Course Number: 
UMass Amherst
Crime and punishment are among the most important issues in contemporary America. This course begins with an introduction to the role of the Constitution in criminal law, including due process, equal protection, and the Bill of Rights. It then introduces the students to substantive criminal law, including basic stages of the criminal process, principles underlying the definition of crime such as the requirements of actus reus and mens rea, causation, attempt, complicity, and conspiracy. Substantive offenses covered include homicidal offenses, other offenses against persons, property crimes, white collar and organized crime, vice crimes, and offenses against public health and the environment. Also examined is criminal responsibility and defenses. This course goes on to highlight changes in criminal behavior and theories of punishment, including the different ways that Americans have sought to deter, punish, and rehabilitate. This course addresses the generally ignored issue of crime and criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country. The final weeks of the semester address the role that race, ethnicity, sex, and socioeconomic status play in the criminal justice system outside of Indian Country. This discussion includes the War on Drugs, mandatory minimum sentencing, and private, for-profit prisons. No prerequisites. (Gen.Ed. SB, DU)
Open to Commonwealth Honors College Students only.
Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Link to Campus Courses
Schedule #: 

Course Sections

Criminal Law & Justice in US
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 Kathleen Brown-Perez TU TH 8:30AM 9:45AM Fully Remote Class