Crime and Punishment

Question 1

In the period just before the American Civil War those in the U.S. criminal justice system were focused on the ability to handle those who had been deemed wayward and incorrigible. With the rapid influx of immigrants and rural Americans to the inner city, crime began to express a new reality. Given that many of today’s crime challenges are beholden to the urban context, it is ever more important to understand the roots of this problem. As such, there are two questions that must be discussed: What were the patterns of crime and punishment during this period? What fueled the Civil War?

Consider crime and punishment before the Civil War and any existing current violent trends that can be traced back to it.

Provide an explanation of the patterns of crime and punishment before the Civil War. Explain the impact these patterns had on current violent trends. What kinds of violent trends exist in your region? Are there international comparisons you can draw from the Civil War example?

Question 2

Procedure: Identify and describe the issues associated with the investigative procedures surrounding the identification of Steven Avery as the perpetrator in the rape case. According to your reading(s), what procedural safeguards should have been in place to prevent this misidentification?

Behavior: Is there any behavioral evidence in Episode 1 that suggests that procedures might have been intentionally handled poorly in the eyewitness identification of Steven Avery as the perpetrator of the Penny Ann Beernsten rape? Support your assertion with evidence from the video.

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