Class Discussion/Activity

Class Discussion/Activity

Discuss how the Tsarnaev brothers fit the profile of domestic terrorists.


C. The Emergence of Victims’ Rights

1. Advocacy for Victims’ Rights

a. Began in the 1970’s

b. Previously victims had no rights

i. Victims were forced to deal with physical, emotional, and financial consequences of crime by themselves

2. Legislative Efforts

a. All 50 states now provide legal rights to victims

b. 2004 Crime Victims’ Rights Act

c. Greater presence in criminal proceedings

d. Critics:

i. Legislative efforts have failed

ii. Victim statements have led to bias in the system

What If Scenario

What if you were a victim of a house burglary and the police caught the burglar? How would you like to participate in the criminal proceedings? What do you think would be the pros and cons of your participation?

D. Inmate Population Trends

a. For the first time in four decades, incarceration rates are not rising.

b. About 2.2 million people are in prison

c. About 4.8 million people are under community supervision

1. Changing Incarceration Policies

a. Recent reversal of “tough on crime” policies

b. Increasing downsizing efforts

i. Early release

ii. Diversion

iii. Programs to reduce recidivism

2. Declining Use of the Death Penalty

a. April 2013 – 3,108 people on death row, down from 3,653 in 2000

b. 2013 – only 80 death sentences, down from 315 in 1996

c. Six states have abolished the death penalty in the past six years

Media Tool

“California’s death penalty violates U.S. Constitution”

· A news clip by the Los Angeles Times about a recent ruling about California’s death penalty

· Discussion: Discuss the reason for the ruling; that is, why has the death penalty been ruled unconstitutional? What could be the impact of this ruling on the future of the death penalty in California and the US?

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