Nature of the Research Paper
There is general agreement that when a crime is committed, justice should be done. However, there are different ideas about what justice means and how to bring it about. A society’s predominant theory or model of justice has a very important influence on the structure and operations of its criminal justice system.
The purpose of this assignment is to explore the different models of justice by applying them to an actual criminal event, analyzing how each model would be applied to this crime by a justice system operating under that model. For each theory of justice, the question you’ll be considering is, “How would a hypothetical justice system operating under this model of justice respond to this particular crime?” For each model, you’ll apply its core concepts to the crime, discuss the processes that would be used to respond to this crime (procedural justice), and what outcomes the justice system would produce for this crime (distributive justice). You will conclude by stating which model you think is the best approach for this crime and why, considering your choice’s advantages and limitations, and comparing them with the other models’ advantage and limitations.
You will research an actual crime that occurred in the local area in recent years. You’ll choose one of the crimes listed on Blackboard. You’ll use the court case file documents provided on Blackboard as your starter source of information on the crime. You will also obtain additional information about the crime through use of news media archives, Lexis Nexis, and other sources as available. A GMU librarian will provide guidance on how to search and evaluate these sources.
Your paper will present an in-depth analysis of the crime, by telling the story of who did what to whom, how, when and where, why, and the reactions to the crime by the victim(s)/survivor(s), the offender, and the community (the impact or aftermath of the crime). You will then apply each of the models of justice we discuss in this course to the crime: retributive justice, utilitarian justice, restorative justice, and parallel justice. Your sources for information on these models of justice are the readings, lectures, videos, etc. presented in this course.
The purpose of this paper is not to examine actual justice system processing of cases, but rather to use the crime as an example of how the different theoretical approaches to justice can be applied to the crime. This paper should NOT summarize the way the criminal case was processed through the justice system (the investigators did this, then the prosecutor filed those charges . . .). Nor should your paper focus on applying the theoretical models to the way the justice system processed the case (the sentence given was retributive because . . .).
If you are unclear on what the nature of this research and the written report should be, ask questions and don’t stop asking until you’re sure you understand the answer.
You will develop your paper through an iterative process of draft, review, revision, and resubmission. This paper is assigned to students as individuals, meaning you must do the research, analysis and writing on your own, with assistance as provided in the writing portion of this class. Do not use other students as a source when writing your paper. Do not provide your paper to other students, current or future. Both are cheating and using other students’ papers as a source for your paper is also plagiarism.
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