Choose a case as a group, and divide up aspects of that case

As the first step in completing the research project, this week you select your topic/case. Each group member must select a different topic from the list. There may be extra topics, but no two group members can choose the same topic. It is up to your group to decide how topics are selected (e.g. first to choose basis, randomly assign, or other selection process).

Choose a case as a group, and divide up aspects of that case. Aspects of the case include: policing/arrest, eyewitness identification/testimony, expert witnesses/testimony, confessions, and jury instructions. These topics all play major roles in the ultimate outcome of a case.

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These are example of cases with multiple intersections of psychology and the law:

  • Evan Miller, Life Sentences for Juvenile Defendants
  • Rodney King, Assault use of Excess force by Police
  • Edward Garner, Limits of Deadly Force
  • George Floyd, Killed in Police Custody
  • George Zimmerman, The Murder of Trayvon Martin
  • Marissa Alexander, Stand your Ground
  • Dylan Roof, Charleston Church Murderer
  • Larry Fuller, The Victim who did not waiver
  • Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, False confessions

We will examine various aspects of the CP5 case as a class. You will look at your case through the same lens, incorporating evidence from reading and content found outside the text related to the topic including at least one scholarly article related to the particular aspect of the case you are researching.

Each group member will write a individual paper about the case based on a specific aspect of the case: police psychology, evidence, witnesses, jury selection, sentencing, etc. Maybe members divide up the subtopics and each person covers one or two. All group members must identify an area of the problem as an area of psycho-legal theory/research.


Step 1: Collaborate with your group members to choose a case (you all will work on the same case) and identify relevant subtopics within that case. You may choose to collaborate via Zoom (See instructionsLinks to an external site.) or another tool. You will share your ideas via the shared Google Doc in the Collaborations space. Group leaders should create a document, add the group number to the file name in the document clearly (ex. “Week 2 -Select a Topic-Group 2”), and share the document with the members of your group.

Step 2: Individuals write a 300-word overview of the case and the subtopics and their relevance to the [learning content].