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Cornell Law School Undergraduate Courses

LAW 4051: The Death Penalty in America

J.H. Blume, S. L. Johnson
Spring ’13. 4 credits. S-U or letter grade.
TTH 2:55-4:10
The death penalty has gotten increased media attention due to high profile death row exonerations, and has long been under siege for other reasons, such as racial disparities in its imposition and the prevalence of very poor representation by defense counsel. This course surveys the legal and social issues that arise in the administration of the death penalty. The reading will be largely comprised of reported death 2012-13 penalty cases, but will be augmented by a variety of other sources, including empirical studies of the death penalty and the litigation experience of the professors. Although the focus will be on capital punishment as practiced in the United States, we will also consider international and comparative perspectives. Guest speakers will provide a range of views, and law students with experience working on capital cases will lead discussion sections.
Enroll now! Space is limited!

Please use Student Center to request classes for the spring '13 semester during the add/drop period.

LAW 4122: Judging the Jury

V. Hans
Spring ’13. 4 credits. S-U or letter grade.
TTH 8:40-9:55
The American jury is praised by some as an important symbol of democracy, yet sharply criticized by others as incompetent and biased. This course evaluates claims about the strengths and limitations of the contemporary American jury. We will examine the image of the jury in popular culture, then explore the work of lawyers, legal scholars, psychologists, and other social scientists who have studied the jury in depth. Questions we’ll address during the course include: Do juries represent all segments of their communities? Can lawyers stack a jury in their favor? Are jurors influenced by the “CSI effect?” What should judges do about googling and tweeting jurors? How do jurors use trial evidence and legal rules to decide on verdicts, damage awards, or decisions to sentence a defendant to death? By the course’s end, students should be able to reach their own informed judgment about this perennially controversial institution.
Enroll now! Space is limited!

Please use Student Center to request classes for the spring '13 semester during the add/drop period.

LAW 4131 (also Govt. 3131): The Nature, Functions, and Limits of Law

D. M. Chutkow
Spring '13. 4 credits. S-U or letter grade only.
MW 2:55-4:10
A general-education course to acquaint students with how our legal system pursues the goals of society. The course introduces students to various perspectives on the nature of law, what functions it ought to serve in society, and what it can and cannot accomplish. The course proceeds in the belief that such matters constitute a valuable and necessary part of a general education, not only for pre-law students but especially for students in other fields. Assigned readings comprise legal materials and also secondary sources on the legal process and the role of law in society. The classes include discussion and debate about current legal and social issues, including equality, safety, the environment, punishment, and autonomy.
Enroll now! Space is limited!

Please use Student Center to request classes for the spring '13 semester during the add/drop period.