Paper 3 Assignment

Paper 3

For Paper 3 Assignment you will have two choices. The first is a Trial Summary. The second is an interview with a Criminal Justice Professional. Please choose only one: Option A or Option B. You are not required to do both. The following links will take you to the assignment descriptions and their rubrics.

Option A: Trial Summary

Obtain pertinent information (Address, Phone number, etc) for a State Court facility in your area. Call the Clerks’ office for this Court and obtain dates and times for a jury trial on a Criminal case which will be conducted in your area. Attend at least two hours of this jury trial and catalog your observations and impressions for a report.

You will need to report on your visit with the following information:

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  • Name: (your name)
  • Assignment 3
  • The Court:
  • Court address:
  • Court Telephone:
  • Date of Court visit;
  • Name of Case: ( Ex–State of Missouri v. Jones).
  • Subject of case: (Ex–murder, rape, DWI, etc.).
  • Observations and Impressions of Court Visit: In this section write a first person narrative of your visit making sure to include your impressions and a conclusion. This will be the longest section of your Assignment. A suitable length on this Assignment is 9-15 paragraphs.

Hints & Tips

When making arrangements, and especially during the visit, be polite and professional. Courts are open to public attendance and you should not experience difficulty in finding a court proceeding to observe. When you do make your visit dress nicely and make sure to arrive on time. Be prepared for delays or last minute postponements. The nature of many courts is that they are often understaffed and dealing with unforeseen crisis situations that require immediate attention. You will learn much more by attending a Jury trial as opposed to arraignments or guilty plea hearings.

Criteria Description Points
Introduction Clearly states the author’s thesis and grabs the interest of the reader 10
Details Provides details and context of trial segments observed 100
Word Choice Demonstrates knowledge of legal vocabulary 50
Opinion Clearly states the authors opinion on the trial and provides support 20
Conclusion Provides a conclusion 10
Mechanics Relatively free of errors in spelling, diction, and sentence structure. 10
Total   200



Option B: Interview a Criminal Justice Professional

For the purposes of this assignment, a criminal justice professional is someone (not a family member) who devotes a majority of his/her work time to a police agency, a court related position, the Department of Corrections, Juvenile Justice,etc. Some Military professionals may be valid interview subjects, depending on their title. After you select a person to interview, conduct an in person, telephone or email interview with that person. Prepare a list of at least ten questions to ask ahead of time. That list should include questions about frequent criminal law issues encountered, any problems under our current system, and any areas which may need reform. You need to focus your questions on the law related aspects of the person’s job.

The following is the general format for this assignment:

  • Name: (your name)
  • Assignment 3
  • Date of Interview:
  • Person Interviewed:
  • Place of Employment: (where the person you interview is employed)
  • Telephone Number: (their work telephone number)
  • Job Title:
  • Education: (level completed including college/university where they received their degree)
  • Year Graduated:
  • Interview Process: In this section of your report write a first person narrative about why you picked this person, how the interview was conducted, a general description of the interview process, your impressions, and conclusions.
  • Questions: In this area write your questions and the responses.

Hints & Tips

When making arrangements, and especially during the interview, be polite and professional. You can use personal contacts or call an agency that interest you and ask to talk to one of their employees. Explain to whomever you speak with that this is an assignment for a college course in criminal law, and the qualifications you are looking for (the person you end up interviewing must be a criminal justice professional). If someone turns you down do not get hurt or angry. Keep looking. You can arrange to meet them at the agency, complete the interview by telephone, or complete the interview by e-mail. You will obtain better responses with an in person interview. Follow up questions and responses are important. The quality and quantity of your questions are significant. Please develop some innovative questions dealing with the law related aspects of the person’s job. You must have ten questions at a minimum, but if you expect an A on this Assignment, I would suggest that you submit 14-20 questions. The logistics of how the interview will be conducted is up to you and the person you are going to interview. Keep in mind that the purpose of this interview is to talk with a criminal justice professional about the law related aspects of the profession.

Criteria Description Points
Candidate Selection Choice of interviewee is appropriate for the assignment 10
Introduction Describes background of subject and interview setting 10
Initial Interview Questions and Answers Interview questions and answers demonstrate thoughtful planning and a clear understanding of important issues 140
Follow-up questions and answers Follow-up questions demonstrate good listening skills and the ability to respond quickly and appropriately to probe for more information 20
Reflections and Conclusion Provides a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the major points of the interview 10
Mechanics Relatively free of errors in spelling, diction, and sentence structure. 10
Total   200


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