lesson discussion

Discussion Topic:

In the previous lesson you learned about the judicial branch of the federal government and how it functions. One of the functions of the judicial branch is to dispense justice. Justice is a complex idea, but can be generally described as fair and equal treatment under the law. The goal of every justice system has to be to strive for perfect justice–even if it’s not realistically attainable–so that the system is viewed as legitimate and respected by all citizens who must live under it. Accurately determining guilt or innocence and administering appropriate punishment for those found guilty are vital to achieving the desired legitimacy and respect. The link below will take you to an interview of attorney Bryan Stevenson, who discusses some of the problems he sees in our current justice system. After watching the 25-minute interview, address each of the assigned questions below in your initial post. FYI, if the link below for some reason does not work for you, then simply copy the link address and paste it into your browser (outside of Blackboard) and it should take you to the video.

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Bryan Stevenson

Questions to Address in Your Initial Post:

On the topic of the death penalty, Attorney Bryan Stevenson makes the argument that “We don’t deserve to kill.” Accurately explain what Stevenson means by that statement? Do you agree or disagree with his argument? Explain why or why not.

Stevenson is also quoted saying that “We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent.” Accurately explain Stevenson’s argument and state whether you generally agree or disagree with this statement? If you agree with it, explain why you believe it’s true. If you don’t believe it’s accurate, then explain why.

The social unrest the United States has been experiencing lately is associated with deep-seated feelings of mistrust by African-Americans and other minorities toward the policing and justice systems. In your opinion, how should we as a country address these concerns?

Address all of these questions in your initial post. Support your positions, where needed, with explanations or evidence.

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