Judicial Systems and Practices

Course Details

Course Number
CRJU 2933-280
Fall 2010
Martin Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Tuesdays,  6:00 p.m. - 8:50 p.m.

Judge Robert Paul Brotherton (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will introduce the student to the judicial process and courts system in this country. Emphasis will be placed on the judicial system within the context of the criminal justice system. The textbook examines the history, traditions, and philosophy underlying our system of justice as it is played out in the criminal court. 


COURSE OBJECTIVES: At the heart of the criminal justice system lie the courts. Those entering the criminal justice system will encounter our court system in some manner. A basic understanding of the history, organization and function of our court system is necessary for all citizens, particularly those who work in the CJ system.


Course Expectations


Grading Standards

Six exams, one being the final exam, will be given. The final grade for the class will be determined by averaging the six exam grades.  The exam format will include multiple choice, true/false, and/or short answer questions, with one exam consisting of five essay questions. Sample test questions will be provided prior to the first exam.  Exam grades will be posted within one week of the exam. Make-up exams may be taken, with the prior approval of the instructor, within one week of the original exam date. No late make-up exams will be allowed.


GRADING SCALE:   The following grading scale will be utilized:


85 to 100  - A

80 to 84  - B

70 to 79 - C

                        60 to 69  - D

                        59 or below  - F

Final Exam

12/07/2010 7:00 p.m.

Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

See make-up exam policy in the Grading Standards section.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:  The University’s Class Attendance policy, as set out on Pages 89 and 90 of the 2008 - 2010 Undergraduate Catalog, will be followed.  Attendance records will be maintained.  Should the need arise, the instructor will follow the University policy for dropping a student from class. That policy is found on Page 85 of the same catalog.  If a student is absent during an exam, he or she must contact the instructor and make arrangements to make up the test before the next class. No make-up exams will be given after the next class.


Other Policies

CLASSROOM DECORUM:   In addition to attending and participating, students are expected to conduct themselves during class in a professional and respectful manner.  Cell phones and pagers must be turned off or set on vibrate during class. Personal music or entertainment devices are prohibited. Food and drinks are not allowed in the classroom.


HONESTY:   Study partners or groups are encouraged.  By preparing and reviewing with others, a student improves his or her study skills and gains the benefit of the viewpoint of other students. Students, however, are not permitted to give or receive information on exams, papers, etc. Cheating on exams or writing assignments, if any, will not be tolerated.  A student who is caught cheating will be dropped from the class.  The Midwestern State University Honor Creed states, “As an MSU student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else to do so.”


STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS:   If you need special accommodations, it is your responsibility to contact your instructor and the Disability Services Office in a timely manner.  All effort will be made to comply with appropriate and reasonable accommodation requests.



Midwestern State University does not discriminate on the basis of an individual’s disability and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act in its admission, accessibility and employment of individuals in programs and activities.



Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at