High profile cases capture the attention of the American public. Follow the link to the NBC news story on the trial of James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado theater shooter. Read the article, which includes news video and answer the following questions.

James Holmes Trial

1. Are stories like this an accurate representation of crimes committed in the United States or are they rare?

2. High profile trials take months and cost millions of dollars, while similar crimes that do not capture the public’s attention, take a fraction of the time, and cost much less to prosecute. Does media access and coverage of investigations and court proceedings have a positive or negative effect on justice?

3. Should criminal trials be broadcast or should there be restrictions on cameras in the courtroom?

4. Does the news media provide an accurate representation of statistical data surrounding crime?

5. Are you more likely to be murdered by a stranger or someone you know?

Include at least one link to an internet site you researched to form your discussion of each of these questions.

1. Can a single standard of ethics be applied to all criminal justice agencies? Or is the CJ system too complex to legislate morality and ethics?

2. Describe the differences between the formal and informal justice systems. Is it fair to treat some offenders informally?

3. What are the layers of the criminal justice “wedding cake”? Give an example of a crime for each layer.

4. What are the basic elements of each model or perspective on justice? Which best represents your own point of view?

1. What factors account for crime rate trends?

2. What factors are present in poverty-stricken urban areas that produce high crime rates?

3. It seems logical that biological and psychological factors might explain why some people commit crime. But if crime is based on individual traits, how would we explain the fact that crime rates are higher in the West and South than in the Midwest and East?

4. Considering the patterns victimization takes, what steps should you take to avoid becoming a crime victim?