We have seen that much of the sociological study of law has been an inquiry into


We have seen that much of the sociological study of law has been an inquiry into various processes. In this paper you will be required to describe these processes by observation of: Thin Blue Line. The film addresses the legal process in the contemporary United States. Where possible, you should draw your examples from the film – but do not feel limited to use ONLY the film for your response. You are encouraged to find examples from the news or from other real-life situations – this means that I request that you do not generate hypothetical situations – I want you to demonstrate that you can observe these patterns in the real world.
1. Sociologists study action. What are the key features in any description of action? Identify them and describe them. You should be able to use either of the films or contemporary news sources to demonstrate this concept.
2. A key issue in holding an individual liable for what has been done is responsibility. This is an everyday idea that we generally use without thinking. For our purposes, responsibility exists only in relation to an event or a status – it is contingent on relationships before, during, and after events and may vary accordingly. We discussed how the four types of responsibility work in unison to generate a final attribution of legal responsibility for an event. (a) What were these four? (b) How do these variations on responsibility build on one another to create a finding of responsibility?
3. Demonstrate/illustrate the various decision points that occur over the course of an individual’s engagement in the justice system – start with the initial police contact and conclude with the imposition of punishment. You may include information from class, readings, as well as from independent research. Explain how these various decision points create systemic bias.


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