Stop and Frisk
As you learned in this week’s readings, many constitutional scholars consider the prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures as one of the most basic freedoms that the Bill of Rights clearly protects. This central freedom supports and protects other essential freedoms, like free speech, press, assembly, and religion. Recently, this core freedom has become a very controversial debate topic as large American cities, like New York City, have instituted police procedures described as “stop and frisk.” In these cities, when a police officer has reason to believe that a person is armed there is a set protocol for officers. Officers can make stops based on suspicious activities and frisk individuals for weapons. Courts have found this to be within the boundaries of the Fourth Amendment until just recently. At what point does a reasonable search become unreasonable? What is the role of probable cause in these efforts to provide safety to our citizens? When, during this process, could the police officer infringe on individual rights? Discuss why you support or do not support stop and frisk efforts by the police.
Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references.
Capital Punishment and You
Every American accused of a crime that could result in loss of life, liberty, and properly has the right to fair treatment or due process. One of the most divisive aspects of due process is capital punishment and the prevention of cruel and unusual punishment to those convicted fairly of crimes. Specifically, the Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, and the ongoing debate revolves around if the death penalty is or is not considered cruel and unusual punishment. In your opinion, does the death penalty violate the U.S. Constitution? Why, or why not? Does the age of those sentenced to death influence your opinion of the death penalty, and if so, how? Please explain your answer.
Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references