Another good day. I think that i like the idea of having 5 hands raised to start a discussion, but i am not sure we need to maintain the 5 hands raised. the main reason is that folks should be able to respond directly to the previous comment
I struggled with our death penalty discussion today. To me, it amounts to a truism that I am against the death penalty. Yet, when I try to put into words why I oppose it, or what I find objectionable about it, I find my reasoning to be unconvincing. Indeed, I do wish death upon some people. Does that make me no better than the killer? Or, at least, on the same plane as him or her?
I think the fact that we were able to guess what most people thought on the capital punishment case proves that we are starting to get to know each other well. We had some good philosophical discussions in breakout rooms. Poker is getting fun. 5 hands also seems excessive. Maybe 3 hands would be fine
Today, we discussed a case where the defendant was found to have been guilty, and there was a strong chance that she would be given the death penalty. What struck me as notable was how some of my group members focused less intently on the severe emotional disturbance that the defendant had likely suffered as a result of her childhood in determining their result.
Another interesting class day. I wonder how much of the opinions on the death penalty is influenced by one's political party's stance on it. It seems like when we were doing the guessing who voted which way exercise in class, we are beginning to see votes based on our guesses about who is in which political party. Not sure if it's an entirely helpful exercise.
I thought Uju's comments about redemption and people changing over time were fantastic. It's something that is entirely lost when we execute; no chance for change or forgiveness. Her discussion reminded me of Justice Breyer's dissent in Glossip v. Gross, which is worth reading.
Really enjoyed the discussion we had today in breakouts. I think the 5 hand system might need some fine tuning. Might be helpful to have clearer/direct prompts in between calling on students. I think if we were clearer about what the current discussion was about (i.e. what the point at issue is or what the question is) then it would be easier for us to engage.
Another great class day! This one was a little more difficult than the ones we had before, mostly because we hit more difficult questions about morality, criminology, and the law in general. While I certainly appreciate and look forward to the tough and amazing conversations we have, I always get particularly heated about the conversation topics and get personally/emotionally involved, so that is something that I need to work on. But I love how even with the classmates I disagree with, we can still have excellent conversations! I really do appreciate the collegiality and the respect in this class.
I think I would have preferred the student presentations first before going into the death penalty discussion. I think the student presentations (or the other so-called ice breakers) are good way to transition into the day. I think I found it odd to go from a heavy topic like the death penalty to student presentations. I did find the discussion of death penalty fascinating, but I think people were very decisively pro or against the death penalty. I think people struggled to accept the premise of accepting that we all believe in the death penalty to have a more serious conversation of does this specific case qualify for the death penalty. However, I do personally struggle to think what does death penalty achieve that life in prison does not? As mentioned in other comments, I think having longer breaks would be much appreciated (though I think have different segments in class definitely helps as well). Overall, I really love having these difficult discussions about morality and the law, and I enjoy ending with poker.
Great class today! Our discussions lively and interesting. I agree with others that putting the presentations at the beginning of class is probably a better flow, since it's hard to go right from a serious topic like the death penalty to the light-hearted projects. Overall, though, I really enjoyed our discussions and continuing to learn about people through their awesome projects. As always, the poker was a fun way to engage with the class!
Something else that class today reminded me of: the double-edged sword of mitigating evidence. To some, the woman's upbringing was a reason to be merciful; to others, it was a representation about how things outside of a crime can improperly influence a jury's perception of the responsibility someone has for their actions. I certainly have trouble myself separating these two, as there is some truth in both arguments.
re papers (again from Fern): we'll discuss topic first thing tomorrow AM and will postpone due date until Monday of next week. Don't worry; your journals and threads entries and art project are the raw material from which you will write the paper!