In the wake of the War on Terror, there have been a number of contested practices (e.g., wiretap provisions of the PATRIOT Act, waterboarding, detaining persons based on the mere suspicion of terrorism).

Select one practice or policy and examine the ethical debate related to this practice. Is it more important for the criminal justice system to adhere to ethical standards and due process or to protect society (with the possibility of engaging in unethical behavior)?

You may wish to watch Philip Zimbardo’s talk on the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib to add to your discussion: Be aware that the video contains graphic images of a violent and sexual nature.

500 words.

The right to counsel requires a right to effective assistance of counsel. A common ground for appeal is when the defendant claims he or she received ineffective assistance of counsel. What must be proven for a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel?

Research a case where a defendant appealed a criminal conviction based on ineffective assistance of counsel. What did the attorney do (or not do) as defendant’s counsel? Do you agree counsel was ineffective? Reflect specifically on the case researched as well as generally on this common ground for appeal. When do you think effective assistance of counsel is most important?

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