Brief Description of Paper Topics This overview will be supplemented with more detailed assignment instructions and resources for each paper topic, but in the meantime it?s a starting point. Paper #1: Constitutional rights for victims While many of the states have enacted provisions to their state constitutions to provide rights for crime victims, the U.S. Constitution does not have such an amendment (despite several attempts over the years). In this paper, you?ll discuss the arguments for and against a federal constitutional amendment and the consequences (positive and negative) that such an amendment could have. You?ll also take a stance on the issue and justify your position. Paper #2: Victim compensation Every state has a program to provide financial assistance through crime victim compensation. The regulations vary somewhat from state to state, with the victim?s contributory misconduct being one of the more difficult and contentious issues. In this paper, you?ll take on the role of a victim compensation claim decision-maker to examine a case that presents some challenging issues, and make and justify a decision on whether/what claims should be paid. Paper #3: Mandatory domestic violence policies Policy trends over the last several decades have shifted toward mandating police and prosecution actions in domestic violence cases. Many jurisdictions have policies requiring the police to make an arrest in domestic violence cases, and many jurisdictions also have policies requiring prosecutors to prosecute domestic violence cases (commonly called no-drop policies). In this paper, you?ll discuss the arguments for and against mandatory policies and the consequences of such policies, and you?ll take a stance on the issue and justify your position. Paper #4: Hate crimes The federal government and many states have statutory penalty enhancements for crimes that were motivated by hate or bias. Some have criticized these laws as punishing thought, not just behavior. In this paper, you?ll explain the arguments for and against penalty enhancement laws for hate/bias crimes, as well as the practical consequences of these laws, and you?ll take and defend a stance on the issue.
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