Special Topics in Law: Alabama's Role in Shaping Constitutional Procedure Seminar - LAW 731

2 Hours

In the past century Alabama has played a significant role in developing criminal procedure.  From Harper Lee’s description of a social justice public defender in To Kill a Mockingbird to the real-life struggle to guarantee competent counsel for the Scottsboro defendants in Powell v. Alabama to the civil rights movement’s use of the criminal justice system to force change, Alabama has long been at the cross roads of criminal procedural change as the state often took intractable positions and citizen activists pushed back for change.  In short, Alabama has served, and continues to serve as a frontline in the struggle to define due process.  In this course we will explore Alabama’s role in the evolution of criminal procedure.  We will delve into cases in an effort to understand the forces and circumstances that brought them about.  This class will include guest speakers and travel.  Students do not need to have private transportation to register.