STP 15
Chemistry and Crime
Winter 2000

Course Description: This course will involve the analysis of actual criminal cases. The students will be introduced to forensic and chemical concepts including gunpowder analysis (Kennedy assassination), trace evidence analysis, fiber analysis (Wayne Williams), drug analysis, blood analysis (Jeffrey MacDonald), and DNA profiling (OJ Simpson). Prerequisite: CHE 11 or 17 or NSC 11.

Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Muzyka, Olin 214, 238-5413

Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 1-2 PM.

Texts:

Grading

Writing assignments may be required during class time or outside of class. These writing assignments will be evaluated based on their content, writing style, and grammar. This course will involve active participation in a mock trial. Each studentís paper will be related to their role in their mock trial.

Participation in class discussions and group work is considered part of the course requirements and will constitute 10% of each studentís grade. Discussions will be based on case readings. Some of the case readings may be accessed via the Internet or on reserve in the library.

Tentative Schedule
Jan 4 Introduction, Ragle Chapter 1, Concepts of Forensic Science
5 Discussion of Jascalevich and Coppolino Cases
Daubert Readings
6 Ragle Chapter 2, Crime Scene Team
7 Ragle Chapter 6, Blood and Other Physiological Fluids
Daubert writing assignment due
   
10 Blood (continued)
11 Ragle Chapter 7, DNA
13 DNA (continued)
14 DNA Profiling Simulation
Discussion of OJ Simpson Case
Assignment of Mock Trial Groups
 
17 Test 1
18 Ragle Chapter 5, Firearms Evidence
20 Discussion of Cleveland Shootout
21 Ragle Chapter 8, Trace Evidence, Hairs, and Fibers
Mock Trial Topics Due
 
24 Trace Evidence (continued)
25 Discussion of Kennedy Assassination
27 Ragle Chapter 9, Toxicology
28 Discussion of Belushi and Presley Cases
 
31 Arson
Feb 1 Discussion of Kentucky nightclub fire
3 Test 2
4 Case Discussions
 
7 Mock Trial 1 and ALL Papers Due
8 Mock Trial 2
10 Mock Trial 3
11 Mock Trial 4 (final exam period)

Case Readings (Readings from journal articles and books other than your textbook are on reserve in the library)