CJS 120 OA PA Criminal Law – Spring 2019

Online 3/19/19 – 5/10/2019

3 Credit Course


Karen Laboranti




Towanda Campus


Office Hours

Online Hours
Chat Appointments Available



Criminal Law Today

Author: Schmalleger

ISBN: 9780134163734

Copyright Year: 2017

Publisher: Pearson


Description: CJS 120 (Formerly CJ 111 - Pennsylvania Criminal Law This course includes a study of the laws, both criminal and civil that law enforcement officials deal with on a daily basis. This includes study and understanding of defined requirements constituting the commission of a criminal act An examination of the fundamental nature of law, its contemporary role and function, and it’s evolving changes in today’s complex society will be presented. Particular emphasis will be placed on criminal laws in Pennsylvania. Insights into the relevance of today’s laws as they relate to various social issues and reflect the legal perspectives of other jurisdictions will be presented. Additionally, related legal terms and concepts including but not limited to criminal liability, inchoate crimes, defenses, excuses, property crimes as well as personal crimes and offenses against public morality and the Administration of Justice, the victims of crimes, punishment, and sentencing will be presented.( 3 credits). Prerequisite: CJS105


1. Describe the fundamental nature of laws

2. Illustrate the role and function of law in today’s society

3. Define the difference between property crimes and personal crimes

4. Determine the legal perspective of other jurisdictions as they relate to the laws to social Issues

5. Describe legal terms related to Pa Criminal Law


On or before the first Wednesday, after the course begins, you will be asked to write an Autobiography. Please be sure to provide myself and your fellow classmates with some interesting facts about you, in addition to the reasons you are choosing to obtain a college education and why you feel this course will be of benefit to you. This must be completed in the “Let’s get to know one another” section of the discussion page as a reply to my original post. If this is not posted correctly, you will receive given credit. Additionally, by Sunday of the first week of class, I expect you to comment on a fellow learner’s autobiography. This will count as 10 points toward your grade. 

You will also be required to complete a Course Navigation Quiz, which is an online exam in the assignment area of your course page. This is also worth 10 points. Both this and the autobiography MUST be completed prior to Sunday, at 11:55 PM. If the Course Navigation Quiz and the Autobiography are not completed by said date and time, you will not receive credit. The Course Navigation Quiz must be completed as an online exam. If this is not posted correctly, you will receive given credit.


Before the end of the first week of class (Sunday at 11:55 PM), you will be required to complete a Syllabus Quiz. This will be worth 10 points also. You will find this and the directions for it in the assignment section of your course page. Please make certain that you follow these instructions.


Each week you will have two (2) Threaded Discussion Topics in which you must participate and provide input. You should first provide your response to each discussion question and then participate in a discussion about the topic with fellow learners or with me. Your grade will depend on the depth and accuracy of your response. You must post at least two posts on four different days. One or two sentence posts with general comments like, “great post.” or, “I wish I said that.” will not be counted. You must post at least two paragraphs of critical thought for each post. External scholarly research articles to support your opinions are encouraged.  (These posts will be entered in the discussion thread.) Each Discussion Question will be worth 10 points. (See Online Classroom Discussion and Interaction Rubric below) You must also post every week indicated in course schedule. Remember: Post at least eight times a week, substantively, for full credit.  Please note that the initial answers to the two discussion questions must be posted before 11:55 PM on Wednesday of each week in order to obtain credit. It doesn’t matter what time of day that you respond, since this is an online course where you work at your own pace in your own time frame. However, if you do not post each week, you will be dropped from the course.  (This is how attendance is tracked.) 


Please feel free to call on me for any difficulties you may be having. Again, I respond to all e-mail within 24 hours. You may also post general questions on the course page in the GENERAL QUESTIONS posting area on the course page.


Online Course Attendance Policy

Students enrolled in credit-bearing courses at Lackawanna College will fail any course(s) in which they accumulate absences beyond the maximum number allowed. This pertains to online courses as well.


Attendance is defined by participating in an academic activity within the online classroom, which includes making posts and replies in a course-related graded discussion forum or submitting a course-related written assignment. Activities (Syllabus quiz, Course Navigation Quiz, Academic Honesty Pledge, Autobiography) not related to the aforementioned activities will not count for attendance purposes.


Students that fail to participate in an academic activity as described above in the online classroom prior to the last day to drop/add, will automatically be dropped from the course.


  • You are required to engage in discussion by making an initial post to your instructor’s prompt by the assigned day of the week, and then submitting the required number of replies by the end of the week.
  • Students who do not participate in any course-related discussions AND who do not submit any course-related assignments for ONE week will be DROPPED from the course. It is the responsibility of the student to formally withdraw from the course at the Registrar’s office.


Online Course Discussion Policy

In order to understand, remember, and benefit from what we learn in class, discussion and interaction are critical. Responses such as, “I like what you said.” “I agree.” Or “Good thinking.” are NOT acceptable. Also, you should NOT simply repeat what someone else has already said.

Good Discussions in Course Resources will help you, but you should also use this rubric to gain all possible points for your contributions and, more importantly, to get the most out of our class discussion!

Ask yourself the following questions to help guide you in having a great discussion:

  • Did I answer the discussion questions directly demonstrating a clear understanding of the material that promoted conversation?
  • Did I support my answers to the discussion questions with research and reading?
  • Did I make the required number of replies to my classmates?
  • Did I continue the conversation with peers that replied to my discussion?
  • Did I answer any additional questions the instructor may have asked?
  • Are all of my responses detailed and clear?
  • Did I make my initial post and replies by the assigned due dates?
  • Did I relate my responses to the course reading, notes, and/or personal life?
  • Did I provide the class with a response that is non-generic and inspiring – meaning that they learned from what I have contributed and can continue the conversation
  • Did I use proper grammar, spelling and netiquette?


Responses that do not move the conversation forward by providing information to which others can respond and build upon will negatively affect your weekly score.



Withdrawal Policy

A student has the privilege of withdrawing from any courses or from the College itself without academic penalty up to and including the final date for withdrawal indicated on the College calendar.

To withdraw officially from a course or from the College, a student must obtain the proper withdrawal form from the Student Affairs Office or from your Center Director, complete this form and submit it to the Registrar's Office before the final day for withdrawal without academic penalty as indicated on the College calendar. If a student stops attending a course for which he/she is registered after the published census date (end of drop/add) without having officially withdrawn from the course, the student will be assigned an AW (penalty-grade failure) for the class. No exceptions will be made.

Students who violate the College's Academic Integrity Policy and fail a course in consequence may not exercise the withdrawal privilege in that particular course.


Financial obligations to the College will be determined according to the Refund Policy.


Instructor Policies

  • All emails and responses posted in the General Questions section of the forum will be answered within one day.
  • All assignments will be graded within 3 days of the assignment due date




Letter Grade

Numeric Range

Quality Points


96 – 100



90 – 95



87 – 89



83 – 86



80 – 82



77 – 79



73 – 76



70 – 72



67 – 69



60 – 66



0 – 59



Due Dates and Late Penalties



Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty in any form, such as plagiarism and cheating, will not be tolerated. Sanctions will include an automatic F for plagiarism, but the severity or frequency of the violation may result in dismissal from the College as well. Please see the Student Handbook for a complete explanation.


The following are among the forms of dishonesty, in a classroom of any type, for which sanctions may be applied:

  • Using books, notes or other materials during an examination, unless expressly permitted;
  • Using purchased essays, term papers or preparatory research for such papers;
  • Copying others' work or engaging in unauthorized cooperation during an assignment or examination;
  • Allowing another student to copy from an examination or other assignment intended to be performed independently;
  • Borrowing from published works, whether material is taken verbatim or with minor alterations, without proper and/or sufficient acknowledgment;
  • Submitting as one’s own work originally done by someone else;
  • Submitting the same written report in more than one course without prior approval from the instructor(s) involved;
  • Stealing examinations or assignments;
  • Supplying or selling examinations or assignments;
  • Misrepresenting statements concerning work submitted;
  • Falsifying or fabricating experimental data or results;
  • Falsifying or fabricating the need for extensions on papers or make-up examinations.
  • Misrepresenting identity in an online course


(Please see student handbook for more information)




Disability Statement

Lackawanna College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity institution.  Students with disabilities and other needs should feel free to contact the instructor privately if there are services and adaptations which can be made to accommodate specific needs.  Students who are having difficulties with class material are strongly advised to seek assistance in the reading and writing lab.  If you feel that you have a disability that has not been formally documented, you may meet with Mrs. Christine Kiehart in the Disability Services office to discuss your options. Please note that disability services do not include exemption from participation requirements in courses considered part of the School of Distance Education, including online and hybrid courses.

Lackawanna College Notice of Nondiscrimination

Lackawanna College will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices, based on race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, ancestry, union membership, or any other legally protected classification. Announcement of this policy is in accordance with State Law including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and with Federal Law including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. Lackawanna College is committed to providing an educational and work environment that is free from unlawful sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and gender based harassment. 


In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Lackawanna College will not tolerate any forms of sexual misconduct including but not limited to: sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence and gender-based harassment by employees, students or third parties. This includes prohibiting discrimination against pregnant and parenting students. The College also prohibits retaliation against any person who makes a claim of discrimination or harassment or who provides information in such an investigation. This policy applies to admissions, employment, treatment and access to all programs and activities that take place either on or off the campus at Lackawanna College. 


Lackawanna College will fully and promptly investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct and will take action reasonably designed to resolve the complaint in an equitable manner, end a hostile environment if one has been created, prevent its recurrence, and, when appropriate, take steps to remedy its effects on individuals and the college community.

Lackawanna College complies with Title IX and all other federal laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in education programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Reports or inquiries regarding nondiscrimination should be made to:

Title IX Coordinator/ Executive Director of the Student Wellness Program, Marsha Pigga, Angeli Hall, Room 102, 501 Vine Street, Scranton PA, 18509 (570) 955-1466/ (570) 677-7589,

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action inquiries: Georgia Egan, Affirmative Action Officer/Director of Continuing Education, Angeli Hall, Room 300C, Vine Street, Scranton PA (570) 961-7815, or Gopu Kiron, Affirmative Action Officer/eLearning Director, Angeli Hall, Ground Floor, Vine Street, Scranton PA, (570) 504-7929,

Additional information regarding Title IX requirements and how to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights: Office of Civil Rights at, 800-421-3481. Philadelphia Office: Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education, The Wanamaker Building,100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323 Telephone: 215-656-8541, Email:   

Portfolio and Coursework

Lackawanna College will empower you to experience learning by inspiring your critical thinking, accessing your talents and skills, motivating you toward a career choice, and encouraging you to make a difference. In evidence of this learning, the College requires a graduation portfolio containing Career Documents, including a résumé, two letters of recommendation, and a career exploration; Core Coursework, including a research paper from College Writing; three sample papers or projects from Major Coursework; and a Lackawanna College Reflection Paper.



















Course Schedule:




Objective Met

Related Assignment, Assessment, or Learning Activity



The Nature and History of Criminal Law; Criminal Liability and the Essence of Crime

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Read Chapter 1 & 2

Review Associated Chapter PowerPoint’s

Week 1 Assignment

Week 1 Discussion Questions



Expanding the Concept of Crime; Expanding the Concept of Crime

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Read Chapter 3 & 4

Review Associated Chapter PowerPoint’s

Week 2 Assignment

Week 2 Discussion Questions

Ex Post Facto Law Assignment



Justifications as Defenses; Defenses: Excuses and Insanity

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Read Chapter 5 & 6

Review Associated Chapter PowerPoint’s

Week 3 Assignment

Week 3 Discussion Questions


Crimes Against Persons: Homicide; Crimes Against Persons: Assault, Sex Offenses, and Other Crimes

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Read Chapter 1 & 8

Review Associated Chapter PowerPoint’s

Week 4 Assignment

Week 4 Discussion Questions



Property and Computer Crimes; Offenses against Public Order and the Administration of Justice  

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Read Chapter 9 & 10

Review Associated Chapter PowerPoint’s

Week 5 Assignment

Week 5 Discussion Questions



Offenses against Public Morality; Terrorism and Human Trafficking

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Read Chapter 11 & 12

Review Associated Chapter PowerPoint’s

Week 6 Assignment

Week 6 Discussion Questions


Victims and the Law; Punishments and Sentencing

Final Exam Week


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Read Chapter 13 and 14

Review Associated Chapter PowerPoint’s

Week 7 Assignment

Week 7 Discussion Questions

Research Topic PowerPoint Due

Final Paper Due

Final Exam


                Final Exam – Week 7






Rubric Title: Research Paper

Total Points Value: 100 points


Did I do This?

Where? (i.e. slide number, page number, paragraph, etc.)

Points Available

Points Earned


Paper Format


10 points



Spelling & Grammar



10 points



Research Topic Content



60 points



2 Supporting Case Studies



20 points



Paper Format: 10 points

  1. Times New Roman: 1 point
  2. 12 point font: 1 point
  3. Page numbers: 1 point
  4. Title Page: 1 points
  5. Works Cited Page/In text Citations: 3 points
  6. 4-6 page length: 3 points

Spelling & Grammar: 10 points

  1. 1-5 mistakes: 10 points
  2. 6-10 mistakes: 8 points
  3. 11-15 mistakes: 6 points
  4. 16-20 mistakes: 4 points
  5. 21 or more mistakes: 2 points

Research Topic Content: 60 points

  1. Supported Research
  2. Incorporates any sub-sections within said topic

2 Supporting Case Studies: 20 points

  1. Case information
  2. Positive correlation to research topic