CJS-445OM - Expert and Scientific Evidence

Online Standardized Syllabus

CJS 445 – Expert and Scientific Evidence

3.00 credits



Theresa Kline







Office Hours






Criminal Evidence, 2nd Edition

Author: Marjie Britz

ISBN-10: 0133598330

ISBN-13: 9780133598339



Examination of the role and function of expert and scientific evidence in the legal system, and critical evaluation of the standards governing the integration of law and science. Topics include the Frye, Daubert and other standards governing scientific evidence; ethical issues concerning expert testimony; the interface between the scientific, legal and law enforcement communities; and particularized consideration of evidentiary issues connected with specific scientific techniques.



1. To understand and appreciate the history and evolution of scientific and expert evidence in the justice system.

2. To understand the distinctions between the scientific and expert evidence and other forms of evidence in court proceedings.

3. To gain experience with the common legal terminology, methods and procedures connected with scientific and expert testimony

4. To focus on legal issues and techniques connected with scientific and expert evidence in the criminal justice system which are not extensively considered or analyzed in other courses.

5. To examine the practical and theoretical difficulties in merging scientific and legal principles.

6. To demonstrate critical thinking, research and writing skills on issues relevant to scientific and expert evidence.




  • You are required to complete 2 discussion questions per week and 2 responses per discussion question to your classmates for a total of 6 posts per week
  • Responses must be substantive; respectful dialogue with classmates/instructor
  • Students who miss one week of discussion will be DROPPED from the course.
  • Students who do not log on to the course within the drop/add period for the course will be DROPPED from the course. 
  • You are required to complete 2 quizzes per week and 1 exam per week.





  • Weekly Discussion Questions/Responses – 10 points each x 13 = 130 points
  • Weekly Quizzes – 25 points each x 7 = 175 points
  • Weekly Chapter Tests – 50 points each x 7 tests = 350 points
  • Final Examination – 100 points

Total points –  755 points



March 22 – Chapter 1&2 quiz, March 24 – Chapters 1&2 exam

March 29 – Chapter 3&4 quiz, March 31 – Chapters 3&4 exam

April 5 – Chapter 5&6 quiz, April 7 – Chapters 5&6 exam

April 12 – Chapter 7&8 quiz, April 14 – Chapters 7&8 exam

April 19 – Chapter 9&10 quiz, April 21 – Chapters 9&10 exam

April 26 – Chapter 11&12 quiz, April 28 – Chapters 11&12 exam

May 3 – Chapter 13 quiz, May 5 – Chapter 13 exam

May 8 – Final exam


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
  • All initial posts to the discussion questions MUST be posted by the assigned date at

11:55 PM.

  • All replies to the discussion questions MUST be posted by Sunday at 11:55 PM.
  • There will be 1 quiz each week which will cover 2 chapters; there will be one exam each week which will cover 2 chapters. Quizzes and exams will have to be downloaded, completed and then uploaded to the portal. All uploads MUST be posted by the assigned date at 11:55 PM.
  • All assignment due dates will be clearly posted in the weekly To Do List and Assignment instructions.




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

  • No late work will be accepted.


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, piggam@lackawanna.edu.

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, EganG@lackawanna.edu or Gopu Kiron, Affirmative Action Officer/eLearning Director, Angeli Hall, Ground Floor, Vine Street, Scranton PA, (570) 504-7929, kirong@lackawanna.edu.

Additional information regarding Title IX requirements and how to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights: Office of Civil Rights at www2.ed.gov/ocr, 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: OCR.Philadelphia@ed.gov.   

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 Evolution of the Law of Criminal Evidence

Federalism, Court Systems and the Criminal Justice Process

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

Read Chapter 1 & 2

Review Associated Chapter PowerPoint’s

Week 1 Discussion Questions

Chapter 1&2 quiz

Chapters 1&2 exam



Forms of Evidence

Search and Seizure and the Doctrine of Justice

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

Read Chapter 3 & 4

Review Associated Chapter PowerPoint’s

Week 2 Discussion Questions

Chapter 3&4 quiz

Chapters 3&4 exam



The Exclusionary Rule and the Fourth Amendment

Warrantless Searches


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

Read Chapter 5 & 6

Review Associated Chapter PowerPoint’s

Week 3 Discussion Questions

Chapter 5&6 quiz

Chapters 5&6 exam



Qualifications and Impeachment of Witnesses

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


Read Chapter 7 & 8

Review Associated Chapter PowerPoint’s

Week 4 Discussion Questions

Chapter 7&8 quiz

Chapters 7&8 exam




Examination of Witnesses


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


Read Chapter 9 & 10

Review Associated Chapter PowerPoint’s

Week 5 Discussion Questions

Chapter 9&10 quiz

Chapters 9&10 exam



Privileged Communications

Documentary and Scientific Evidence

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


Read Chapter 11-12

Review Associated Chapter PowerPoint’s

Week 6 Discussion Questions

Chapter 11&12 quiz

Chapters 11&12 exam



Cyber Evidence and Demonstrative Evidence in the Pursuit of Justice

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


Read Chapter 13

Review Associated Chapter PowerPoint’s

Week 7 Discussion Questions

Chapter 13 quiz

Chapter 13 exam



Final Exam Week

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

Final Exam



***This schedule is subject to change at the Instructor’s discretion.