Contemporary issues in Political Science

1. Read the report, “Race and Wrongful Convictions in the United States.” (a) Sixty percent of the drug exonerations we know about occurred in Harris County, Texas, home to Houston (133/221). In your opinion, do police enforce drug laws more vigorously against African Americans than against members of the white community? (b) Explain the problem with the Harris County guilty-plea exonerations? How does Harris County address the increasing rate of wrongful convictions? (c) Read Texas HB 34: An ACT relating to measures to prevent wrongful convictions. Explain how the bill would address eyewitness misidentification, live line-ups, and photo line-ups.

HB 34:

2. On December 30, 2016, a transgender woman, Jenny Swift, 49, was found dead in her cell at an all-male prison. (a) Write an essay supporting one of the following positions using information from the above chapter. Choose a position and make an argument – for or against:

? The Department of Justice and Bureau of Prisons should accommodate transgender women and assign them to an all-female prison.

? The Department of Justice and Bureau of Prisons should recognize the biological sex of transgender women and assign them to an all-male prison.

(b) Read, “Treatment of Transgender Inmates—the Double Punishment.” Do you agree with Mintz that prisons can avoid dangerous housing placements with proper screening? What are her recommendations to address this concern?




Sample Solution