DESIGNING THE RULES FOR TRUE CRIME INVESTIGATIONS   The True Crime genre of books, movies, TV-shows podcasts is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Moreover, a number of True Crime properties have shown the ability to influence the criminal justice system (e.g., Serial, Jinx), freeing those who may be innocent and holding accountable those who may be guilty. However, can True Crime also be reckless? Who decides who has the right to turn intensely private and traumatic experiences of victims of crime into a product for public consumption? How far can True Crime investigators go in pursuing their story? What are the consequences for story tellers (and their financial backers) if a True Crime story sets a guilty individual free or sends an innocent individual to prison? In this research project you will need to consider the following question: Are the present rules enough to deal with the True Crime phenomenon? And, if not, how would you modify or write new rules to rectify the current situation? Your research project has several components: Define True Crime as a phenomenon. Identify the potential benefits and problems with True Crime and, if possible, illustrate with examples. Identify current criminal and civil rules that might apply to True Crime investigations. Provide an analysis of whether those rules are enough to hold True Crime investigators (and/or their backers) to account. If the current rules are not enough, what new rules would you suggest? How would you justify them? There are no preconceptions about how you answer this prompt. However, this project is a LIBRARY RESEARCH PAPER. Common sense may be useful in when seeking inspiration for how to analyze and solve the problem. However, you MUST also back up your ideas and perspectives using information gathered from acceptable SCIENTIFIC SOURCES. Remember there is also a practical element to this exercise: Your analysis and suggested new rules must be reasonable, meaning that somebody could conceivably put your concept into place. This means that you should consider the cost, politics, legal foundations, and ethics of your proposed analysis. Finally, EFFORT and CREATIVITY are needed for this project. You cant dial this one in. YOU NEED TO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY TO GET A GOOD GRADE. LIBRARY RESEARCH & ACCEPTABLE SCIENTIFIC SOURCES You should cite relevant research from acceptable SCIENTIFIC SOURCES to support your case. SCIENTIFIC SOURCES can include peer-reviewed journal articles, law review articles, and books (that you would be able to find in the UCLA Library). That something might be an acceptable SCIENTIFIC SOURCE does NOT mean that it contains accurate or correct information. It only means that the paper has been through some form of review by peers and purports to be an honest presentation of perspectives and data. Journal articles obtained from journals accessed through UCLA databases ISI Web of Science and J-Store are generally acceptable. Most books on the shelves of the UCLA libraries are acceptable scientific sources. SUSPECT SOURCES Other information from the web should be treated as a great deal of skepticism. This means information from websites such as,,, even, etc., must be used with great care and caution. Web pages and blogs are not peer reviewed by experts in the field and therefore they are under no obligation to use state-of-the-art theory and methods, nor are they required to be honest. In fact, it is not unreasonable to expect that blog authors are simply interested in attracting as much attention as possible. Why be careful and honest, if playing fast and loose with the facts earns you more eyeballs? Mainstream newspapers such as the LA Times do hold themselves to a higher standard than bloggers. However, the journalistic standard is one of confirmation not scientific accuracy. Thus, if two or more people confirm the same outlandish story, then it is generally fit to print. If you see something in a news story that attracts your attention, you must back up the claims in that story with information from acceptable sources. UNACCEPTABLE SOURCE Lectures are UNACCEPTABLE as a source material for this paper. If you hear something intriguing in lecture, you must find acceptable scientific sources that back that up. Do NOT cite (Brantingham, Lecture 15)! WARNING: I WILL DEDUCT ONE WHOLE LETTER GRADE FROM YOUR PAPER SCORE FOR EACH CITATION TO LECTURE MATERIALS. PAPER FORMAT Your paper MUST adhere to the following formatting guidelines: 5 page maximum, excluding references and images. Double-spaced, 12 pt font 1 (inch) margins top, bottom, left right Citations using APA or Chicago styles. It is also recommended that you write your paper working from an outline. This helps you to organize your thinking and make sure you are saying all the things you want to say. Share on Facebook Tweet Follow us This question has been answered. Get Answer


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