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The Wire and War on Drugs (LAWS 5760)

Course Info

Many currently criticize the American criminal justice system for being too severe and, in particular, having an unfairly harsh impact on African Americans. These complaints typically focus on the war on drugs and the way the American criminal justice system has prosecuted and punished drug offenses for the past several decades. This course uses the HBO series The Wire as a lens for understanding and evaluating the war on drugs. Students will examine: current drug offenses, the policy debate about legalization and decriminalization of drugs, conspiracy law, approaches to sentencing, the law of electronic surveillance, the fourth amendment, interrogation, the use of informants, the use of computerized statistical data to manage police departments, prisoner reentry programs and the influence of the media on criminal justice policy.


Prof. Kevin McMunigal

Prof. Kevin McMunigal is a Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University who teaches Criminal Law, Evidence and Professional Responsibility.


The syllabus for your course is available on Canvas.


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