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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: LSTD453 Course ID: 3859 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This undergraduate course will focus on the basic legal rules governing kinds of information which can be developed and received at trial, and how evidence may be considered by the trier of fact. Students will study how policies favoring probative evidence must be weighed against policies protecting against hearsay, opinion, prejudice, time consumption, and other harmful matters. Proper examination and impeachment of witnesses will also be explored.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/30/20 - 04/30/21 05/03/21 - 06/27/21 Spring 2021 Session I 8 Week session
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 8 Week session
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

LO1. Examine the historical reason(s) why America's rules of evidence are more restrictive than those established by other countries.

LO2. Trace the development of the exclusionary rule and understand its application today and the exclusions to it.

LO3. Determine why evidence rules are constantly evolving and differentiate between the rules relating to the burden of the prosecution and the burden of proof placed on the defense in a criminal case.

LO4. Interpret and evaluate evidence that is unconstitutionally obtained and examine the effectiveness of the exclusionary rule as a result.

LO5. Examine procedures of introducing evidence and the roles of those in the court room with regard to presenting, challenging, and evaluating evidence and distinguish between judicial notice of facts and judicial notice of law.

LO6. Identify relevancy and materiality issues; examine the reasons for privileged communications; differentiate between expert testimony and non-expert testimony, or lay testimony; interpret hearsay evidence and the hearsay rule; and evaluate documentary evidence.

LO7. Examine the general rules relating to the results of examinations and tests and identify specific rules in Federal Rules of Evidence for United States Courts and Magistrates.

The grading will be based on homework assignments, a case brief, midterm examination, and final examination.

1. Forums and Assignments: There are six substantive forum postings and a case brief. They are selected to provide the student with hands on experience in applying the law and theories being discussed.

2. Exams: The midterm and final exams will be untimed and taken open book. The exams will be posted in the electronic classroom under "Exams." These examinations will cover selected sections of the textbook and assigned reading. They will consist of essay quesions. Please coordinate with the professor for any special arrangements.

NameGrade %
Introductory Forum 2.00 %
Introductory Forum 2.00 %
Forums 38.00 %
Week 1 Forum 5.43 %
Week 2 Forum 5.43 %
Week 3 Forum 5.43 %
Week 4 Forum 5.43 %
Week 5 Forum 5.43 %
Week 6 Forum 5.43 %
Week 7 Forum 5.43 %
Midterm Exam 20.00 %
Mid-Term Exam 20.00 %
Legal Brief 10.00 %
Week 7 - Case Brief 10.00 %
Final Exam 30.00 %
Final Exam 30.00 %


In addition to the required course text the following public domain Websites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name

Website URL/Address

Oyez – Supreme Court Media

ABA Criminal Law Section

Supreme Court Website

Cornell Law Crim Law Site

Book Title:Criminal Evidence 12th Ed-E-book available in the APUS Online Library, please visit to locate the course eReserve.
Publication Info:Taylor & Francis
Author:Ingram, Jefferson L.
Unit Cost:$121.37
Book Title:Bluebook: Uniform System of Citation, 20th ed. - - e-book available online, please visit to locate the course eReserve.
Publication Info:Harvard, Columbia Law Review
Author:Harvard, Columbia Law Review
Unit Cost:$41.30

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.