Home > SVCPulse > News Archive

SVC Course Will Focus on Importance of Evidence in Trials, Judiciary System

Public Relations
Posted: Monday Aug 8, 2011
A new course in Criminal Trial Evidence will be offered by Saint Vincent College this fall for students who want to learn more about the rules and principles of evidence.

“The course will feature considerable interaction with students,” noted Bruce Antkowiak, professor and director of the new Saint Vincent College criminology program. “They will be called upon to play the role of juror, witness, advocate, judge and, perhaps, defendant as the various components of the trial are simulated. It is intended to be an intensely interactive experience meant to enhance their appreciation of the critical legal concepts underlying a part of the process in which due process has its most profound meaning.”

“The criminal trial is the centerpiece of the criminal process,” Mr. Antkowiak continued. “How investigators investigate and how attorneys assess cases all revolve around the events they each know will take place in the courtroom when the jury is sworn. Indeed, those whose role in the system comes after the trial, the probation, parole or corrections officials also need to understand the trial and its impact on the people they supervise.”

“The course will help set the roles of various players in the system in context. The best criminalist or CSI can have little impact on a case if they do not appreciate how the system treats so-called “experts” and evaluates their testimony. The language spoken in the courtroom is not the language of the street and certainly not the scripted language of television. Understanding the real life discourse of the courtroom is the only way for all people connected with the system to appreciate their role in it.”

The class will meet from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in room 38 of Alfred Hall for 15 weeks beginning August 30. Three college credits will be awarded for successful completion of the course.

The course is also available for audit. For persons over 30 years of age up to 64 years of age the fee is one half of the regular course audit fee. For persons 65 years of age and over, course audit is free of charge. Registration for each reduced-rate course audit is $5.00.

Further information is available by contacting Professor Antkowiak at 724 805-2940 or bruce.antkowiak@email.stvincent.edu.