A Jet Tour of the Constitution [2023]

Course Preview

Course Author(s)

Dr. Robert England - Professor of Criminal Justice

Course Summary

Dr. Robert England provides a quick but effective summarization of the U.S. Constitution which provides a refresher course for all in law enforcement and jails/correctional facilities.

The course addresses:

The Fundamentals of Law: In this section, students will be presented the basic fundamentals of the American legal system. Criminal and civil law is explored as well as the concepts of common law. How laws pass through the legislative, executive and judicial branches is examined and judicial review of cases is discussed. A discussion of the supremacy of the constitution is introduced as well as the bill of rights.

The First and Second Amendment: In this section, students are presented The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the freedom of speech, religion and the press. It also protects the right to peaceful protest and to petition the government. Students are also briefly introduced to the Second Amendment, often referred to as the right to bear arms. Differing interpretations of the amendment have fueled a long-running debate over gun control legislation and the rights of individual citizens to buy, own and carry firearms.

The Fourth Amendment: The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.  The Fourth Amendment, however, is not a guarantee against all searches and seizures, but only those that are deemed unreasonable under the law.

The Fifth Amendment: The Fifth Amendment addresses criminal procedure and other aspects of the Constitution. One provision of the Fifth Amendment requires that felonies be tried only upon indictment by a grand jury. Another provision, the Double Jeopardy Clause, provides the right of defendants to be tried only once in federal court for the same offense

The Fifth Amendment includes a due process clause stating that no person shall "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." The Fifth Amendment's due process clause applies to the federal government, while the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause applies to state governments.

The Sixth Amendment: the Sixth Amendment sets forth rights related to criminal prosecutions. It grants criminal defendants the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury consisting of jurors from the state and district in which the crime was alleged to have been committed. Under the impartial jury requirement, jurors must be unbiased, and the jury must consist of a representative cross-section of the community.

The Eighth Amendment: The Eighth Amendment prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishments. The Amendment serves as a limitation upon the federal government to impose unduly harsh penalties on criminal defendants before and after a conviction

The Tenth and Fourteenth Amendment: the Tenth & Fourteenth Amendments, a part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791. It expresses the principle of federalism, also known as states' rights by stating that the federal government has only those powers delegated to it by the Constitution, and that all other powers not forbidden to the states by the Constitution, are reserved to each state, or its people.

Course Syllabus

  • Module 1 - A Jet Tour of the Constitution

    • Types of Laws
    • First and Fourth Amendments
    • Searches and Warrants
    • The Fifth and Sixth Amendments
    • The Sixth, Eighth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments
    • Assessment