U. S. Government: Democracy In Action

Chapter 15: Law in America

Student Web Activity

"Crime and Punishment"

In this chapter you have learned about law in the United States—about the principles of the legal system, the various types of civil law, and the types of criminal law. In this activity you will take a closer look at criminal law and the criminal justice process.

Destination Title: Lawyers.com

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
Need help using your browser for this activity? Click here for tips.

Start at the Lawyers.com Web site on criminal law.

  • Select the topic Criminal Law Basics.
  • Click on and read through the topics under "Get Info": Criminal Law Basics, Punishment of Crime, and Criminal Justice Process.
  • If you have time, you may also read through the "Get Answers (FAQs)" section.
  • Read through the information presented under each topic, taking notes as you go.

After you have read through the information, answer the following questions.

What are the two main categories of crime? How do they differ?
List the stages that are generally followed in the criminal justice process.
What are the United States Sentencing Guidelines?
What is plea bargaining?
On a separate sheet of paper, write a newspaper editorial on the topic of crime in the United States. Do you think the criminal justice system works? How could it be improved? What could be done to reduce the level of crime?
US Government: Democracy In Action
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