AOJ 110 Grossmont College Assassination of Paul Castellano Paper

AOJ 110-Criminal Justice Term Paper/Course Project

Students will complete a research paper evaluating a real criminal case scenario that includes the three major components of the Criminal Justice System (Investigation/Court/Corrections).

The course project due on Sunday, May 17, 2020. [Extensions will not be granted]

The term paper/course project should cover complete elements of the process of the criminal justice system. These items should be written in summary format with the following titles and elements:

Introduction Summarize the facts of the case (who, what, where, when and how)-Refrain from using bullets- Paraphrase the case information in your own words. *****You may not select any case that was reviewed during the course. Summarize the investigative process-which law enforcement agency investigating the case (types of evidence gathered in the case etc.)

CourtDescribe the Court proceedingsArraignmentProsecution & DefenseTrial and/or guilty pleaSentencing-address the sentence ordered by the Court

Corrections Discuss the correctional process for the offenderWhere were they designated if ordered imprisoned (which correctional facility)? Research facts about the institution

Discussion and ConclusionIf you were the judge in this case what would be your decision?Explain your reasoning for your independent judicial decision.

* You must include a cover and reference page.

The paper will be 3-5 pages in length to include (title page and the reference page are not included in the page count), typed and double-spaced with a font size of 12, and has a minimum of four references. Only the APA (American Psychological Association) style of documentation is acceptable. Descriptions and examples of the APA style can be found at Purdue OWL link below.

APA Purdue Owl (Link)

Resources for case research: FBI Files; Investigation Discovery; PBS Documentary; Forensic Files……..Rubric

Final Term Paper (1)

Final Term Paper (1) CriteriaRatingsPts

This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Content/Conceptualization 60.0 to >50.0 pts

Response displays a full understanding of the complexity of the issue addressed and multiple points of view. Recognizes varied interpretations and implications. excellent exposition, clearly and concisely written, well argued, and displaying good original input from the student.

Introduction is clearly state, as it provides an in-depth discussion & elaboration of the case. The introduction is engaging, states the main topic and previews the structure of the paper. Gathers and assesses relevant information to topic; points are clearly made. The essay ties together information from all sources. Paper flows from one issue to the next without the need for headings. Author’s writing demonstrates an understanding of the relationship among material obtained from all sources. Each paragraph has thoughtful supporting detail sentences that develop the main idea. Excels in responding to assignment. Interesting, demonstrates sophistication of thought. Central idea/thesis is clearly communicated. Understands and critically evaluates its sources, appropriately limits and defines terms. The concluding paragraph rephrases main points and ends with an original and meaningful concluding comment. Author directly addresses main question or issue, and adds new insight to the subject not provided in lectures, readings, or class discussions. The author has retained nearly all of the knowledge presented in class. He/She is able to synthesize this knowledge in new ways and relate to material not covered in the course. Provides compelling and accurate evidence that convinces reader to accept main argument. The importance/relevance of all pieces of evidence is clearly stated. There are no gaps in reasoning—i.e., the reader does not need to assume anything or do additional research to accept main argument. Conclusion-Elegantly synthesizes and reframes key points from the paper. Suggests new perspectives or questions relevant to the central argument, and brings closure50.0 to >40.0 pts

Good exposition, but lacks clarity and concision, or doesn’t have much original input, or offers poor support for important claims.

Author competently addresses main question or issue, but does not add much new insight into the subject. That said, it is clear that the author has learned a great deal in class and is able to communicate this knowledge to others. Provides necessary evidence to convince reader of most aspects of the main argument but not all. The importance/ relevance of some evidence presented may not be totally clear. Reader must make a few mental leaps or do some additional research to fully accept all aspects of main argument. Conclusion-Synthesizes and brings closure but does not examine new perspectives or questions40.0 to >30.0 pts

No Description

Response does not address some aspects of the assignment. (and/or…) Response demonstrates a somewhat shaky grasp of criminological principles. The response represents the authors’ arguments, evidence and conclusions accurately though not sufficiently clearly. (and/or…) Conclusion-Restates the same points as the topic paragraph without reframing them. (and/or…) Introduces new material rather than new perspectives.30.0 to >20.0 pts

No Description

Author attempts to address main question or issue, but fails. The author has retained some information from the course, but does not fully understand its meaning or context and cannot clearly convey it to others. Not enough evidence is provided to support author’s argument, or evidence is incomplete, incorrect, or oversimplified. Information from lectures and readings is not effectively used. Conclusion-Is missing or cursory. (and/or…) Repeats the topic paragraph more-or-less verbatim.20.0 to >10.0 pts

No Description

Fails to understand some aspects of the material, and/or is very unclearly written. Main points lack detailed development. Ideas are vague with little evidence of critical thinking. Shows some thinking and reasoning but most ideas are underdeveloped and unoriginal.10.0 to >5.0 pts

No Description

Response does not address the assignment. Fails to follow format and assignment requirements; incorrect margins, spacing and indentation; neatness of essay needs attention.5.0 to >0 pts

Did not submit a paper; plagiarized material; made no effort to understand the material or shows no sign of having read it.

60.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Organization/Structure/Mechanics 20.0 to >17.0 pts

Full Marks

All ideas are relevant to each other and to the introductory statement. Sentences and paragraphs are logically ordered and smoothly connected to one another. Clearly assesses offense conduct, court process, evidence and correctional component. Body of the essay has well-written topic sentences and is well supported with effective citations and clear, mature, and original ideas and refers to the original source whenever necessary. Writer demonstrates logical and subtle sequencing of ideas through well-developed paragraphs; transitions are used to enhance organization. Sophisticated transitional sentences often develop one idea from the previous one or identify their logical relations. It guides the reader through the chain of reasoning or progression of ideas. Sentences are well-phrased and varied in length and structure. They flow smoothly from one to another. Paper is the number of pages specified in the assignment. Essay contains an intro, main body, and conclusion. Introduction lays out main argument and gives an outline of what the reader can expect in the essay. The conclusion brings everything together, acknowledges potential shortcomings of the paper, and gives the reader a sense of what further work might be done to advance the subject matter described in the paper.17.0 to >15.0 pts


The paper demonstrates that the author, for the most part, understands and has applied concepts learned in the course. This paper fulfills the assignment well. Its general idea is clear and it is effectively presented. It handles its sources well, with no serious errors of fact or interpretation. It reports on adequate literature, but sources are not as authoritative or current as they should be. Some of the conclusions, however, are not supported in the body of the paper. The topic is focused but lacks direction. For the most part, ties together information from all sources. Paper flows with only some disjointedness. Author’s writing demonstrates an understanding of the relationship among material obtained from all sources. Generally, the paper is correct in usage, appropriate in style, and correct in mechanical standards of writing, including bibliographic citation15.0 to >14.0 pts

No Description

Organization of paper as a whole is logical and apparent, but transitions between paragraphs are not consistently smooth. Every paragraph makes one distinct and coherent point and, for the most part, the parts of each paragraph connect logically and effectively. In all but a few cases, the paragraph’s point is expressed in a clear topic sentence. Paper is for the most part precisely worded and unambiguous. Sentence structure is mostly clear. Quotations are framed effectively in the text14.0 to >10.0 pts

No Description

The introduction gives the reader an idea of what to expect in the paper, but does not effectively lay out the main argument. It may begin with a set of rhetorical questions, or an anecdote that is never fully explained. The conclusion does little more than restate the problematic introduction. Intro and/or conclusion may be too wordy or short.10.0 to >1.0 pts

No Description

Essay lacks clear organizational pattern1.0 to >0 pts

No Marks

Essay has no clear organizational pattern.

20.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome Spelling/Grammar/APA 20.0 to >15.0 pts

Full Marks

All sentences are grammatically correct and clearly written. No words are misused or unnecessarily fancy. Technical terms, words from other languages, and words from other historical periods are always explained. All information is accurate and up-to-date. Paper has been spell-checked AND proofread (ideally by you and somebody else), and contains no errors15.0 to >10.0 pts

No Description

A few sentences are grammatically incorrect or not clearly written. Several words are misused. Technical terms, words from other languages, and words from other historical periods are rarely explained. Not all information is accurate and up-to-date. Paper has been spell-checked AND proofread, but still contains several errors. Reader’s ability to understand essay may be compromised by these errors.10.0 to >5.0 pts


Fewer than 5 current sources, or fewer than 2 of 5 are peer-reviewed journal articles or scholarly books. Not all web sites utilized are credible, and/or sources are not current.5.0 to >0 pts

No Marks

Paper is full of grammatical errors and bad writing. Several words are misused. Technical terms, words from other languages, and words from other historical periods are rarely explained. Not all information is accurate and up-to-date. Paper has not been spell-checked or proofread, and contains numerous errors. Reader has a difficult time understanding essay because of errors.

20.0 pts

Total Points: 100.0