Famous American Trials Research Assignment

1. Length of essay: 800-1000 words (3-5 pages). Paper must be in APA format with sources correctly cited in
text and in a Works Cited page. Include word count on essay.
2. Required sources: minimum of four, but no more than six. Your sources need to be from reputable,
academic sources (i.e. published: no website articles, other than the information found on the Famous Trials
website). You can find more information about the trial to supplement what you already know, you may also
want to research the time period in American history or the US justice system to help you determine your
3. Remember for this essay, you do not have to prove whether or not the defendant was guilty or not guilty,
you just have to determine whether or not the verdict was just or unjust. Did he/she receive a fair trial? Was
their sufficient evidence to support the verdict?
4. Use factual evidence from sources to make your case. Can you find bias that influenced certain decisions?
5. If a case was appealed, focus on the original verdict1. Length of essay: 800-1000 words (3-5 pages). Paper must be in APA format with sources correctly cited in

Chapter from Great American Trials on your trial edited by Edward W. Knappman. Available in the Library.
There is a print copy in the library and copies of the articles can also be found in the EBSCOHost ebook
database. A link to all 205 chapters from this eBook can be found by clicking here. You will need to narrow
the search to the trials assigned in class. Copies of these articles are also available in our D2L class.
 The Famous Trials website: http://famous-trials.com
 To help you find the remaining sources, use the library’s Great American Trials Research Guide:
 You may choose your own trial for this assignment; those from the 20th century and later tend to have more
sources available. The following trials have several good sources available through the SCC Library (you don’t
have to pick these, but they are possible options):
o Leo Frank Trial (1913)
Sacco-Vanzetti Trial (1921)
Leopold and Loeb Trial (1924)
Scottsboro Boys Trials (1931-1937-focus on the first one)
Bruno Richard Hauptmann (Lindbergh baby) (1935)
Samuel Sheppard Trial (1954—there are two—focus on the 1st one)

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