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Professor Michael Roche lectures to a classroom of students.

The College Lecture Lives On 

Room 117 in Patterson Hall at the University of South Dakota seats 170 students and is one of the largest lecture rooms on campus. On a cold Friday afternoon in late January, almost 100 undergraduates are in Professor Michael Roche’s Introduction to Criminal Justice class, yet all the seats are empty. Individuals instead stand along the outer walls of the room, shoulder to shoulder with others who have chosen one of two sides in a hypothetical question Roche has just posed.

“Imagine a group of 100 people. We know 99 out of the 100 are vicious killers,” Roche told the students a minute earlier. “One among them is not guilty, but that person’s identity is unknown. All 100 of them say, ‘I’m innocent.’ How many of you say that we need 100 separate jury trials to find the innocent person? How many think we can’t afford to do that? And some of the guilty ones are going to get acquitted. They are bad asses and they’re coming out amongst us!”

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