CJUS - chapter 8
Terms in this set (36)
In criminal proceedings, the examination on court of the issues of fact and relevant law in a case for the purpose of convicting or acquitting the defendant.
courtroom work group
The professional courtroom actors, including judges, prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, public defenders, and others who earn a living serving the court.
An elected or appointed public official who presides over a court of law and who is authorized to hear and sometimes to decide cases and conduct trials.
An attorney whose official duty is to conduct criminal proceedings on behalf of the state or the people against those accused of having committed criminal offenses.
The decision-making power of prosecutors, based on the wide range of choices available to them, in the handling of criminal defendants, the scheduling of cases for trial, the acceptance of negotiated pleas, and so on. The most important form of prosecutorial discretion lies in the power to charge, or not charge, a person with an offense.
Any information having a tendency to clear a person of guilt or blame.
A licensed trial lawyer, hired or appointed to conduct the legal defense of a person accused of a crime and to represent him or her before a court of law.
An attorney employed by a government agency or subagency , or by a private organization under contract to a government body, for the purpose of providing defense services to indigents, or an attorney who has volunteered such service.
The court officer whose duties are to keep order in the courtroom, to secure witnesses, and to maintain physical custody of the jury.
A person who has special knowledge and skills recognized by the court as relevant to the determination of guilt or influence. Unlike lay witnesses, expert witnesses may express opinions or draw conclusions in their testimony.
an eyewitness, character witness, or other person called on to testify who is not considered an expert. Lay witnesses must testify to the facts only and may not draw conclusions or express opinions.
A written order issued by a judicial officer or grand jury requiring an individual to appear in court and to give testimony or to bring material to be used as evidence. Some subpoenas mandate that books, papers, and other items may be surrendered to the court.
victims' assistance program
An organized program that offers services to victims of crime in the areas of crisis intervention and follow-up counseling and that helps victims secure their rights under the law.
A member of a trial or grand jury who has been selected for jury duty and is required to serve as an arbiter of the facts in a court of law. Jurors are expected to render verdicts of "guilty" or "not guilty" as to the charges brought against the accused, although they ma sometimes fail to do so (as in the case of a hung jury)
change of venue
The movement of a trial or lawsuit from one jurisdiction to another or from one location to another within the same jurisdiction. A change of venue may be made in a criminal case to ensure that the defendant receives a fair trial.
rules of evidence
The court rules that govern the admissibility of evidence at criminal hearings and trials.
The two-sided structure under which American criminal trial courts operate that pits the prosecution against the defense. In theory, justice is done when the more effective adversary is able to convince the judge or jury that his or her perspective on the case is the correct one.
Speedy trial act.
A 1974 federal law requiring that proceedings against a defendant in a criminal case begin within a specified period of time, such as 70 working days after indictment. Some states also have speedy trial requirements.
The right to challenge a potential juror without disclosing the reason for the challenge. Prosecutors and defense attorneys routinely use peremptory challenges to eliminate from juries individuals who, although they express no obvious bias, are thought to be capable of swaying the jury in an undesirable direction.
The process whereby, according to law and precedent, members of a particular trial jury are chosen.
scientific jury selection
The use of correlational techniques from the social sciences to gauge the likelihood that potential jurors will vote for conviction or for acquittal.
a jury that is isolated from the public during the course of a trial and throughout the deliberation process.
The initial statement of the prosecution or the defense, made in a court of law to a judge, or to a judge and jury , describing the facts the he or she intends to present during the trial to to prove the case.
anything useful to a judge or jury in deciding the facts of a case. Evidence may take the form of a witness testimony, written documents, videotapes, magnetic media, photographs, physical objects, and so on.
The evidence that, if believed, directly proves a fact. Eyewitness testimony and videotaped documentation account for the majority of all direct evidence heard in the criminal court room.
The evidence that requires interpretation or that requires a judge or jury to reach a conclusion based on what the evidence indicates. From the close proximity of the defendant to a smoking gun, for example, the jury might conclude that he or she pulled the trigger.
Evidence that consists of physical material or traces of physical activity.
The degree to which a particular item of evidence is useful in, and relevant to, proving something important in a trial.
The oral evidence offered by a sworn witness on the witness stand during a criminal trial.
The intentional making of a false statement as a part of the testimony by a sworn witness in a judicial proceeding on a matter relevant to the case at hand.
Something that is not based on the personal knowledge of a witness. Witnesses who testify about something they have heard, for example, are offering hearsay by repeating information about a matter of which they have no direct knowledge.
The long standing precedent that hearsay cannot be used in American courtrooms. Rather than accepting the testimony based on hearsay, the court will ask that the person who was the original source of the hearsay information be brought in to be questioned and cross-examined. Exceptions to the hearsay rule may occur when the person with direct knowledge is dead or is otherwise unable to testify.
an oral summation of a case presented to a judge, or to a judge and jury, by the prosecution or by the defense in a criminal trial.
In legal proceedings, an actual and substantial doubt arising from the evidence, from the facts or circumstances shown by the evidence, or from the lack of evidence. Also, the state of a case such that, after the comparison and consideration of all the evidence, jurors cannot say they feel an abiding conviction of the truth of the charge.
reasonable doubt standard
The standard of proof necessary for conviction in criminal trials.
the decision of the jury in a jury trial or of a judicial officer in a nonjury trial.