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civil law

the body of laws established by a state or nation for its own regulation

criminal law

the body of law dealing with crimes and their punishment


The study of law

stare decisis

Let the decision stand; decisions are based on precedents from previous cases


one who brings a court action against another


a person or institution against whom an action is brought in a court of law


a formal command or admonition


a hearing in which a suspect is charged and pleads guilty or not guilty


an accusation of wrongdoing


a judgment of not guilty

writ of certiorari

Children were granted some of the rights in criminal cases protected by the Bill of Rights., Order by the Supreme Court directing a lower court to send up the records of a case for review

petit jury

a jury of 6 to 12 persons who determine guilt or innocence in a civil or criminal action

grand jury

includes 16 to 23 people, hears charges against a person suspected of having committed a crime.

hung jury

a jury that is unable to agree on a verdict (the result is a mistrial)


Wrongful acts that do not involve contracts

Attorney General

a procedure used in the senate to limit debate on a bill, the position of the head of the Justice Department and the chief law enforcement officer of the United States

District Attorney

those holding office longer getting better committee appointments in a legislature, an official prosecutor for a judicial district

Writ of habeas corpus

the authority to hear cases for the first time, a writ ordering a prisoner to be brought before a judge

Bills of attainder

The authority of a court to review decisions made by lower courts, Prohibits a person being found guilty of a crime w/o a trial

Ex post facto laws

the sharing of power between federal and state governments, A law which punishes people for a crime that was not a crime when it was committed. Congress cannot pass these laws.

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