26 terms

Chapter 13 Crime and Corrections Policy in Texas

STUDY
PLAY

Terms in this set (...)

felony
a serious criminal offense, punishable by a prison sentence or a fine. A capital felony is punishable by death
misdemeanor
a minor criminal offense usually punishable by a small fine or short jail sentence
probation
punishment where an offender is not imprisoned but remains in the community under specified rules and under the supervision of a probation officer
parole
the conditional release of an offender who has served some prison time, under specified rules and under the supervision of a parole officer
"three strikes" provision
a law that allows persons convicted of three felonies (or in some cases two felonies) to be sentenced to life imprisonment
The most serious crimes are classified as
felonies
probation refers to
a suspension of the jail or prison sentence
Which of the following is true?
People convicted of capital crimes are not eligible for parole.
bail
payment of money to the state as an assurance that an accused person who is released from jail pending trial will appear for trial; if the accused does not appear, the bail is forfeited
grand jury
jury that determines whether sufficient evidence is available to justify a trial; grand juries do not rule on the accused's guilt or innocence
county attorney
an elected official in some counties who prosecutes misdemeanor cases
district attorney
public official who prosecutes the more serious criminal cases in the district court
plea bargain
a negotiated agreement in a criminal case in which a defendant agrees to plead guilty in return for the state's agreement to reduce the severity of the criminal charge or prison sentence the defendant is facing
assigned counsel public defender
private lawyers appointed by judges to provide legal representation for indigent defendants in serious criminal cases. The lawyer's fee is determined by and paid by the county
Grand Juries
determine if there is probable cause to prosecute an individual for a crime
District attorneys may have the most important roles in the criminal justice process because
- they have the power to charge people with crimes
- they have the power to plea bargain with defendants
-they usually make the only presentation before grand juries.
Which of the following statements about plea bargaining is true?
Plea bargains are made by defendants with district attorneys and agreed to by a judge.
Indigent defendants charged with serious crimes in Texas
most commonly are represented by judicially appointed private attorneys
The Texas prison system
- Was vastly affected by a federal court decision, Ruiz v. Estelle, that declared that the overcrowded system was unconstitutional
- holds mostly persons convicted of violent crimes.
- is a very costly way of dealing with crime as opposed to community supervision such as drug and alcohol programs and probation and parole.
- is beginning to contract in size after a long period of expansion
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice
is run by a nine-member board appointed by the governor.
The death penalty
has been imposed less frequently since Texas allowed juries to sentence a defendant to life without parole.
People have been wrongfully convicted in Texas because of
- police misconduct
- bad or outdated forensic science
- prosecutorial misconduct
An advance in which technology has conclusively proved the innocence of a large number of convicted people is
DNA analysis
Reforms in the criminal justice process include
- financial compensation for people wrongfully convicted
- changes to suspect lineups so that the police officer in charge of the lineup does not know who the actual suspect is.
-expanding drug treatment programs
- showing photos in photo identifications to witnesses sequentially rather than at the same time to reduce the danger of witnesses comparing photos and choosing the one that best fits their memory of the assailant.
Probation costs are
about 10 percent of the cost of prison.
public defender
salaried lawyer who is funded by the government or by grants who represents indigents in Texas in some counties or for some types of cases