Chapter 13 Texas Government 2306

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Terms in this set (...)

Felony
a serious criminal offense, punishable by a prison sentence or a fine. A capital felony is punishable by death or a life sentence
Things taken away by felony charges
licenses, the right to vote, the right to have a gun
Capitol Murder
the most serious felony, punishable by death or life in prison
Examples of First Degree Felonies
aggravated assault on a public servant, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, arson of a habitation
Examples of Second Degree Felonies
arson, bigamy, bribery, robbery, sexual assault, manslaughter, and possession of 50-2,000 lbs or marijuana
Examples of Third Degree Felonies
stalking, third DWI charge, third offense of violation of of a protective order
Penalty for First Degree Felony
5-99 years in prison and up to 10,000 fine
Penalty for Second Degree Felony
2 to 20 years in prison and up to 10,000 fine
Penalty for Third Degree Felony
2 to 10 years in prison and up to 10,000 fine
Examples of State Jail Felonies
burglary of a building, DWI with a child as a passenger, forgery of a check, possession of less then 1 gram of a controlled substance
Penalty for State Jail Felonies
180 days to 2 years in state jail, fun to 10,000 fine
Misdemeanor
a minor criminal offense usually punishable by a small fine or short jail sentence
Class A Misdemeanor
most serious misdemeanor, 1 year in jail and 4,000 fine ... examples: burglary of a vehicle, a second DWI offense, public lewdness, possession of 2-4 grams of marijuana
Class B Misdemeanor
punishable with a sentence of up to 180 days and a fine up to 2,000, examples: prostitution, terrorist threat, first DWI charge, criminal trespass, and possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana
Class C Misdemeanor
punished with fines not to exceed 500, involve crimes such as public intoxication, disorderly conduct, minors possession of alcohol
Probation
punishment where an offender is not imprisoned but remains in the community under specific 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
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
agency composed of 6 members serving 6 year terms. makes recommendations about state prisoners sentences, clemency, parole, and supervision, determines which prisoners are to be released on parole, determine conditions of parole, determines revocation of parole, and recommends clemency to the governor
In order for the governor to alter a prisoners sentence,
majority of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles must support the change
Formula used by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to determine Parole
considers the crime, when it was committed, the time served, and the behavior of the inmate
Number of Years a a non-violent crime has to serve in prison in order to be considered for parole:
1/4 of the sentence or 15 years, whichever comes first
Three Strikes Provision
a law that allows persons convicted of three felonies (or in some cases 2) to be sentenced to life in prisonment
The Criminal Justice Process
Arrangement and Posting Bail; Grand Jury Indictment; Pretrial Hearings; Trial and Sentencing
Arraignment
Charges are read against the defendant
Bail is posted during
The Arraignment
Bail
money provided by the defendant to the state as assurance that an accused person will appear for trial; if the accused does not appear the bail is forfeited
Grand Jury Indictment
second step in the criminal justice process where a case is presented to 12 people and they will decided if there is enough evidence for trial voting no bill if not enough probable cause or true bill if they find probable cause for trial
Grand Jury
jury that determines whether sufficient evidence is available to justify trial, guilt or innocence is not determined here
Criticism of the Grand Jury
usually only hears prosecution and serves as a "rubber stamp" to the prosecutors conviction
Pretrial Hearings
third step in the criminal justice process where the accused pleas guilty or not guilty, the trial is scheduled, and various motions are presented
County Attorney
an elected official in some counties who prosecutes misdemeanor cases
District Attorney
public official who prosecutes more serious criminal cases in district court
Plea Bargain
a negotiated agreement in a criminal case in which a defendant agrees to plead guilty in return for the states agreement to reduce the severity of the criminal charge
A common crime in Texas
possession of less then 2 oz of marijuana
assigned counsel
private lawyers appointed by judges to provide legal representation for indigent defendants in serious criminal cases. The lawyers fee is determined and paid by the county
public defender
salaried lawyer who is funded by the government or by grants who represent indigents in Texas in some couties or some types of cases
problem with assigned counsel
fee paid by counties may be so small that the assigned attorneys may not do an adequate job in representing the indigent
The largest incarcerated race
White - 47% of people locked up are white
The largest by population of incarcerated races
Black - though 11% of people locked up are black that accounts for 35% of their population
Ruiz V Estelle
class action suit of prisoners against overcrowding, security and supervision, health care, discipline, and access to the courts which led to a major reform in the prison system
Texas Department of Corrections
9 member board appointed by the governor to run the prison system
Year executions changed to lethal injection
1977
Reasons for being sentenced to death
murder of a public safety officer, correctional officer, or firemen; murder during commission of a burglary, robbery, aggravated rape, or arson; murder for hire; multiple murders; muder during a prison escape; murder by a prison inmate serving a life sentence; murder of a child under 6
Governor Miriam Fergusen
judge who abused clemency power and allegedly accepted bribes for executive clemency
Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
votes in clemency for death row inmates since 1936 constitutional amendment stripping power from the governor due to abuse from Miriam Ferguson
The governor can only grant this without the recommendationTexas Board of Pardons and Paroles,
30 day repreive
Law of Parties
a person involved in a crime that leads to murder is guilty of murder even though they did not commit the murder
Reasons for decline in death penalty
decline in capital murder cases, jurys could impose life sentence without parole after 2005, jurys cannot sentence juveniles or mentally retarded to death
Reasons for Harris County death penally decline
changes in district attorneys, scandal in the Houston crime lab, improvements of the quality of capital defense work
District Attorney Henry Wade
High conviction rate led to prosecution of most wrongfully convicted felons
Reason for most wrongful convictions
eyewitness testimoni not being credible