Chapter 10 Vocab
Terms in this set (39)
An appearance before a magistrate during which the legality of the defendant's arrest is initially assessed and the defendant is informed of the charges on which he or she is being held. At this stage in the criminal justice process, bail may be set of pretrial release arranged.
The release of an accused person from custody,k for all or part of the time before or during prosecution, on his or her promise to appear in court when required.
A document guaranteeing the appearance of a defendant in court as required and recording the pledge of money or property to be paid to the court if he or she does not appear, which is signed by the person to be released and anyone else acting on his or her behalf.
Release on Recognizance
The pretrial release of a criminal defendant on his or her written promise to appear in court as required. No cash or property bond is required.
The setting of bail in the form of land, houses, stocks, or other tangible property. In the event that the defendant absconds prior to trial, the bond becomes the property of the court.
The release by executive decision of a prisoner from a federal or state correctional facility who has not served his or her full sentence and whose freedom is contingent on obeying specified rules of behavior.
A law intended to prevent the pretrial release of criminal defendants judged to represent a danger to others in the community.
Held to determine whether there is probable cause to hold the defendant for trial.
Serve as filters to eliminate cases for which there is not sufficient evidence for further processing.
Competent to Stand Trial
A finding by a court that the defendant has sufficient present ability to consult with his or her attorney with a reasonable degree of rational understanding and that the defendant has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him or her.
The first appearance of the defendant before the court that has the authority to conduct a trial.
In criminal proceedings, the defendant's formal answer in court to the charge contained in a complaint, information, or indictment that he or she is guilty of the offense charged, is not guily of the offense charged, or does not contest the charge.
A plea of "no contest." A no-contest plea is used when the defendant does not wish to contest conviction. Because the plea does not admit guilt, however, it cannot provide the basis for later civil suits that might follow a criminal conviction.
The process of negotiating an agreement among the defendant, the prosecutor, and the court as to an appropriate plea and associated sentence in a given case. It circumvents the trial process and dramatically reduces the time required for the resolution of a criminal case.
Rules of Evidence
Court rules that govern the admissibility of evidence at criminal hearings and trials.
The two-sided structure under which American criminal trial courts operate. It pits the prosecution against the defense.
Deals with the issue of whether the defendant is actually responsible for the crime of which he or she stands accused.
Is established only when the prosecutor presents sufficient evidence to convice the judge or the jury that the defendant is guilty as charged.
Speedy Trial Act
A 1974 federal law requiring that proceedings against a defendant in a federal criminal case begin within a specified period of time, such as 70 working days after indictment. Some states also have these requirements.
The right to challenge a protential juror without disclosing the reason for the challenge. Prosecutors and defense attorneys routinely use this 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 trial jury are chosen.
Voir Dire Examination
Both prosecution and defense attorneys question potential jurors.
Scientific Jury Selection
The use of correlational techniques from the social sciences to gauge the likelihood that potential jurors will vote for conviction of for acquittal.
A jury that is isolated form the public during the course of a trial and throughout the deliberation process.
Hired court observers who sit in the courtroom and listen to both sides in a criminal trial. They are laypeople who are expected to give defense attorneys a feel for what the "real" jurors are thinking and feeling as a case progresses, allowing for ongoing modifications in defense strategy.
The initial statement of the prosecutor of the defense attorney, made in a court of law to a judge or jury, describing the facts that he or she intends to present during trial to prove the case.
Anything useful to a judge or jury in deciding the facts of a case. It may take the form of witness testimony, written documents, videotapes, magnetic media, photograph, physical objects, and so on.
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 courtroom.
Evidence that requires interpretation or that requires a judge or jury to reach a conclusion based on what the evidence indicates.
Evidence that consists o fphysical 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.
Harmless Error Rule
This standard places the burden on the prosecution to show that the jury's decision would most likely have been the same even in the absence of the inappropriate evidence.
Oral evidence offered by a sworn witness on the witness stand during a criminal trial.
The intentional making of a false statement as 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 are 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 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.
A statement made by a person who is about to die. Is generally a valid exception to the hearsay rule.
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.
The decision of the jury in a jury trial or of a judicial officer in a nonjury trial.