courts and society exam 1

dual court system
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Terms in this set (78)
how are state level judges chosen?elected by the voters or appointed by the governorHow are federal judges selected?nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senatebench triala trial by a judge alonewhat are the two most fundamental protections to criminal defendants1. the right to remain silent 2. the right to a trial by jurygoals of the sentencing Reform Act of 19841. reduce unjustified differences in sentencing 2. increase certainty and uniformity in sentencingwhat are the major types of courts in the united statestrial courts, appellate courts, and the supreme courtflorida constitution- section 16rights of victimsLaw on the booksThe written rules and principles used in the court systemlaw in actionis a legal theory that examines the role of law as it is set in societyThree characteristics of common lawjudge-made, uses precedent and is found in multiple sourcescommon law-law that was developed in England by judges who made decisions without any written lawwhat is the highest law of the landU.S. Constitutionstatutelaws enacted by federal and state legislaturesordinancestatutory law created by a local unit of government (town, city, or county)administrative regulationsLegislative bodies authorize administrative agencies to issue specific rules and regulations consistent with the general principles specified in a statuteburden of productionthey must produce evidence to put facts in issueBurden of PursuasionThe burden to present sufficient evidence to persuade the jury (judge/bench trial), by the applicable standard of proofin most civil cases the standard of proof isa preponderance of the evidence (proof that something is more likely than not)in criminal cases the standard of proof isproof beyond a reasonable doubtaffirmative defensein some cases in a criminal trial when the defendant bears the burden of persuasion to prove a defense (such as insanity)why does someone go to civil court?they sue because they want something from another party ( a remedy)Civil Remedies1. money (that is what most people want in civil cases) 2. declaratory judgment 3. an injunctionDeclatory Judgement- a judicial determination of the legal rights of the parties without ordering anything to be done or awarding damages (example- One party involved in a contract may seek the legal interpretation of a provision in the contract to determine the parties' rights)injunctiona court order that requires a person to take an action or to refrain from taking an actionadvesary systemA judicial system in which the court of law is a neutral arena where two parties argue their differencesthe right to cross-examination is protected by which amendmentthe sixthRole of the Judge in the adversary systema disinterested party who ensures that each side battles within established rulesUnder the adversary system, the burden is on the prosecutorto prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubtUnder the adversary system, the burden is on the defense attorneyto argue for the client's innocence and assert legal protectionsstare decisisthe doctrine that a lower court must follow a precedent (means "to stand by things decided" in Latin)PrecedentPrecedent refers to the doctrine (legal principle) that when a higher court decides a case, all lower courts when deciding a case with similar facts in the future, must follow the rule of law established by the higher court.appellate court decisions- fourth source of law on the books -These court opinions create law on their own or they influence laws created by others when interpreting the law of other sourcesLegislative Branch- congress - makes lawsExecutive Branch- president - enforces laws - proposes some lawsjudicial branchSupreme Court, interprets laws, reviews lower court decisionsmandatory rebuttal presumptionsa presumption required by law that a jury must assume to be true until a person proves otherwise (innocent until proven guilty)permissive presumptionan inference that jury is allowed but not required to make based on a certain set of facts (for example, if someone has something that was stolen in their possession they may assume that it was stolen by that person)what two mandatory presumptions to criminal trials begin with1. the presumption of sanity 2. the presumption of innocencein order to win a case, the prosecutor must prove the defendant guiltybeyond a reasonable doubtwhy does the U.S. Constitution protect defendants?to ensure that innocent persons are not found guilty, the criminal process pays the price of freeing some of the guiltywho can bring a criminal caseonly the governmentMisdemeanora minor crime punishable by a fine or jail time of less than one yearFelonya serious crime punishable by more than a year in prison or even deathFlorida LegislatureLocated in Tallahassee 2 houses (State Senate, House of Representatives)Why are some acts considered criminal?Civil Law is a private matter whereas Criminal Law is public wrongdoings against society. Only government can bring a criminal case. Violations of public wrongdoings are prosecuted by the many district courts of appeal does Florida have?fivein which type of case can the defendant be forced to testifycivilconstitutional safeguardsProtections to prevent the government from abusing its power to prosecute citizens (4th, 5th, 6th ,8th amendments)How US Ranks with Others around WorldThe US ranks low in terms of access to legal counsel in civil suits and equal protection under criminal lawIn the category of criminal justice, the US ranked20th out of 113 and in the BOTTOM 20% of wealthy nations.the United States overall rank across ALL factors is19th out of 113The most commonly expressed reason that criminal courts do not administer justice is due toAssembly Line Justicethe process by which a defendant pleads guilty to a criminal charge with the expectation of receiving some benefit from the stateplea bargainingThe court must close a lot of cases fast if they don't cases get dismissed what is this due to?everyone has the right to a speedy trial (federal speedy trial act) (speedy trial statues that exist in all 50 states) (if after a certain time frame things don't get done the case gets dismissed)95 percent of all convictions are the result of whatplea bargaining (as opposed to going to trial)who is the most influential/ powerful person in the courtroomthe prosecutorwhat branch is the office of the prosecutor a part ofexecutive branchwhen a case goes to criminal court who usually has to prove somethingthe prosecutionProsecutions in federal courts are conducted by the:US department of justiceWho heads the U.S. Department of Justice?US Attorney GeneralWho is the state's chief legal officer?state attorney generalwho is the state attorney for Miami dadekatherine rundelwhat are the powers of the prosecutor- they can choose to begin and end a prosecution - make recommendations on bail and sentencing - can extend a plea offer - can appeal judges rulingAbsolute Immunitythe total immunity of a prosecutor from civil suits when acting as courtroom advocatesCurrent Acting Attorney General NameMatthew G. WhitakerPrimary Obstacle with recruiting and retention of lawyers in DA officelow salaries, especially compared to the higher salaries lawyers earn in private law practice.Turnover Rate among assistant DAsHigh, most serve an average of 3 to 6 years before leavingDisclosure of EvidenceThe prosecutor is required to hand over to the defense exculpatory evidence (evidence that tends to show the innocence of the defendant) Some prosecutors hand over as little evidence as possible.