crim 101 - chap 8 - courtroom work group and trials
Terms in this set (61)
In criminal proceedings, the examination in court of the issues of fact and relevant law in a case for the purpose of convicting or acquitting the defendant.
courtroom work group
The professional courtroom actors, including judges, prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, public defenders, and others who earn a living serving the court.
An elected or appointed public official who presides over a court of law and who is authorized to hear and sometimes to decide cases and to conduct trials.
a method of selecting judges in which a governor must appoint someone from a list provided by an independent panel. Judges are then kept in office if they get a majority of "yes" votes in general elections
An attorney whose official duty is to conduct criminal proceedings on behalf of the state or the people against those accused of having committed criminal offenses.
The decision-making power of prosecutors, based on the wide range of choices available to them, in the handling of criminal defendants, the scheduling of cases for trial, the acceptance of negotiated pleas, and so on. The power to charge, or not to charge, a person with an offense.
Any information having a tendency to clear a person of guilt or blame.
Professional Misconduct Review Unit
the office is responsible for disciplining federal prosecutors who engage in intentional or reckless misconduct
A licensed trial lawyer, hired or appointed to conduct the legal defense of a person accused of a crime and to represent him or her before a court of law.
lawyers that either have their own legal practices or work for law firms in which they are partners or employees.
An attorney employed by the government to represent criminal defenders who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer.
An attorney in private practice assigned by a court to represent an indigent. The attorney's fee is paid by the government with jurisdiction over the case.
Canons of Professional Ethics
The ABA's first major foray into the area of ethical guidelines resulted in the adoption this on august 27, 1908
The court officer whose duties are to keep order in the courtroom, to secure witnesses, and to maintain physical custody of the jury.
person assigned to create a record of all that occurs during a trial
duties include maintains all records of criminal cases, including all pleas and motions made both before and after the actual trial; prepares a jury pool, issues jury summonses, and subpoenas witnesses for both the prosecution and the defense
A person who has special knowledge and skills recognized by the court as relevant to the determination of guilt or innocence. Unlike lay witnesses, expert witnesses may express opinions or draw conclusions in their testimony.
An eyewitness, character witness, or other person called on to testify who is not considered an expert. Lay witnesses must testify to facts only and may not draw conclusions or express opinions.
A written order issued by a judicial officer or grand jury requiring an individual to appear in court and to give testimony or to bring material to be used as evidence. Some subpoenas mandate that books, papers, and other items be surrendered to the court.
victims' assistance program
An organized program that offers services to victims of crime in the areas of crisis intervention and follow-up counseling and that helps victims secure their rights under the law.
A member of a trial or grand jury who has been selected for jury duty and is required to serve as an arbiter of the facts in a court of law. Jurors are expected to render verdicts of "guilty" or "not guilty" as to the charges brought against the accused, although they may sometimes fail to do so as in the case of a hung jury.
change of venue
The movement of a trial or lawsuit from one jurisdiction to another or from one location to another within the same jurisdiction; may be made in a criminal case to ensure that the defendant receives a fair trial.
rules of evidence
The court rules that govern the admissibility of evidence at criminal hearings and trials.
refers to the issue of whether the defendant is actually responsible for the crime of which he or she stands accused
when the prosecutor presents evidence that is sufficient to convince the judge when a jury trial has been waived and the judge determines the verdict or the jury that the defendant is guilty as charged
The two-sided structure under which American criminal trial courts operate that pits the prosecution against the defense. In theory, justice is done when the more effective adversary is able to convince the judge or jury that his or her perspective on the case is the correct one.
Speedy Trial Act
A 1974 federal law requiring that proceedings against a defendant in a criminal case begin within a specified period of time, such as 70 working days after indictment. Some states also have speedy trial requirements.
The right to challenge a potential juror without disclosing the reason for the challenge. Prosecutors and defense attorneys routinely use peremptory challenges 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 particular trial jury are chosen.
scientific jury selection
The use of correlational techniques from the social sciences to gauge the likelihood that potential jurors will vote for conviction or for acquittal.
A jury that is isolated from the public during the course of a trial and throughout the deliberation process.
The initial statement of the prosecution or the defense, made in a court of law to a judge, or to a judge and 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. Evidence may take the form of witness testimony, written documents, videotapes, magnetic media, photographs, physical objects, and so on.
The 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.
The evidence that requires interpretation or that requires a judge or jury to reach a conclusion based on what the evidence indicates. From the close proximity of the defendant to a smoking gun, for example, the jury might conclude that he or she pulled the trigger
Evidence that consists of physical material or traces of physical activity.
an oral or written request made to a court at any time before, during, or after court proceedings, asking the court to make a specified finding, decision, or order.
motion for discovery
filed by the defense, asks the court to allow the defendant's lawyers to view the evidence that the prosecution intends to present at trial. Physical evidence, lists of witnesses, documents, photographs, and so on, which the prosecution plans to introduce in court, are usually made available to the defense as a result of a motion for discovery.
motion to suppress
filed by the defense, in the preliminary hearing or through pretrial discovery, the exclusion of evidence that it believes to have been unlawfully acquired.
motion to dismiss
filed by defense for a variety of reasons and many include (1) an opinion, by defense counsel, that the indictment or information is not sound; (2) a violation of speedy trial legislation; (3) a plea bargain with the defendant, which may require testimony against codefendants; (4) the death of an important witness or the destruction or disappearance of necessary evidence; (5) the confession, by a supposed victim, that the facts in the case were fabricated; and (6) the success of a motion to suppress evidence that effectively eliminates the prosecution's case.
motion for continuance
seeks a delay in the start of the trial often based on an inability to locate important witnesses, the illness of the defendant, or a change in defense counsel immediately before trial.
motion for change of venue
In well-known cases, pretrial publicity may lessen the opportunity for a case to be tried before an unbiased jury. asks that the trial be moved to some other area where prejudice against the defendant is less likely to exist.
motion severance of offenses
Defendants charged with a number of crimes may ask to be tried separately on all or some of the charges; some defendants believe that it is more likely to make them appear guilty.
motion for severance of defendants
asks the court to try the accused separately from any codefendants; likely to be filed when the defendant believes that the jury may be prejudiced against him or her by evidence applicable only to other defendants
motion to determine present sanity
can delay trial because a person cannot be tried, sentenced, or punished while insane.
motion for a bill of particulars
asks the court to order the prosecutor to provide detailed information about the charges that the defendant will be facing in court
motion for a mistrial
may be made by either side; are likely to be declared in cases in which highly prejudicial comments are made by either attorney.
motion for arrest of judgment
the defendant asserts that some legally acceptable reason exists as to why sentencing should not occur
motion for a new trial
After a jury has returned a guilty verdict, the court may entertain this; Acceptance is usually based on the discovery of new evidence that is of significant benefit to the defense and that will set aside the conviction.
The degree to which a particular item of evidence is useful in, and relevant to, proving something important in a trial.
harmless error rule
Supreme Court decisions have held that there may be no grounds for an effective appeal unless such introduction "had substantial and injurious effect or influence in determining the jury's verdict.
The 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, for example, by 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. Exceptions to the hearsay rule may occur when the person with direct knowledge is dead or is otherwise unable to testify.
a statement made by a person who is about to die; an exception to the hearsay rule
provide another exception to the hearsay rule. A statement is considered spontaneous when it is made in the heat of excitement before the person has had time to make it up
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.
In legal proceedings, an actual and substantial doubt arising from the evidence, from the facts or circumstances shown by the evidence, or from the lack of evidence. Also, the state of a case such that, after the comparison and consideration of all the evidence, jurors cannot say they feel an abiding conviction of the truth of the charge.
reasonable doubt standard
The standard necessary for conviction in criminal trials.
The decision of the jury in a jury trial or of a judicial officer in a nonjury trial.