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47 terms

Civics Vocab: Judicial Branch Part 2

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Plaintiff
the party that brings the charges against the accused
Defendant
the individual or group accused of the crime
Felonies
crimes that have serious consequences for the victim and criminal; such as murder, rape, arson, and robbery
Misdemeanors
offenses that aren't as serious and usually are punishable with a fine or jail sentence of lees than a year; such as vandalism and stealing
Larceny
unlawful taking of another person's property with the intent never to return it
Robbery
taking of property from a person's possession by using force or threats
Burglary
unlawful entry into any dwelling or structure with the intention to commit a crime
Lawsuit
when a civil case goes to court; legal action whereby a person or group sues to collect damages for some harm that is done
Torts
civil wrongs
Libel
the printing of false and damaging information
Constitutional law
applies to that branch of law dealing with the formation, construction, and interpretation of constitutions. They decide the limits of government's power and the rights of the individual.
Administrative law
the rules and regulations that the executive branch must make to carry out its job
Statutory law
a law written by a legislative branch of government. They regulate our behavior and are the source of many of the rights and benefits we take for granted
Writ of habeas corpus
requires an official of who has arrested someone to bring that person to court and explain why they are being held
Bills of attainder
a law that punishes a person accused of a crime without a trail or fair hearing in court
Ex post facto law
an law that would allow a person to be punished for an action that was not against the law when it was committed
Due process of law
government may not take our lives, liberty, or property except according to the proper exercise of law
Double jeopardy
a person who is tried for a crime and found not guilty may not be placed in put at risk of criminal penalty a second time by being retried for the same crime
Grand jury
group of 12 to 23 citizens that hears evidence presented by a prosecutor; decides whether there is enough evidence to indicate that the accused has committed a crime
Plea bargaining
a negotiation between the defense attorney and the prosecutor, who is the govern
Retaining
hiring a lawyer
Complaint
statement naming the plaintiff and defendant and describing the lawsuit
Summons
a document that announces that the defendant is being sued
Respond/answer
reaction to the charges; will either admit to charges or offer reasons the defendant is not responsible for the injuries the plaintiff is making
Pleadings
the complaint and answer
Discovery
opportunity to check facts and to gather evidence by questioning the other party and possible witness
Settlement
parties agree on an amount of money that the defendant will pay the plaintiff
Mediation
each side is given the opportunity to explain its side of the dispute and must listen to the other side; a mediator will help the two sides find a solution
Arbitration
a professional arbitrator who acts like a judge by reviewing the case and resolving the dispute
Indictment
a formal charge by a grand jury
Verdict
decision of the case
preponderance of the evidence
in a civil case the plaintiff has to present only enough to convince the judge or jury that the defendant was more likely than not was responsible for the incident that caused the damages/injuries
Prosecution
the party who starts the legal proceedings against another party for a violation of the law
Crime
an act that breaks a federal or state law and causes harm to people or society
penal code
a state's written criminal laws and punishments to go with each
victimless crimes
no one individual has been harmed and often no direct punishment is enacted
parole
a board decides whether or not to grant a prisoner an early release from prison
mandatory sentencing
judges must impose whatever sentence the law directs
arraignment
a hearing in which a suspect is charged and pleads guilty or not guilty
arrest
police officers do this if they have witnessed a crime, a complaint has been filed, or a judge has made an arrest warrant; a person is charged with a crime
Miranda Rights
suspects can refuse to answer police questions and can have a lawyer during questioning
no contest
the person doesn't admit to guilt but will not fight the prosecutions case; effect is the same as guilty plea
testimony
the answers witness give while under oath
cross-examine
to question a witness at a trial or a hearing to check or discredit the testimony
acquittal
a vote of not guilty, after which the defendant is immediately released
Hung jury
a jury that cannot agree on a verdict
beyond a reasonable doubt
the criminal trials must prove completely that the suspect did the crime