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Politics of the United States
Criminal Court Process Exam 1
Terms in this set (150)
-entered the Emanuel African methodist episcopal church in Charleston, SC
-joined a bible study group
-open-fired killing 9 people
-not captured until next morning
-prosecutors sought death penalty
-tried to represent himself
-sentenced to death by jury within 2 hrs
approximately what percentage of felony defendants who go to trial are convicted?
what impacts the types of cases brought to court and how they are handled?
the numerous public agencies involved in implementing public policy concerning crime
criminal justice system
what 3 public agencies make up the criminal justice system?
police, courts, corrections
goal and duty of this agency is the responsibility for apprehending criminals
goal and duty of this agency is the responsibility for deciding whether those arrested are legally guilty and if so, determining the sentence
goal and duty of this agency is the responsibility to carry out the penalty imposed on the guilty by the courts
example of a case in which there was conflict between criminal justice system agencies, including the public
trevon martin and george zimmerman
when you can't afford your own representation
what percentage of felony cases end in a plea bargain?
-a court system made up of both federal and state courts separate from one another
dual court system
what are most courts?
-defendants are told what crime they are alleged to have committed and perfunctorily advised of their rights, and date for the preliminary hearing is set
-this is largely a formality bc no plea may be entered here
most important event that occurs during the initial appearance
-holding an offender in secure confinement before trial
-limited largely to defendants who are alleged to have committed serious crimes
-required in all federal felony prosecutions
-only about half of the states use them
-prosecutor must convince a simple majority of these that a crime was committed and there is probable cause that the defendant committed the crime
when the prosecutor must prove to the judge (rather than to a grand jury) that a crime was committed and there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed it.
pleading guilty of not guilty
the exchange of information prior to trial
-requests for a judge to make a decision; a request made to court
-many are made during trial
-some are made before trial
-probation officers usually play a significant role at this junction bc they conduct a presentness investigation into the defendant's personal life (ex. edu, family background, financial situation, etc.)
-judge makes the principle decision for this- either prison or probation
virtually all defendants found guilty during trial contest their fate, filing these with a higher court in hopes that they will receive a new trial and a different outcome
-the common law is predominantly this type of law, rather than legislatively enacted
-includes administrative regulations
-also known as star decision ("let the decision stand")
-requires a judge to decide a case by applying the rule of law found in previous cases; if the facts in the current case are similar to the facts in a previous case
laws enacted by federal and state legislatures that includes municipal ordinances
statutory law enacted by a local unit of government
-create specific rules and regulations consistent with the general principles specified in a statute or municipal ordinance
-type of law or rules that create legal obligations
-ex. tort, contract (civil), and domestic regulations
examples of this law consist of murder, robbery, and burglary
substantive criminal law
-type of law that establishes the methods of enforcing legal obligations and the method of enforcing their procedures
-ex. how police conduct their procedures
-ex. if police went into a house with a warrant
the duty of this actor in the court is to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt
-the duty of this actor in the court room is their responsibility for arguing for the client's innocence and asserting legal protections
-searches out potential violations of the rights of the accused
actor in the court that serves as a neutral arbitrator who stands above the fight as a disinterested party and makes sure that rules and laws are being followed
-the legal requirement of the state to respect all legal rights owed to a person
-balances the power of the state and protects the individual person from power of the state -fundamental fairness insofar as a person should always be given a notice of any charges against them, that a person should be provided a real chance to present his or her side in a legal dispute, and no law or government procedure should be arbitrary or capricious
guilty act (i murdered someone)
body of the crime
guilty mind (i intended to murder someone)
part of elements of a crime when the crime is happening or being committed
union of act and intent
part of the elements of a crime-The facts surrounding a criminal event that must be proved to convict the defendant of the underlying crime.
Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures
The Right to Remain Silent/Double Jeopardy, self incrimination, right to due process
-The right to a Speedy, public, and fair Trial by jury, representation by an attorney for an accused person
-includes the right to not have to testify
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
-require the most severe punishment
-in prison for a minimum of one year
-(n.) a crime or offense that is less serious than a felony; any minor misbehavior or misconduct
-paying a fine, probation, jail at most a year
this type of crime usually just results in a fine
steps in a typical felony prosecution (11)
arrest, initial appearance, bail, grand jury or preliminary hearing, arraignment, discovery, pretrial motions, plea negotiations, trial, sentencing, appeal
-the power of a court to decide on a dispute
-gives authority over people
-can be overlapping (there can be multiple types over an individual or situation)
4 types of jurisdiction
geographical, subject matter, personal, hierarchical
type of jurisdiction in which where you live determines what court has authority over you
involves the surrender by one state of an individual accused of a crime outside its own territory and within the territorial jurisdiction of the other state
-particular location or area in which a court having geographic jurisdiction may hear a case
-the actual court you'll go to
-type of jurisdiction that's based on the crime, specifically the types of civil matters that are going to be addressed by specific courts
-ex. drug courts can only hear matter related to drug offenses
-type of jurisdiction that refers to a court's power over an individual person or corporation
-sometimes called "in personam jurisdiction"
-ex. if you show up to court, court has this over you bc you showed up
-ex. military courts
-type of jurisdiction that refers to differences in the courts' functions and responsibilities
-includes original and appellate jurisdictions
-type of jurisdiction that means that a court has the authority to try a case and decide it for the first time
-lowest level courts bc it's the court which you originate
-supreme court has this when federal question arises
-type of jurisdiction that means that a court has the power to review cases that have already been decided by another court
-when you want to appeal a case, this is the jurisdiction it will be under
-type of jurisdiction case established by article III of the constitution
-this is what the supreme court and or federal courts can hear
what is an example of a case in which federal question jurisdiction was involved in 1803?
murbury v. madison
this includes: suits between states, ambassadors and other high-ranking public figures, federal crimes, bankruptcy, patent, copyright, trademark, admiralty, antitrust, securities and banking regulation, etc. cases specified by federal statute
if you commit a crime in Madison, what district court will you go to
western district court of WI
how many appellate courts are there in the federal system?
if you appeal your case that started in the western district of WI, what circuit court of appeals would you go to?
-made up of 9 justices
-appointed for life
-certain requirements (over a certain age)
-all cases begin in this
-only hear disputes over facts
-final decision lies with a judge or jury
-can carry out the full proceedings of a criminal case and civil case
trial courts of original jurisdiction
-primary function of this is to ensure that the trial court correctly interpreted the law
-can also make new laws
-not article III judges
-judge that relieves the workload of district court judges
-can do everything except hold a trail for and sentence felony cases
-if a misdemeanor, your cases can start and end in this court, but also finish in district court
US magistrate judges
federal district court judges are appointed for how long?
example of what is dealt with in trial courts of original jurisdiction
-one in each state
-nominated by president
-confirmed by senate
-serves at the pleasure of the president
-congress created this in 1891 to relieve the supreme court from hearing the growing number of appeals
-typically hear cases as a 3 judge panel
US courts of appeal
-the courts of last resort in the federal court system, meaning that it is a court from which no appeal is possible
-mostly a court of appellate jurisdiction
-original jurisdiction if federal question is raised
US supreme court
-type of jurisdiction where supreme court can choose what cases they want to hear
A formal writ used to bring a case before the Supreme Court.
writ of certiorari
how many justices need to agree to hear a case before it can happen
what are the 3 courts that article III created?
supreme courts, courts of appeals, district courts
-which article gives congress the authority to create additional federal courts (legislative courts)?
ex. courts presided over by bankruptcy judges and us magistrate judges
-courts authorized to hear only a limited range of cases with the purpose of helping to administer a specific congressional statute
-ex. military justice court, enemy combats court, foreign intelligence surveillance court, immigration courts
specialized federal courts
judicial bodies established by congress under article III that make up the supreme court, courts of appeals, and district courts
judicial bodies established by congress under article I.
-first level "lower courts" or municipal courts
-can only hear low-level offenses and non-felony criminal cases such as misdemeanors and ordinance violations, traffic offenses, placement in substance abuse treatment programs, mandatory counseling, and attendance in education programs
trial courts of limited jurisdiction
-second level "major trial courts
-where defendants accept a plea deal or are given a sentence, even if the case doesn't go to trial
-criminal and civil cases
trial courts of general jurisdiction
name courts of the federal court in order
district courts, circuit courts of appeals, supreme court
name courts of state courts in order
courts of limited jurisdiction, courts of general jurisdiction, intermediate courts of appeals, appellate court of last resort, supreme court
what type of jurisdiction does problem solving court have ?
-work to get everyone on board to help a defendant to not return to the system (reduce recidivism --> rehabilitate)
-deals with specific cases
problem solving court
what actors in the court are involved in problem solving courts?
judge, prosecutor, defense counsel, treatment provider, correctional staff
-alternative form of sentencing
1. immediate intervention
2. nonadersarial adjudication
3. hands-on judicial environment
4. treatment programs with clear rules and structured goals
5. team approach
most powerful person in the courtroom
who's job is it on the executive branch to:
-uphold justice as an officer of the court
-be a zealot advocate to the government
-protect constitutional rights of defendant
-find inculpatory evidence
-prove that each element of the crime occurred beyond reasonable doubt
evidence that is favorable to the defendant that exonerates or tends to exonerate the defendant of guilt
evidence favorable to the prosecutor that tends to present guilt of the defendant
the country in which you live is too small or can't afford to hire a prosecutor so they contract a part-time prosecutor
-also known as "broad discretion"
-which defendants are prosecuted, what are the charges, which pleas are offered, severity of sentence imposed etc.
who has no guidelines other than ethics and only has to prove probable cause when making charging decisions?
theory used by the judiciary and prosecutors to determine how they're going to sentence people
-protection of the community
-practical constraints and consequences of sentencing
focal concerns theory
case where defendant was on death row for 14 years because the prosecutor withheld evidence that may have led to defendant's acquittal and raised question on DA's office paying for egregious prosecutorial misconduct
connick v. thompson
-immune from civil law when performing their role, but only enjoy immunity outside the judicial arena (faulty advice to police)?
-prosecutors have this
-they cannot be sued by anyone and have to pay anything if what they're doing is related to the essential functions of their job
-completely free within the realm of prosecutorial functions, even if it's ill willed or seeking vengeance
-prosecutors have this
-shields and protects them from civil liability for acts beyond those associated with courtroom advocacy but still within the scope of their professional duties when not acting as advocate for government
-ex. advising the police or speaking to media
-only applies if acting in good faith or not violating any law or ethical rule
case that resulted in:
-all indigent defendents charged with a felony are entitled to the services of a lawyer by the government, irrespective of whether on trial in state or federal court
gideon v. wainwright and the right to counsel
3 systems of providing indigents with attorneys
assigned counsel, contract systems, public defender
attorneys appointed by the judge on a case-by-case basis
attorneys hired to provide services for a specified dollar amount
a salaried public official representing all indigent defendants
what amendment gives defendants the right to self-representation?
Representing oneself. Serving as one's own lawyer.
the judge is a symbol of what?
-has most authority
-"referee" of the courtroom
-set bail and revoke it
-determine whether sufficient probable cause exists to hold defendants (if case can proceed)
-rule pretrial motions to exclude evidence
-accept guilty pleas
-if trial occurs, they preside
-after conviction they set punishment (sentencing)
-conduct hearing, impose sentences, work in chambers
-react to the work of the prosecutors and defense attorneys
-hold ppl in contempt of court and hold sanctions
-judge schedules this appointments
-can make scheduling difficult for prosecutors and defense attorneys
when the judge acts as the jury if complex legal questions are brought up or there is bias or popularity of social issues
federal judges enjoy what types of terms?
-also known as "interpreters and appliers of the law"
-they answer questions of the law, not questions of fact
average salary of a judge?
who's actions are limited by the system?
judges are constrained by the actions of other members of the courtroom work group. Who are these other members?
prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers
-when you have two people who are from different states who are suing each other, you can say that you are going to sue them where they live rather than where you live, bc their tax lawyers may work in favor more than yours (civil court)
notion that judges need to be free from social consequences to make decisions according to the law and not according to fear of sanctions, retribution, or popular opinion
report cards that allow the public to see how a judge is ruling and collects information like impartiality, how they behave, timeliness, etc.
judicial performance evaluations
judges will be subject to sanction if they did something wrong or if they are getting too old and cannot perform well anymore
-allows for impeachment and removal of federal justices
-requires 2/3 of senate to happen
federal conduct and disability act
an effort by one party line to change the law so that the sitting president will be able to appoint more justices to court that are from his party
-nominations to the federal branch (article III courts)
-ex. supreme court, appellate court, federal court judges have this
what does someone have to be in order to serve in the supreme court?
when governors nominate those active in their campaigns
when the public votes who is elected whether or not they are educated or interested
-combination of popular selection and specific selection
-increased power of legal correction within the legal system
-half states use this
merit selection (missouri bar plan)
-an election in which voters are asked to confirm or reject a judge's appointment to office after a probationary period
-few judges are actually removed from office during these
the US constitution specifies that who has the power to nominate judges with the advice and consent of senate
what's another name for trial courts of limited jurisdiction in the state system?
-what is required for convictions?
-there must be an evident amount of this in order to convict/deem guilty
standard of proof
what's another name for trial courts of limited jurisdiction?
-can handle all misdemeanors from start to finish
-cannot hold trials
-cannot give sentences in felony cases
-initial proceedings for felony cases here move to major trial courts
trial courts of limited jurisdiction or municipal courts
once you're here, after being in municipal courts, you can appeal your case to the intermediate appellate court
major trial courts
next court above intermediate appellate courts
state supreme court
-relieves load of trial court judge
-cannot try felony cases
what is the federal equivalent to appeals courts
state supreme court
if you lose your case in state district court, where do you file your appeal to next?
US circuit court of appeals
courts that answer questions of fact
courts that answer questions of law
how many district courts are there in the US
WI is apart of what circuit?
-part of executive branch
-most powerful and influential person in courtroom
-practice broad discretion
-they are elected
district attorney's office
type of focal concern that looks at criminal history, severity of the crime, etc.
type of focal concern that looks at education, socioeconomic status, race, gender, etc. of defendant, victim, and potential witnessess
who appoints all federal judges in district, appellate, and supreme courts and who consents to this?
president and senate
who appoints magistrate judges
district court judges
already sitting judge
what types are judges are not article III judges?
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