Criminal Justice in Action notes for Ch 8-10

Criminal Justice in Action notes for Ch 8-10 - Chapter 8 -...

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Chapter 8 - Courts and the Quest for Justice IN THEORY: COURTROOM IDEALS Justice is an elusive ideal, yet central to how society deals with law violators Courts have extensive powers in our criminal justice system A court’s legitimacy must be unquestioned by society This legitimacy is based on two factors: o Impartiality o Independence IN PRACTICE: THE AMERICAN JUDICIAL SYSTEM The United States does not have a single judicial system, but fifty-two different systems Jurisdiction - the power “to speak the law” ( juris = “law” and diction = “to speak”) Trial courts: o Most cases usually begin here o Questions of fact are examined here Appellate courts: o Review decisions made by lower courts, such as trial courts; also known as courts of appeals Dual court system: o Separate but interrelated court system of the US o Consists of courts on national level and on state level STATE COURT SYSTEMS Includes several levels, or tiers, of courts State courts may include o Lower courts, or courts of limited jurisdiction o Trial courts of general jurisdiction o Appellate courts o The state’s highest court Courts of limited jurisdiction o Most states have local trial courts that are limited to trying cases involving minor criminal matters, such as traffic violations, prostitution, and drunk and disorderly conduct o One of the earliest courts of limited jurisdiction was the justice court, presided over by a justice of the peace, or JP o The equivalent of a county JP in a city is known as a magistrate Trial courts of General Jurisdiction o State trial courts that have general jurisdiction may be called county courts, district courts, superior courts, or circuit courts State Courts of Appeal o Every state has 1+ court of appeals (known as an appellate, or reviewing, court), which may be an intermediate appellate court or the state’s highest court THE FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM The federal court system is basically a three-tiered model consisting of: o U.S. district courts (trial courts of general jurisdiction) and various courts of limited jurisdiction
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o U.S. courts of appeals (intermediate courts of appeals) o The United States Supreme Court Federal court judges—including the justices of the Supreme Court—are appointed by the president of the United States, subject to the approval of the Senate All federal judges receive lifetime appointments US District Courts o On the lowest tier of the federal court system are the U.S. district courts, or federal trial courts U.S. Courts of Appeals o In the federal court system, there are thirteen U.S. courts of appeals—also referred to as U.S. circuit courts of appeals The United States Supreme Court o As the final interpreter of the Constitution, this Court must also determine the meaning of certain statutory provisions when applied to specific situations o Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court : The United States Supreme Court consists of
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This note was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course CCJ 3023 taught by Professor Mendez during the Spring '08 term at UNF.

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Criminal Justice in Action notes for Ch 8-10 - Chapter 8 -...

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