Criminal Justice Exam II notes - Fall 2007

Criminal Justice Exam II notes - Fall 2007 - Criminal...

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Criminal Justice – Exam 2 Chapter 8 – Courts, Prosecution, and the Defense Overview Abstract Goals of the Court System: o Provide for an open and impartial forum for seeing truth o Provide for a fair and equitable hearing using regulated rules o Insure that the process takes place in an atmosphere of legal competence and objectivity o Provide a clear legal outcome The courts are often a scene where an atmosphere exists to “work things out” among the participants The use of plea negotiations and other non judicial alternatives to “work things out” is more common than a formal trial process Discretion sometimes results in disparity Funding problems The Criminal Court Process Criticisms of the Courts o Overcrowded dockets o Assembly-line justice o Too many inducements to plead guilty o Too few jury trials o Speedy trial are unattainable State Courts Every state has its own court system Variety of cases ranging from homicide to property maintenance Courts of limited Jurisdiction o About 13,500 exist o Organized at municipal or county level o Restricted in types of cases they hear o May be restricted to civil or criminal cases o Dispose of minor cases; may do preliminary activities for some felonies o Sentencing options restricted o Specialty Courts Juvenile, family and probate courts Courts to combat specific problems: Drug courts Mental health courts Courts of General Jurisdiction o Around 2,000 in the U.S. o Hear serious felony cases o Civil cases with damages over a specified amount o Appeals from lower courts: Review of transcript Trial de novo Grant a new trial Appellate Courts
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o Each state has at least one level of appellate courts Highest state court, usually called the “State Supreme Court” o Court reconsiders a case that has been tried in order to determine whether the measures used complied with accepted rules of criminal procedure and were in line with constitutional doctrines o Appeal is not a new trial o Can order a new trial, allow defendant to go free, or uphold original verdict Federal Courts Jurisdiction over laws of U.S. and treaties Over controversies between 2 or more states 3-tiered hierarch of court jurisdiction o U.S. District Courts Trial courts of the federal system Organized by Congress in the Judicial Act of 1789 Jurisdiction over violations of federal law, i.e. civil rights violations, interstate transportation of stolen vehicles and kidnappings May hear inter-state lawsuits or cases where federal govt. is a part to the suit Jurisdiction may overlap that of state courts o U.S. Courts of Appeals Organized 13 judicial circuits Hear 40,000 appeals from district courts each year Empowered to review federal and state appellate court cases when there is a federal issue present Do not retry the case or review the facts Only matters of procedure and substance of the law Current attempts to limit the right of appeal
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Criminal Justice Exam II notes - Fall 2007 - Criminal...

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