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Unformatted text preview: PBJ 101
THE COURTS: STRUCTURE AND PARTICIPANTS 1 DUAL COURT SYSTEM Courts on both the Federal and State Levels Jurisdiction of a court refers to those cases in which the court may exercise lawful authority 2 Original Jurisdiction Hears a case from its beginning and renders a decision based on the law and facts of the case Appellate Jurisdiction
Reviews decisions made by lower courts Appeals are requests from defendant to ask a higher court to review decision of a lower court In some cases, such as death penalty or life sentence, are automatically appealed Appellate court reviews transcript from lower trial court, may allow lawyers from both sides to make oral arguments Decisions Conviction confirmed or affirmed Decision reversed and remanded back to lower court FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM Jurisdiction U.S. Constitution & Federal Laws Settle disputes between states, cases in which one party is a state 5 Federal Courts Three Levels: U.S. Supreme Court highest court in the country, 9 Justices U.S. Court of Appeals 13 circuits, 167 Judges U.S. District Courts 94 judicial districts, 650 Judges FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM CONT'D Federal Judges and U.S. Supreme Court Justices Nominated by President, confirmed by Senate, serve for life 7 U.S. Supreme Court Of 5,000 annual requests for review, only about 200 are heard Judicial Review power of a court to review actions and decisions made by other agencies of gov't USSC's greatest power COURTROOM PARTICIPANTS Judge Rules on matters of law Weighs objections Decides on admissibility of evidence Imposes sentences Disciplines disorderly courtroom attendees Determines guilt or innocence in Bench Trials
9 Contempt of Court COURTROOM PARTICIPANTS Prosecutor District Attorney state level U.S. Attorney Federal prosecutor Elected in most states Present State's case against defendant Advisor to Law Enforcement Files appeals on behalf of state 10 COURTROOM PARTICIPANTS CONT'D Defense Attorney Represents the accused Prepares defense Negotiates a Plea Bargain Calls witnesses Refutes case presented by prosecutor "adversarial process" procedural rules must be followed Presents arguments at time of sentencing Files appeals 11 Defense Counsel Private attorney Courtassigned counsel Public Defender Defense Counsel
6th Amendment: the right to counsel Powell vs. Alabama (1932) CAPITAL offense Gideon vs. Wainwright (1963) FELONY offense Argersinger vs. Hamlin (1972) any offense in which defendant can lose his/her liberty In re Gault (1967) extended the right to juveniles charged with a delinquent act
13 Bailiff Ensures order in the court Announces Judge's entry Calls witnesses Maintains custody over jury during deliberations and sequestering 14 Court Reporter or Stenographer Creates written record of all proceedings Transcripts necessary for appeals Witnesses Lay Witnesses nonexpert, have direct knowledge
Eye witnesses Character witnesses Victim Expert Witnesses Paid to testify for their expertise May express opinions and draw conclusions
16 Trial Juries Comprised of 12 plus 2 alternates Venire: Jury Pool 17 Juries Prevent gov't oppression Determine guilt or innocence Represent diverse community interests Serve as a buffer between the accused and the accuser Symbolize Justice Grand Jury Determines whether there are sufficient facts to hold the accused over for trial. Presented with information by the prosecutor Indictment: Formal document setting forth the charge against the accused ...
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- Spring '10