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Unit III: Criminal Courts

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Keryn Lemp

on 24 March 2018

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Transcript of Unit III: Criminal Courts

How they work
Trial Judge Role in CJS
Courtroom Workgroup

Types of

Trial & Appellate Courts
Due Process & Crime Control:

protecting the rights of the individual by giving them a "fair chance" AND being fair to society (must suffer through punishment and retribution)

based on the medical model of CJS; varies case by case, but the major idea is that it is not always in society's best interest to harshly punish

speed and efficiency due to deadlines and limitations; ALL other functions become second to this one
Types of Jurisdiction
original jurisdiction!
sentencing, guilty plea, or innocent pronounced here
reviewing courts
Chapter 7: Courts and the Quest for Justice
How Courts Operate
Authority over citizens of a certain area
What if they contradict each other? [Example?]
Federal v. State Jurisdiction
When one country goes outside its own territory to enforce its criminal law
'extradicted' criminals brought to country to face trial
International Jurisdiction
Before the Trial
determine if sufficient probable cause to: issue search warrant/arrest; authorize electronic surveillance, temporary incarceration
bail release amount
accept/deny pretrial motions by attorneys
accept plea bargain
Unit III: Criminal Courts
court must have this to speak over persons involved/subject matter to hear it
State Supreme Court?
State Trial Court?
What happens if you plan a murder in one state, and then commit it in another?
Most things that are illegal under state laws are also illegal under federal laws

Concurrent Jurisdiction!
State v. State Jurisdiction
States must cooperate with each other

-example of when this would happen?
State courts have general (unlimited) jurisdiction
Courts of limited jurisdiction: lower courts, deal with misdemeanors, civil matters under a certain dollar amount
Double Jeopardy?
**prosecutors in criminal court CANNOT appeal the verdict
State Courts
Courts of Limited Jurisdiction
judges decide the case
minor matters, not usually felony cases
can do preliminary stages of felony cases
*Magistrate Courts: search and seizure warrants; disputes between individuals, fines, and short jail terms

*Problem-Solving Courts: specialized areas (drug, guns, juvenile, domestic, mental health, etc.)
Trial Courts of General Jurisdiciton
County courts, superior courts, district courts, circuit courts
State Court of Appeals
Every state has at least one
can be an intermediate appellate court or state's highest court
highest court decisions are FINAL
if the case involves Constitutional or Federal law then USSC can take the appeal and overrule it
Judges are there for life
U.S. District Courts: federal trial courts; 94 judicial districts. Judge or jury decide on federal law violations (What makes a jury trial?)
U.S. Courts of Appeal: 13 Circuit Courts of Appeals [12 circuits hear appeals from the District Courts]; the 13th Circuit only hears cases where the U.S. government is a defendant
Judicial Review
Authority to interpret the law
Nine Justices (current ones now??)
2011-2012 heard 75 cases; 90% cases are denied
base the submission of cases on a written record of the case; attorneys present oral arguments, then the justices discuss in a conference
Chief Justice, if in the majority, assigns the task of writing the opinion. If in the minority then the most senior justice assigns
Plurality Opinion: rationale with the most votes, but the total is still under 5 justices; does not create a strong precedent
Concurring Opinion: agree with the decision, but not the rationale
Dissenting Opinion: disagree with the majority
Docket = calendar of cases
sometimes keep track of the budget
selection of judges in NYS: partisan election
During the Trial
objective basis; makes sure trial goes according to the law
teach points of law to the jury
guilt/innocence if no jury
determine length of sentence
1. Bailiff
2. Clerk
3. Court Reporters
4. Judge
5. Prosecution
6. Defense
Public prosecutor, acts on the side of the government
chief law enforcement official with powers over police; goal is to bring justice
cannot keep evidence from defense that may be useful in showing innocence
pretrial duties: decides if the arrested person will be charged with a crime, the level of charges, and if/when to stop the prosecution
Attorney General: chief law enforcement officer
Makes sure the prosecutor proves every point beyond a reasonable doubt
negotiate with prosecutor for plea or sentence, investigate incident, prepare case for trial, motions of defense (examples?), appeal guilty verdict
represent someone who is known to be guilty?
private attorneys vs. public defenders
Full transcript