Presentation on theme: "Structure and Participants"— Presentation transcript:
1 Structure and Participants Criminal JusticeChapter 9The Courts:Structure and Participants
2 Civil Law Criminal Law Civil Law: Must be initiated by private parties.Punishments include fines, or agreement to pay the defendant for injuries or damages.Defendant cannot be sentenced to jail or executed.Civil cases are named after the last names of the two parties (Smith v. Jones).Standard of proof is a preponderance of evidence.Criminal Law:Initiated by the criminal justice system.Punishments can include fining, sentencing to imprisonment, and even execution.Government is the prosecutor, and the defendant is the name of the person being accused of the crime (State v. Smith).The standard of proof is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.Civil LawCriminal LawLecture NotesCivil Law:Must be initiated by private parties.Punishments include fines, or agreement to pay the defendant for injuries or damages.Defendant cannot be sentenced to jail or executed.Civil cases are named after the last names of the two parties (Smith v. Jones).Standard of proof is a preponderance of evidence.Criminal Law:Initiated by the criminal justice system.Punishments can include fining, sentencing to imprisonment, and even execution.In a Criminal Case, the government is the prosecutor, and the defendant is the name of the person being accused of the crime (State v. Smith).The standard of proof is finding the person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.Teaching TipsDiscuss the O.J. Simpson murder trial in terms of both trials and both outcomes.
3 America’s Dual Court System Two levels of U.S. Courts- 1.) federal & 2.)state.Dual system reflects the state’s need to retain judicial autonomy separate from the federal government.Most criminal cases originate within state courts.The courts are responsible for both civil and criminal judicial oversight.Most of the resources and time are taken up by civil cases.Jurisdiction- refers to those cases in which it may exercise lawful authorityDetermined by statute or constitutionOriginal Jurisdictionauthority of a court to hear or to act on a case from its beginning and to pass judgment on the law and the facts.…may be over a specific geographic area or over particular types of cases.Appellate Jurisdictionauthority of a court to review a decision made by a lower court.
4 9.2 The State Court System: Court of Last Resort (State Supreme Court) Intermediate Appellate Court(s)(in 39 of 50 States)Trial Courts of General Jurisdiction(Superior Courts, Circuit Courts, Courts of Common Pleas, and—in New York—“Supreme Court”)Probate Court(Wills, Guardianship, Estates, Trusts)Lecture NotesJurisdiction: The territory, subject matter, or people over which a court or other justice agency may exercise lawful authority as determined by statute or constitution. Basically describes where a case or matter should be resolved.Original Jurisdiction: The lawful authority of a court to hear or act on a case from its beginning and to pass judgment on the law and the facts. The authority may be over a specific geographic area or over particular types of cases.Appellate jurisdiction: The lawful authority of a court to review a decision made by a lower court.Trial Courts (also called “lower courts”): This is where the cases begin and are heard. This court also imposes sentences. If a trial is appealed and a new trial is ordered, this is referred to as trial de novo.State Appellate Courts: This is where individuals can appeal their trial or decision against them. There is usually an intermediate appellate level and a high level appellate (also called a court of last resort). The high level appellate courts are the farthest a person can appeal at the state level. Appeals can be made to the U.S. Supreme Court but it must be based on a violation of a federal guaranteed right.Appeal: Asks a higher court to review the decision of a lower court. The court will look at the trial and ensure the rules and procedures were followed correctly.Dispute Resolution Centers: An informal hearing place designed to mediate interpersonal disputes without resorting to the more formal arrangements of a criminal trial. Most of these centers deal with minor matters and violations. They were designed to ease the caseload for the trial courts.Community Courts: A low level court that focuses on quality of life crimes that erode a neighborhood’s morale. The focus of these centers is on problem solving rather than punishment and build on restorative principals like community service and restitution.Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction(“Lower Courts,” also called Misdemeanor Courts)Justice of the Peace and Police Magistrate’s CourtsDistrict Courts or County CourtsMunicipal and Magistrate’s CourtsTraffic, Family, Juvenile, Gun, Drug, and other Special CourtsFigure 7-2. A Typical State Court System.
5 Federal Court SystemFIGURE 9–1 The structure of the federal courts.
6 Federal Judiciary Act of 1789 3-Tier Model for Court SystemTrial courts of limited jurisdictionTrial courts of general jurisdictionAppellate courtsMost states today use the three-tiered structure.
7 State Trial Courts Where criminal cases “begin.” Bail hearings ArraignmentsEnters pleasConducts trialsSentencesTwo types of trial courts:Courts of limited, or special, jurisdiction (lower courts)Courts of general jurisdiction
8 State Trial Courts: Courts of Limited & General Jurisdiction Courts of Limited JurisdictionAuthorized to hear:Misdemeanors, family disputes, traffic violations, and small claimsRarely hold jury trialsDo not maintain records of proceedings (just charge, plea, finding, and sentence)Less formal than higher courtsCourts of General Jurisdiction (high courts, circuit courts, or superior courts)Formal courts that make full use of juries, witnesses, prosecutors, defense attorneysAny criminal caseLower court appealsTrial de novo- “new trial”-cases that are retried on appeal
9 AppealsAppeal- requests by a defendant to a higher court asking it to review the actions of a lower court.Death penalty or life sentences are automatically appealed.Appellate court reviews transcripts from lower trial courts and may allow both sides to make oral arguments.ResultsMost convictions are confirmed.Some decisions are reversed and cases remanded.Recourse may be to a state supreme court.Generally, state supreme court is the court of last resort.Cases can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court if they are based on a claimed violation of the defendant’s rights as guaranteed under federal law or the U. S. Constitution.
10 State Court Administrator’s Duties Prepare, present, oversee court system’s budgetAnalyze case flow and determine allocation of personnel and how to streamline casesGather and present statisticsServe as liaison between legislators and courtDevelop and coordinate funding requestsManage court personnel (promotions, benefits)Coordinate plans to train judges and other personnelAssign judges to judicial districtsReview payments to counsel for indigent defendants
11 The Federal Court System Established by the U.S. ConstitutionArticle III, Section 1“One Supreme Court, and such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”JurisdictionFederal courts have jurisdiction over cases arising under the Constitution, federal law, and treaties.Federal courts settle disputes between states and have jurisdiction in cases where one of the parties is a state.StructureThree Levels of CourtsU.S. Supreme CourtU.S. Courts of AppealsU.S. District Courts
12 U.S. District Courts There are 94 judicial districts At least 1 district court per stateDistrict courts in Puerto Rico, theDistrict of Columbia, and other U.S. TerritoriesThe trial courts of the federal systemOriginal jurisdiction over all cases involving alleged violations of federal statutesDistrict Court JudgesThere are 650 district court judges.Appointed by the President and confirmed by the SenateServe for lifeDistrict court judges are assisted by magistrate judges, who:Conduct arraignmentsSet bailIssue warrantsTry minor offenders
13 U.S. Courts of Appeal: Circuit Courts There are 13 U.S. Courts of AppealsThe 94 judicial districts are organized into 12 regions (circuits), each with 1 Circuit Court.The Federal Circuit has 1 U.S. Court of Appeals.167 appeals court judgesReview cases on appeal from U. S. district courts and trial-level federal courtsFIGURE 9–3 Geographic boundaries of the U.S. courts of appeals.
14 U.S. Courts of Appeal: Circuit Courts Have mandatory jurisdiction over decisions of appealed district court cases Right to Appeal The Constitution guarantees a right to appeal. A defendant’s right to appeal, however, has been interpreted to mean the right to one appeal. Therefore, the U.S. Supreme Court does not hear every appeal by defendants dissatisfied with the decision of a federal appeals court.
15 U.S. Supreme Court The U.S. Supreme Court consists of nine justices: Eight Associate Justices & one Chief JusticeJustices are nominated by the President, confirmed by the Senate, and serve for life.U.S. Supreme Court members (2012):John G. Roberts, Jr. (Chief Justice)Antonin ScaliaAnthony M. KennedyClarence ThomasRuth Bader GinsburgStephen G. BreyerSamuel Anthony Alito, Jr.Sonia SotomayorElena Kagan
16 Jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court Original jurisdictionLimitedReserved for disputes between states and some cases of attorney disbarmentAppellate jurisdictionReviews the decisions from U.S. Courts of Appeals and state supreme courtsAppeals—Of 5,000 annual requests for review, only about 200 are heard.“Rule of Four”- Four justices must vote in favor of a hearing for a case to be heard.Usually the Court only reviews cases that involve a substantial federal question.The Court issues a writ of certiorari to a lower court.The Court reviews transcripts and hears brief oral argumentswrit of certiorari- order issued from an appellate court for the purpose of obtaining from a lower court the record of its proceedings in a particular case.
17 Judicial Review… the power of a court to review actions and decisions made by other agencies of government. It is probably the U.S. Supreme Court’s greatest power. Marbury v. Madison (1803)
18 Opinions of the Court Supreme Court decisions are rarely unanimous. Types of opinions:Majority—Justices agree in outcome and reasoning. This is the opinion of the court.Concurring—Agree with outcome, but for different reasons.Dissenting—Disagree with outcome.
19 Courtroom Participants Professional (Courtroom Work Group)JudgeProsecuting attorneyDefense attorneyBailiffCourt reporterClerk of the courtExpert witnessesNon-Professional (Outsiders)Lay witnessesJurorsDefendantVictimSpectatorsPress
20 Adversarial Process…pits the interests of the state, represented by prosecutors, against the accused, represented by defense counsel, in a process constrained by procedural rules specified in law and by tradition.
21 The Judge Primary duty to ensure justice Responsibilities include: Ruling on most matters of the lawWeighing objectionsDeciding the admissibility of evidenceSentencing offendersDisciplining disorderly courtroom attendeesDeciding guilt or innocence (for bench trials)
22 The JudgeThe chief judge handles administrative responsibilities if there is no court administrator.The chief judge:Hires staffEnsures adequate training of new judges and staffGenerally manages court operations
23 Judicial Selection Federal Judges State Judges Nominated by President Confirmed by senateState JudgesPopular electionGubernatorial appointmentMissouri Plan (combines appointment and election)
24 Missouri PlanNon-partisan committee creates a list of possible candidates.Final list sent to governor’s office.The governor appoints from the list.After a specified time period, the appointed judge stands for election.
25 Judges: Qualifications At general and appellate levels:Be a member of the state barBe a licensed attorneyHold a law degree (in most states)Attend professional trainingIn some states, lower court judges may be elected without educational or other professional requirements.U.S. Supreme Court Justice Qualifications:Ninguno (Spanish)Aucun (French)Nemo (Latin)Никто (Russian)NONE!! (English)
26 Prosecutor Prosecutors can be elected or appointed. All but five states elect prosecutors.Prosecutors are elected for four-year terms.Five states and the federal government appoint their prosecutors.ResponsibilitiesPresent the state’s case against the defendantState has the burden of proofSupervise staff of assistant district attorneysServe as quasi-legal advisor to policeFiles appeals on behalf of the stateMakes presentations to parole boards
27 Prosecutorial Discretion Prosecutor decides:Whether or not to charge someone with a crimeWhich charges are to be filed against the defendantWhether multiple charges should be filed together or separatelyWhen to schedule cases for trialWhether or not to accept a negotiated pleaWhat evidence to present, including witnessesWhat sentencing recommendations to makeBrady v. Maryland (1963)- prosecutors must disclose any evidence directly related to guilt/innocence to the defenseExculpatory evidence- evidence that tends to clear defendant of guilt/blameU.S. v. Bagley (1985)- prosecutors must disclose any evidence the defense requests
28 The Prosecutor’s Professional Responsibility Prosecutors are expected to abide by various standards of professional responsibility, such as those found in the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Standards.Prosecutors are barred from advocating any fact or position they know is untrue.Abuse of DiscretionProsecutors may abuse their discretion by…Not prosecuting friendsAccepting guilty pleas or reduced charges for personal considerationOverzealous prosecution to gain visibility for possible reelectionScheduling activities to make life difficult for defendants, in an attempt to put pressure on them to plead guilty Discrimination against minorities
29 Defense Counsel Represents the accused Participates in plea negotiationsPrepares a defenseCalls witnessesRefutes case presented by prosecutorPresents arguments at time of sentencingFiles appeals
30 Three Major Categories of Defense Counsel 1.Private attorney(retainedcounsel)Have their own legal practices or work for law firmsFees can be high2.Court-assignedcounsel(assignedLawyers drawn from a roster of all practicing attorneyFees are paid at a rate set by the governmentMost widely used3.Public defenderRelies on full-time salaried government staff
31 Criminal Defense of the Poor The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees criminal defendants the effective assistance of counsel. Defendants who are unable to pay for private defense attorneys will receive adequate representation at all stages of criminal justice processing. Waiving the Right to an Attorney 1% of federally charged defendants and 3% of state level defendants represent themselves. Faretta v. California (1975)- Indigents are not required to accept counsel. They may waive their right and represent themselves Change of venue- movement of trial to a new location
32 Courtroom Participants BailiffCharged with ensuring order in the courtroomAnnounces judge’s entryCalls witnessesMaintains control over the defendant if person has not been released on bailMaintains physical custody of and supervises jury during deliberations and sequesteringLocal Court AdministratorsMany states employ court administrators:Facilitate the smooth running of courts in particular judicial districtsProvide uniform court management
33 Courtroom Participants (cont’d) Court Reporter, (stenographer) or court recorder, creates a written record of all court proceedings.Transcripts are necessary for appealsClerk of CourtMaintaining all records of criminal cases and verdictsPreparing the jury pool and issuing jury summonsesSubpoenaing witnessesSubpoena- order requiring something/someone appear in courtMarking physical evidence for identification at trialSwearing in witnessesExpert WitnessHave special knowledge and skills in an established profession or technical area. Usually, this person is paid to testify.Unlike lay witnesses, they may express opinions and draw conclusions in their testimony.
34 Courtroom Participants (cont’d) Lay Witnesses- Non-expert witnesses.Eye witnessCharacter witnessVictimAre subpoenaed to testify to that which they have direct knowledge of.JurorsArticle III of the U.S. Constitution“trial of all crimes…shall be by jury”States determine the number of jurors. Most use 12, plus 2 alternates.Jury duty…a civic responsibilityDefendants have the right to have their cases heard before a jury of their peers.Peer juries are those composed of a representative cross section of the community.
35 Courtroom Participants (cont’d) Defendant- generally, they must be present at trial.Defendants exercise choice in:Selecting and retaining counselPlanning a defense strategy with counselDeciding what information to provide counselDeciding what to pleaDeciding whether or not to testifyDetermining whether or not to file an appealSpectators and the PressMay be present at trial; with more at higher-profile casesThe right of reporters to be there is supported by the Sixth Amendment’s requirement of a public trial.Most courts allow cameras in the courtroom for television coverage
36 Spectators and the Press May be present at trial; with more at higher-profile casesThe right of reporters to be there is supported by the Sixth Amendment’s requirement of a public trial.Most courts allow cameras in the courtroom…for television coverage.