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Criminal Justice The Courts: Structure and Participants Chapter 9.

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Presentation on theme: "Criminal Justice The Courts: Structure and Participants Chapter 9."— Presentation transcript:

1 Criminal Justice The Courts: Structure and Participants Chapter 9

2 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Criminal Law Civil 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.

3 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved 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 authority Determined by statute or constitution Original Jurisdiction authority 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 Jurisdiction authority of a court to review a decision made by a lower court.

4 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved 9.2 Court of Last Resort (State Supreme Court) Court of Last Resort (State Supreme Court) Intermediate Appellate Court(s) (in 39 of 50 States) 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”) 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) Probate Court (Wills, Guardianship, Estates, Trusts) Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction (“Lower Courts,” also called Misdemeanor Courts) Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction (“Lower Courts,” also called Misdemeanor Courts) Justice of the Peace and Police Magistrate’s Courts District Courts or County Courts Municipal and Magistrate’s Courts Traffic, Family, Juvenile, Gun, Drug, and other Special Courts Figure 7-2. A Typical State Court System. The State Court System:

5 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Federal Court System FIGURE 9–1 The structure of the federal courts.

6 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Federal Judiciary Act of Tier Model for Court System Trial courts of limited jurisdiction Trial courts of general jurisdiction Appellate courts  Most states today use the three-tiered structure.

7 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved State Trial Courts Where criminal cases “begin.” Bail hearings Arraignments Enters pleas Conducts trials Sentences Two types of trial courts: Courts of limited, or special, jurisdiction (lower courts) Courts of general jurisdiction

8 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved State Trial Courts: Courts of Limited & General Jurisdiction Courts of Limited Jurisdiction Authorized to hear: Misdemeanors, family disputes, traffic violations, and small claims Rarely hold jury trials Do not maintain records of proceedings (just charge, plea, finding, and sentence) Less formal than higher courts Courts of General Jurisdiction (high courts, circuit courts, or superior courts) Formal courts that make full use of juries, witnesses, prosecutors, defense attorneys Authorized to hear: Any criminal case Lower court appeals – Trial de novo- “new trial”-cases that are retried on appeal

9 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Appeals  Appeal- 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. Results  Most 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 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved State Court Administrator’s Duties  Prepare, present, oversee court system’s budget  Analyze case flow and determine allocation of personnel and how to streamline cases  Gather and present statistics  Serve as liaison between legislators and court  Develop and coordinate funding requests  Manage court personnel (promotions, benefits)  Coordinate plans to train judges and other personnel  Assign judges to judicial districts  Review payments to counsel for indigent defendants

11 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved The Federal Court System Established by the U.S. Constitution Article III, Section 1 – “One Supreme Court, and such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” Jurisdiction Federal 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. Structure Three Levels of Courts U.S. Supreme Court U.S. Courts of Appeals U.S. District Courts

12 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved U.S. District Courts There are 94 judicial districts At least 1 district court per state District courts in Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and other U.S. Territories The trial courts of the federal system Original jurisdiction over all cases involving alleged violations of federal statutes District Court Judges There are 650 district court judges. Appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate Serve for life District court judges are assisted by magistrate judges, who: Conduct arraignments Set bail Issue warrants Try minor offenders

13 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved U.S. Courts of Appeal: Circuit Courts There are 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals The 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 judges Review cases on appeal from U. S. district courts and trial-level federal courts FIGURE 9–3 Geographic boundaries of the U.S. courts of appeals.

14 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved 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 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved U.S. Supreme Court The U.S. Supreme Court consists of nine justices: Eight Associate Justices & one Chief Justice Justices 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 Scalia Anthony M. Kennedy Clarence Thomas Ruth Bader Ginsburg Stephen G. Breyer Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. Sonia Sotomayor Elena Kagan

16 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court Original jurisdiction Limited Reserved for disputes between states and some cases of attorney disbarment Appellate jurisdiction Reviews the decisions from U.S. Courts of Appeals and state supreme courts Appeals—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 arguments writ 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 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved 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 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved 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 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Courtroom Participants Professional (Courtroom Work Group) Judge Prosecuting attorney Defense attorney Bailiff Court reporter Clerk of the court Expert witnesses Non-Professional (Outsiders) Lay witnesses Jurors Defendant Victim Spectators Press

20 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved 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 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved The Judge Primary duty  to ensure justice Responsibilities include: Ruling on most matters of the law Weighing objections Deciding the admissibility of evidence Sentencing offenders Disciplining disorderly courtroom attendees Deciding guilt or innocence (for bench trials)

22 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved The Judge The chief judge handles administrative responsibilities if there is no court administrator. The chief judge: Hires staff Ensures adequate training of new judges and staff Generally manages court operations

23 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Judicial Selection Federal Judges Nominated by President Confirmed by senate State Judges Popular election Gubernatorial appointment Missouri Plan (combines appointment and election)

24 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Missouri Plan  Non-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 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Judges: Qualifications At general and appellate levels: Be a member of the state bar Be a licensed attorney Hold a law degree (in most states) Attend professional training In 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 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved 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. Responsibilities Present the state’s case against the defendant State has the burden of proof o Supervise staff of assistant district attorneys o Serve as quasi-legal advisor to police o Files appeals on behalf of the state o Makes presentations to parole boards

27 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Prosecutorial Discretion Prosecutor decides: Whether or not to charge someone with a crime Which charges are to be filed against the defendant Whether multiple charges should be filed together or separately When to schedule cases for trial Whether or not to accept a negotiated plea What evidence to present, including witnesses What sentencing recommendations to make Brady v. Maryland (1963)- prosecutors must disclose any evidence directly related to guilt/innocence to the defense Exculpatory evidence- evidence that tends to clear defendant of guilt/blame U.S. v. Bagley (1985)- prosecutors must disclose any evidence the defense requests

28 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved 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 Discretion Prosecutors may abuse their discretion by… Not prosecuting friends Accepting guilty pleas or reduced charges for personal consideration Overzealous prosecution to gain visibility for possible reelection Scheduling activities to make life difficult for defendants, in an attempt to put pressure on them to plead guilty Discrimination against minorities

29 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Defense Counsel  Represents the accused  Participates in plea negotiations  Prepares a defense  Calls witnesses  Refutes case presented by prosecutor  Presents arguments at time of sentencing  Files appeals

30 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Three Major Categories of Defense Counsel 1. Private attorney (retained counsel) Have their own legal practices or work for law firms Fees can be high 2. Court-assigned counsel (assigned counsel) Lawyers drawn from a roster of all practicing attorney Fees are paid at a rate set by the government Most widely used 3. Public defender Relies on full-time salaried government staff

31 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved 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 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Courtroom Participants Bailiff  Charged with ensuring order in the courtroom  Announces judge’s entry  Calls witnesses  Maintains control over the defendant if person has not been released on bail  Maintains physical custody of and supervises jury during deliberations and sequestering Local Court Administrators Many states employ court administrators: Facilitate the smooth running of courts in particular judicial districts Provide uniform court management

33 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Courtroom Participants (cont’d) Court Reporter, (stenographer) or court recorder, creates a written record of all court proceedings. Transcripts are necessary for appeals Clerk of Court Maintaining all records of criminal cases and verdicts Preparing the jury pool and issuing jury summonses Subpoenaing witnesses Subpoena- order requiring something/someone appear in court Marking physical evidence for identification at trial Swearing in witnesses Expert Witness Have 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 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Courtroom Participants (cont’d) Lay Witnesses- Non-expert witnesses. Eye witness Character witness Victim Are subpoenaed to testify to that which they have direct knowledge of. Jurors Article 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 responsibility Defendants 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 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Courtroom Participants (cont’d) Defendant- generally, they must be present at trial. Defendants exercise choice in: Selecting and retaining counsel Planning a defense strategy with counsel Deciding what information to provide counsel Deciding what to plea Deciding whether or not to testify Determining whether or not to file an appeal Spectators and the Press May be present at trial; with more at higher-profile cases The 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 © 2013 by Pearson Higher Education, Inc Upper Saddle River, New Jersey All Rights Reserved Spectators and the Press  May be present at trial; with more at higher-profile cases  The 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.


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