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Presentation on theme: " Larry J. Siegel Joe Morris Northwestern State University Cherly Gary North Central Texas College Lisa Ann Zilney Montclair State."— Presentation transcript:

1 Larry J. Siegel Joe Morris Northwestern State University Cherly Gary North Central Texas College Lisa Ann Zilney Montclair State Chapter 7 Courts, Prosecution, and the Defense

2 Learning Objectives Be familiar with the role of the court in the justice process. Recognize the varying structures of state and federal court systems. Describe the selection and duties of prosecution. Discuss the role and duties of prosecutors. Be familiar with the pros and cons of prosecutorial discretion. Understand the role of the defense attorney in the justice process. Discuss the different forms of indigent defense. Debate the pros and cons of private attorneys. Be familiar with the expanding role of technology in the court process.

3 State Courts Each state has its own No two are alike Deal with variety of cases ranging from homicide to property maintenance

4 Types of State Courts Courts of limited jurisdiction Specialized Courts Courts Of General Jurisdiction Appellate Courts

5 Model of a State Judicial System Domestic Relations Court Specialty Courts Probate Court Justice of the Peace and Police Magistrate Lower Court Municipal Court Superior Courts Intermediate Appellate Courts State Supreme Court

6 Courts of Limited Jurisdiction Organized at a municipal or county level Restricted in the types of cases they hear Sentencing options are restricted Includes specialized courts

7 Courts of General Jurisdiction Serious felony cases and civil cases with damages over a specified amount

8 Appellate Courts Each state has at least one level of appellate 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

9 Federal Courts Jurisdiction: U.S. laws and treaties Maritime controversies between 2 or more states There is a 3-tiered hierarchy of court jurisdiction U.S. District Courts U.S. Courts of Appeals U.S. Supreme Court

10 The Federal Judicial System U.S. distract courts with federal and local jurisdiction (Virgin islands, Guam) Administrative quasi-judicial agencies (Tax Court, Federal Trade Commission, National Labor Relations Board, etc.) U.S. district courts with federal jurisdiction only (94 districts in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico) District appeals from state courts in 50 states Court of international Trade District Court in Patent Matters Claims Court U.S. Court of Appeals (11 circuits plus D.C. circuit and Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit) Federal Circuit Courts Supreme Court of the United States

11 U.S. District Courts The trial courts of the federal system Jurisdiction over violations of federal law Inter-state lawsuits or cases where federal government is a party to the suit Jurisdiction may overlap that of state courts

12 Criminal Cases Filed in U.S. District Courts 05,00010,00015,00020,00025,00030,000 Firearms and explosives Immigration Drug law Other criminal Cases filed 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Criminal Cases Filed in U.S. District Courts

13 U.S. Court of Appeals Review federal and state appellate court cases when there is a federal issue present Does not retry the case or review the facts – only matters of procedure and substance of the law

14 The U.S. Supreme Court The nation’s highest appellate body Court of last resort for all cases tried in federal and state courts Nine justices appointed for life by the President with approval of Congress Discretion to choose which cases it will hear

15 How a Case Gets to the Supreme Court Full Judicial decision by the U.S. Supreme CourtDecision-making conference by the justicesPrescreeningDiscretionary decisionsMandatory decisionsDecision makingFederal courtsState Supreme CourtFederal or state trial court cases

16 Key Players in the Courtroom

17 The Judge and the Justice System Primary duty - oversee the trial process Decides case in bench trials Determines the sentence (except in capital cases) Informal roles: Good relations with court working group Discretion guided by legal requirements Personal sense of justice in sentencing Exert influence over police and prosecutors

18 Judicial Qualifications and Selection Federal Judge - appointed by the President with advice and consent of Senate U.S. Magistrate Judge - appointed by district court judges

19 Judicial Selection Systems Appointment Popular election Nonpartisan election Missouri Plan

20 Selection Methods by State for General Jurisdiction Trial Court Judges

21 The Prosecutor Represents the public in criminal trials Advises law enforcement during investigations Acts as legal advisor to elected officials

22 Types of Prosecutors U.S. AttorneyFederal ProsecutorAttorney General

23 Prosecutorial Discretion Great deal of discretion Decision Options Go forward and charge the defendant to court Nolle prosequi Negotiate Plea bargain

24 Factors Influencing Prosecutorial Discretion Legal Victim Extralegal Resource

25 Prosecutorial Ethics Obligation is to seek justice and convict guilty

26 Prosecutorial Misconduct Includes: Making disruptive statements in court Failing to adhere to sentence recommendations after a plea bargain Representing a criminal defendant currently under indictment in a private manner Making public statements harmful to the office of the district attorney Withholding evidence that may exonerate a defendant

27 The Defense Attorney Counterpart of prosecuting attorney in criminal process Accused has constitutional right to counsel (6 th Amendment) If defendant is indigent, public defender may be assigned by court Must uphold integrity of the legal profession Must observe ABA Code and provide zealous defense within boundaries of law

28 The Right to Counsel Sixth Amendment provides for counsel at trial Legal services for poor: Gideon v. Wainwright Argersinger v. Hamlin

29 Types of Defense Attorneys Public DefenderAssigned CounselContract CounselPrivate Attorney

30 The Competence of Defense Attorneys Inadequate/incompetent counsel would involve: Refuse to meet with client Fail to cross-examine witnesses Fail to investigate case Poor advice to client Misjudge admissibility of evidence Conflict of interest between co-defendants’ counsel

31 Court Administration States have been slow to apply court management principles All states now have some form of court administration

32 Using Technology in Court Management Maintain case history and statistical reporting Monitor and schedule cases Prepare documents Index cases Issues summonses Notify witnesses, attorneys, etc., of required appearances Select and notify jurors Prepare and administer budgets

33 Developing Areas of Court Technology Communications Videoconferencing Evidence presentation Case management Internet utilization Information sharing Cameras in court

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