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Notes for week 3-5

by: Alexis Braxton

Notes for week 3-5 Crmj 254

Alexis Braxton

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Criminal justice notes for week 3-5. No class week 4.
Intro to Criminal Justice
Miriam D. Sealock
notes, Criminal Justice
75 ?




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This 9 page Bundle was uploaded by Alexis Braxton on Wednesday March 2, 2016. The Bundle belongs to Crmj 254 at Towson University taught by Miriam D. Sealock in Spring 2015. Since its upload, it has received 27 views. For similar materials see Intro to Criminal Justice in Criminal Justice at Towson University.


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Date Created: 03/02/16
   Intro to Criminal Justice CRMJ 254       Week 3 Spring 2016 Deterrent effect of police, courts, and correction. Deterrence Theory­ rational creatures and weigh the costs vs. benefits of our actions  (including committing crime) Formal cost­ apprehended, arrested, punishment Informal cost­losing your job, home etc. Criminal justice system has the power to impact the potential coat  Severity of punishment  Certainty of punishment  Speed/efficiency of punishment Certainty > Severity High severity doesn’t equal deterrence of crime It is not proven that the death penalty deters crime A crime is   A legal wrong  Prohibited by the criminal law  Prosecuted by the state  In formal court proceeding in which penalty or sanction may be imposed The Flow of Decision Making in the Criminal Justice System Felony: A criminal offense generally punishable by, at minimum, over a year’s  incarceration in a prison facility. Misdemeanor: A criminal offense generally punishable, at maximum, by no more than one  year’s incarceration in a jail facility. Infraction: Minor offense generally punishable by a fine (no possibility of incarceration). 1. Crime comes to the attention of law enforcement a. Crime is reported by victim or witness b. Police witness a crime in progress National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)  Continuously­collected survey of randomly­ selected households o Approx. 90,000 households are in the sample   All members of the household who are at least 12 years old are interviewed  every 6 months for three years o Respondents are asked detailed questions about:  Whether they have been a victim of crime during particular  time period  Criminal event that happened  “Official” data sources vs. Self­reported data sources  Gives us information about crime victimization that is not revealed in  “official” statistics (which are based on crimes reported to police only) o Who are the crime victims? Who are the perpetrator? o Circumstances surrounding the criminal event o Harm and damage resulting from the crime o Whether a crime was reported to the police. Why or why not? Why aren’t crimes reported?  Private matter o Doesn’t want the perpetrator to get in trouble o Doesn’t want to get involved in the criminal justice system  Victim considers incident to be minor o Questions whether he/she was a victim of a crime  Fearful of retaliation and reprisal for reporting  Blames self for being a victim of crime o Feels they have contribute to the situation somehow  Doesn’t believe police can do anything o Won’t make the situation better  Too much effort to report the crime Likelihood of becoming a victim of violent crime is NOT evenly distributed across the  population, time and place. Race  Whites, Blacks, Native Americans and Asians  Native Americans have the highest Violent victimization rates overall o Blacks are 2x less likely of being a victim of a crime o Whites are2 ½ x less likely o Asians are 5x less likely  Sex  Males are more likely to be victims of violent crime in general than females are  Males are more likely to be violently victimized a stranger than females are.(Vice  versa for females) Age  The most powerful demographic predictor of violent victimization!!!!!!!!!!!!  The young are more likely to be victim of violent crime than old o Early 20’s have the highest victimization rates o Elderly have the lowest victimization rates 2. Investigation a. Law enforcement must prioritize cases make best use of limited resources 3. Arrest a. Physically taking a person into custody pending a court proceeding b. Must be based on probable cause i. Evidence supports reasonable belief that a crime has been committed  and that arrestee is responsible. Violent crimes are a bigger investigative priority for law enforcement Violent crimes involve an interaction btw victim and perpetrator Physical evidence may be more likely to be left behind at the scene     Intro to Criminal Justice                                                          CRMJ 254           Week 5 Spring 2016 Arrest  Physically taking a person into custody pending a court proceeding  Must be based on probable cause o Evidence exist to support reasonable belief that a crime has been committed  and the arrestee is responsible.  If a suspect is a juvenile, case will be handled by the juvenile justice system (under  certain circumstances). Why is it such a big deal when juveniles are handled as an adult?   Juvenile court records are sealed and hearings are not open to the public  Juvenile justice is more rehabilitative   Possible penalties are much less severe  Mainly commit property crimes  Majority are handled as juveniles (70.8%)  Unusual to handle juveniles as adults o 31%­ robbery o 21% ­assault  When would a juvenile be transferred to adult criminal court?   It depends on jurisdiction  Judge can waive juvenile court jurisdiction(based on prosecutor request)  Prosecutor has discretion to file charges in adult criminal w/o judges approval  Statutory exclusion­certain types of cases are automatically excluded from juvenile  court jurisdiction.  MUST BE TRANSFERRRED TO ADULT COURT BASED ON  o Age o Type of crime For Maryland…  Statutory exclusion for: o Most serious offense punishable by life (at the age of 14) o Murder, certain serious offense against persons and certain weapons offense( at the age of 16)  Judges can waive juvenile court jurisdiction for o Any crime(age 15) o Most serious offense (no minimum age but at least 7 years of age Booking   Administrative record made of arrest  Fingerprinted, photographed, questioned and placed in a lineup Charging   Will the prosecutor’s office file charges?  Decision to change is crucial because it sets in motion the adjudication of the case  Prosecutor can decline to file charges initially, but wait to file them at a later point Initial appearance  Defendant is given formal notice of charges  Defendant is advised of rights  Defendant will possibly post bail Preliminary hearing /Grand Jury  Purpose: To protect the defendant from hasty and malicious prosecution rd o Neutral 3  party is asked to determine if there is sufficient grounds to go to  trial based upon the state’s case thus far.  o Both are one sided proceedings that only states case will be presented  Should the case proceed? Is there probable cause exist to support the charges  against the defendant?  Varies by jurisdictions o Federal court system and ½ of the states in the U.S use grand juries at this  step o The remainder use preliminary hearings (and never use grand juries) o Some states use both  Defendant might waive the right to preliminary hearing/grand jury  Differences  o PH­ preside over (and final decision is made)by judge but GJ preside  over(and final decision is made) by a jury (people in the community) o PH­Defendant and his attorney will be present but GJ they do not have the  right to be present  They can request to address grand jury  o PH­ Defense can cross­examine prosecution witnesses but GJ cannot cross­ examine prosecution witnesses o PH­open to the public but GJ closed to public­secret o PH­ if sufficient evidence exist to support the filing of charges, will issues a  formal charging document called an information but GJ the charging  document called an indictment or true bill Indictment/information   Issued as a result of grand jury/ preliminary hearing Arraignment  Defendant returns to court to enter a plea to the charges stated in information o Not guilty­case proceeds to trial (although the defendant may change his plea at alter time) o Guilty (waiving their right to a trial) most defendants plead guilty!!! o No  Contest (nolo contendere) not admitting guilt/ not contesting the charges o Alford plea  o “Standing mute” – refuse to enter a plea Intro to Criminal Justice                                                          CRMJ 254           Week 6 Spring 2016 Trial   Only about 10­15% of felony case go to trial o Less than ½ of these will be heard by juries o Remainder will be “bench trials”  All defendant have right to trial (but NOT all defendants have right to trial by jury)  Defendant may charge his plea to guilty at any time before verdict is announced.  Sentencing  Imposing punishment suitable to the offender and the offense within the limits of the law  Possible punitive options: o Fines(goes to the state)/restitution(goes to the family) o Community service o Probation o Intermediate sanctions (correctional boot camp, electronic monitoring,  intensive probation supervision etc.) o Incarceration o Capital punishment   A federal court judge in Cali created a moratorium on executions in that state in  2006 o Among the issues raised by the judge:  Execution team poorly trained  Lethal injection chamber too cramped and poorly­lit  In response, Cali constructed a new lethal injection chamber in 2010 o $853,000 o No execution carried out yet  Previously, all witnesses would be crowded together into a single room  In the new facility , there are separate viewing areas for: o Condemned inmate’s family and guests  The methods used to carry out the sentence o All states use lethal injection as the primary or only method, but.. o Many states have various alternative methods available   How frequently it’s implemented Factors affecting this: o # of deaths­punishable offenses in that state o Prosecutorial willingness to seek the death penalty o Juror willingness to sentence defendants to death o  Complexity of appeals process and length of time spent on death row before  sentence is carried out. o Whether an informal or formal moratorium   Corporal punishment is not a sentence option in the U.S  Intentional infliction of pain or bodily harm for the explicit purpose of punishment o Legally permitted in all states only if imposed with the home by  parents/guardians or sometimes at school, NEVER  IMPOSED BY THE  COURTS Appeal  Those found guilty can appeal conviction to a higher (appellate) court Corrections  the court’s sentence is carried out by the correctional subsystem Release  if sentence included period of incarceration, release will occur when offender has  either:  o served full sentence imposed by the court o been conditionally paroled into the community


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