Midterm Study Guide
Midterm Study Guide CJUS P300: Prosecution
Popular in Topics in Criminal Justice: Prosecution
Popular in Criminal Justice
This 8 page Study Guide was uploaded by Katherine Rose on Tuesday March 3, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to CJUS P300: Prosecution at Indiana University taught by Mary Diekhoff in Winter2015. Since its upload, it has received 592 views. For similar materials see Topics in Criminal Justice: Prosecution in Criminal Justice at Indiana University.
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Date Created: 03/03/15
Criminal Justice Midterm Study Guide Why do laws exist Laws exist in order to maintain order in society 0 Statutes exist because of laws It is the job of the government to maintain the safety of its citizens and it accomplishes this job through the enforcement of laws What is the purpose of committing someone of a crime they committed The rehabilitation of the criminal so that they hopefully don t commit the crime again Who is the most powerful person in the criminal justice system The prosecutor they are powerful both legally and ethically What is a prosecutor A person who in a criminal action prosecutes another in the name of the government 0 They are a representative of the government 0 They are lawyers the ethical code that applies to lawyers applies to prosecutors MIDTERM QUESTION What is the first responsibility of a prosecutor The first responsibility of a prosecutor is to administerjustice o What is justice I Justice is fairness to be fair and do the right thing justice is impartial What makes the prosecutor so powerful They are given much discretion in terms of what to charge a person with whether charges should be dismissed if there is enough probable cause to charge etc How is the United States government organized There is a separation of power into 3 branches 0 Legislative branch rule makers 0 Judicial branch decision makers 0 Executive branch rule enforcers What branch of government is the prosecutor in Executive branch they uphold both the state constitutions and the United States Constitution 0 Because the U5 government is a system of checks and balances the prosecutor in the executive branch is balanced by the legislative branch I How The legislative branch determines the budget the prosecutor is given which determines the number and type of cases heshe can prosecute What is the difference between state constitutions and the US Constitution A state constitution can grants its citizens more rights but cannot restrict any rights given in the US Constitution What constitution does a prosecutor enforce A prosecutor enforces both state constitutions and the US Constitution 0 Exception Federal prosecutors only uphold the US Constitution With a state and federal constitution how do the state and federal governments interact State and federal governments will hardly ever interact State governments are to act upon state laws if they are broken Federal government is to act upon federal laws if they are broken Who prosecutes federal and state crimes The state prosecutor for the given state will prosecute any and all state crimes The federal prosecutor will prosecute any federal crimes Why do federal prosecutors prosecute federal crimes They have federal jurisdiction What is federal jurisdiction Federal jurisdiction applies to crimes such as kidnappings terrorism and crimes that occur on airplanes including airplane laws What role does a state prosecutor play in the legal system State prosecutors have jurisdiction in their own state 0 More specifically the county they are assigned Indiana has 92 prosecutors o Theirjob is to uphold and enforce the laws in their counties What Ifa crime involves both state and federal crimes In this case the state prosecutor will more often than not pass the state charges to the federal prosecutor to charge alongside the federal charges 0 The federal prosecutor can also request to take the charges from the state prosecutor A defendant can be charged in both state and federal courts What crimes are prosecutors most focused on and why Prosecutors are most focused on violent offenders and violent crimes The first responsibility of a prosecutor is to administerjustice and these are the type of crimes that people believe should be prosecuted 0 Examples Murder rape robbery battery crimes involving weapons drunk driving etc If you are charged with a crime what happens You become a defendant o A defendant is a person charged with a criminal offense they are a part of the criminal justice system because the prosecutor is prosecuting them with a crime You are given or hire a defense lawyer o A defense lawyer is a lawyer for the defendant a defense lawyer can be public or private 0 Under the Bill of Rights you have the right to an attorney What is jurisdiction Crimes can only be charged in the jurisdiction in which they are committed jurisdiction is the location Do prosecutors care about jurisdiction YES The Monroe Country prosecutor can only prosecute crimes that were committed in Monroe county This is extremely important In order to be charged crimes must be committed in the area of jurisdiction Why do prosecutors care about jurisdiction There are laws that are specific to counties some crimes that are illegal in one county may be legal in the next county over Prosecutors are on a tight budget and can only prosecute the crimes in theirjurisdiction Witnesses evidence scene of the crime etc are all in the jurisdiction of the prosecutor o It makes the prosecutors job much more difficult to try a case in a different place Do cases have to be brought to court in the jurisdiction they occurred The venue location of court can be changed The request must be made by the defendant and the judge determines the ruling of the venue change Why do changes of venue occur All defendants have the right to a fair and impartial trial if the jury selection pool cannot be fair and impartial then a change of venue is necessary 0 Media impressions of the case at hand can alter a jury members opinion of the case What is the difference between civil law and criminal law Civil law is between two private individualsentities 0 Plaintiff is generally seeking monetary compensation not necessarily o The playing field between the two parties starts even plaintiff wins by tipping the balance in their favor o Burden of proof preponderance of the evidence I Preponderance of the evidence A standard of proof that must be met by a plaintiff is he or she is to win a civil action Criminal law is the government versus a private personentity o Burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt I Beyond a reasonable doubt does not mean 100 because in a criminal case you weren t present so you don t know exactly what happened 0 What is the actual percentage for beyond a reasonable doubt I There isn t one it depends who you ask I The percentage is high because in a criminal suit you are risking someone s life and or liberty What does a prosecutor need to ensure before charging a defendant The prosecutor needs to ensure that they have probable cause to charge the defendant What must a prosecutor do when they speak to an unrepresented defendant It is their duty to let the defendant know their Constitutional rights 0 Why The defendant does not have a full knowledgebackground of the law and is at a disadvantage they could accidentally or unknowingly give up their rights or agree to something a represented defendant would not The first responsibility of a prosecutor is to administer justice tricking a defendant is wrong and unethical What do all defendants have a right to They have a right to appeal file to have the charges expunged from their records etc 0 Some prosecutors make defendants waive this right during a settlement I Frowned upon but not illegal I Especially frowned upon when there is an unrepresented defendant because they will likely feel cornered because of the authority figure the prosecutor represents Can a defendant represent themselves in court Yes But it is not a good idea because they are overly emotional and unable to be objective To represent yourself a judge must find you to be somewhat educated proven mentally competent have readingwriting skills etc o If you choose to represent yourself the court presumes you know all the rules that all other attorneys know even if you don t All defendants have a Constitutional right to represent themselves in court What does a prosecutor have a responsibility to do with evidence The prosecutor must communicate all including possible exculpatory evidence to the defense 0 Exculpatory evidence Evidence that shows the defendant might not be guilty I Examples DNA evidence from the crime scene that isn t the defendant s If the prosecutor doesn t communicate the evidence it is prosecgtorial misconduct Even if the evidence doesn t definitively exclude the defendant it potentially could and the prosecutor must share those evidence findings What are mitigating acts They are acts of a defendant who for example has no criminal record or was found at the scene of the crime attempting to resuscitate the victim o The prosecutor must share findings of mitigating acts What are aggravating acts Aggravating acts are acts such as the defendant was found beating the victim when the police arrived 0 The prosecutor must share findings of aggravating acts What are extrajudicial statements Given statements made outside of the court room discussing the case at hand 0 The statements are typically made to the media The prosecutor and defense attorney can t say anything they aren t supposed to 0 Unable to discuss mitigating or aggravating acts evidence etc I They are not supposed to play to the media 0 Judges can issue gag orders in both civil and criminal trials I If a gag order is broken it can have serious consequences on the party and it ruins the chances of having a fair and impartial jury for the defendant What are the differences between a private attorney and public defender There are no ethical differences between a private attorney and public defender Public defenders are appointed by the court system a private attorney is hired by the defendant Both public defenders and private attorneys have clients 0 They both are a fiduciary relationship a relationship of trust and confidence 0 They are both bound by attorneyclient privilege What is the main rule for a private attorney or public defender to follow Once they are the defendant s legal counsel they have attorneyclient privilege o The attorney cannot break this fiduciary relationship because it breaks the trust the defendant has in the attorney What are the 2 circumstances in which attorney client privilege no longer applies If the client says they are going to commit a crime of violence which will or could result in the death of another human being the attorney can or must report that to the police If the attorney is being sued by the client for ineffective assistance of counsel What are other types of fiduciary relationships besides attorneyclient privilege Husbandwife o In order for this privilege to be intact the conversations must have taken place in an environment where it could not have reasonably been overheard by another person I Referred to as the bedroom policy because oef this Doctor patient MIDTERM QUESTION Defense lawyers and public defenders follow the exact same rules of professional conduct What are the requirements for a valid arrest The police can arrest you for a felony without an arrest warrant To arrest for a misdemeanor the police must have witnessed the crime To get an arrest warrant the police must submit evidence and probable cause to a judge o If the judge agrees they sign the warrant and set the defendant s bail amount What are the requirements for bail All crimes except murder must have a reasonable bail set 0 The bail is reasonable based on the circumstances Everyone is entitled to bail You can be held without bail depending on the circumstances What are the 2 criteria for bail Bail ensures you will appear in court If you pose a threat to the community 0 The judge solely controls the setting of the bail could be given a high bail or none at all Why are prosecutors concerned with the statute of limitations Statute of limitations how long a prosecutor has to file charges from the time the crime is committee 0 Murder has no statute of limitations 0 Misdemeanors have a 2 year statute of limitations o If the defendant does something to cause the crime to not be discovered the statute of limitations begins when the crime is discovered What is disorderly conduct Disorderly conduct Making unreasonable noise after you ve been asked to stop or engaging in tumultuous activities 0 Disorderly conduct is different than misdemeanors because you re affecting other people and they are more likely going to make an arrest because you can be endangering other people I The police are more inclined to give you a ticket rather than arresting you in misdemeanors What happens if you are arrested You go to jail and get documented booked They take your name information belongings fingerprints etc After you re booked you get a bond o If you don t pay the bond you stay in jail After you pay the bond and get out or if you stay in then you appear in court In court they will decide what you were arrested for and what the charges will be The charging information is what gets you into the system by the prosecutor It is a formal document prepared by the prosecutor s office and signed by whoever is charging you through the prosecutor s office and typically signed by the prosecutor too The charging information is now what the courts will use The charging information carries a lot of discretion with the prosecutor After the charges have been filed in the charging information only the prosecutor can dismiss the charges The charging information must contain the follow page 148 of the reader 0 That someone is duly sworn upon their oath saying the following o A caption state of blank v defendant 0 Also lists basic information of the defendant 0 A cause number begins with the county number then what type of court a court number numbers indicating the month and date different designations for the type of charge and number of similar filings before it Listing of number of charges o In the body of the information I The defendant duly sworn upon their oath states I Must state the date of the offense on or about the date I There could be variations due to time I Matters for the statute of limitations I Defendant cares about the date because they must be fully informed I Must state the jurisdiction I Must track the elements of the statute must be contained otherwise it is deemed to be inefficient I Must contain the code site I For the purpose of letting the defendant know what they are charged with and the generics I At the end it must have the date and signature of the day the charges were filed 0 What happens when you first go to court As the defendant you receive the charging information and a list of your rights An initial hearing is your first appearance in court 0 Doesn t matter if you were summoned or arrested At initial hearing Defendant is asked if they understand the charges the potential penalties their rights especially their right to an attorney public or private Can anyone receive a public defender No there are poverty guidelines to receive a public defender The court can require you to sell off assets in order to pay for an attorney What are prosecutors concerned with when they charge a defendant for a crime When the crime occurred statute of limitations Location of the crime jurisdiction Date of the crime older cases are much more difficult to win as a prosecutor Whether there is probable cause Age of the defendant Does the defendant have a prior record Evidence What does the victim want 0 Remember the victim is not the prosecutor s client Issues in identification of the defendant 0 The prosecutor must prove the case and is concerned with their first duty to administer justice MIDTERM QUESTION A case for the prosecution will rarely ever get stronger from the time that the case is charged it will likely only get weaker What must the prosecutor consider when charging a crime What the trial will put the victim through The victim isn t their client but they are still dealing with a victim and must be sensitive Prosecutors do have a duty to keep the victim informed throughout the processproceedings Who can in uence the prosecutor and the crimes they charge No one can influence the charging decisions of a prosecutor The media will try but cannot Prosecutors must remain objective when choosing whether or not to charge a crime What is a grand jury A grand jury is a jury that is gathered by a judge at the request of the prosecutor It is used as a charging tool for the prosecutor 0 Used for making charging decisions and seeing where a potential jury will stand 0 Sort of a quotmock trial The grand jury proceeding is confidential o Witnesses can be called by the judge prosecutor and grand jury o The target of the case is present without their legal counsel The purpose of a grand jury is to see how strongweak a case is They have the ability to make a decision to indict or no indict o The prosecutor is not bound by the grand jury s decision
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