CJC 250 Week 2
CJC 250 Week 2 CJC 250
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah Notetaker on Wednesday January 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CJC 250 at Ball State University taught by Staton in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see Intro to Courts/Judiciary in Criminal Justice at Ball State University.
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Date Created: 01/27/16
CJC 250 Tuesday, 1/19/16 Criminal Courts: Structure, Process, and Issues -Champion, Hartley & Rabe Ch. 2: The Structure of American Courts Each state, and the federal government, has it’s own structure and process for resolving disputes and prosecuting criminals o Each state is organized different politically Centralized – being able to control independently Decentralized – having dependence on the state government level (needing appeals to make different decisions) Classifying America’s Courts American courts can be classified as jurisdiction o Jurisdiction – the legal authority and power for a court to hear specific kinds of case o Jurisdiction varies depending on: Where the offence occurred The seriousness of the offense Whether the case is being heard for the first time or if it’s an appeal Types of Jurisdiction (3 Types) 1. Subject Matter Jurisdiction a. The types of cases a court is legally allowed to hear i. Misdemeanors and preliminary hearing are processed or conducted by courts of limited jurisdiction 1. Example: If someone burglarizes a property, the value of the property stolen will determine which court the case must appear in (Greater the value, the more likely the case will be heard in general jurisdiction [district court, circuit court, superior court]) 2. Geographical Jurisdiction a. Determined by political boundaries where the crime was committed i. A defendant’s case will be heard within the political boundary where the offense occured 3. Hierarchical Jurisdiction a. Initial court case and an appeal court case (difference between appellate and trial courts) i. Trial courts – courts of fact where a judge or jury listens to the facts of the case and then determine whether the defendant is guilty or not 1. Defendant can also be sentenced ii. Appellate courts – courts who do not hear testimonies or impose sentences 1. Determine if the law was applied correctly Court Structure U.S. court system can be divided into 2 entities (referred to as dual court system) 1. State a. Established through authority of the states i. Has state and local courts 2. Federal a. Consists of U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, U.S. District Courts and U.S. Magistrate Federal Court System Has authority to hear cases that directly identify by the U.S. Constitution Can also hear cases with laws enacted by Congress o Congress determines that some of these cases can be heard by state courts Example: Person from State A sues Person from State B… o Can be heard in a state court or Federal District Court Federal Court consists of 4 levels: 1. U.S. Magistrate Courts a. Lowest court of limited jurisdiction b. Used to alleviate workload of the U.S. District Court judges 2. U.S. District Courts a. Courts of general jurisdiction b. Consists of criminal and civil cases i. 15% criminal, 85% civil c. 94 district courts in U.S. 3. U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal a. Intermediate appellate courts i. Used as buffers between U.S. District Courts and U.S. Supreme Court b. 13 courts of appeal c. Hears cases with 3-judge panels d. En banc – entire aggregate of judges in the circuit hears and decides the case appeal 4. U.S. Supreme Court a. Court of last resort at federal level b. Has original and exclusive jurisdiction over: i. All actions against public ministers or foreign states ii. All controversies between two or more states c. Case must pass “Rule of Four” to make it to the Supreme Court i. Four judges must agree to hear the case d. Method that case reach this court is writ of certiorari State Court Organization Each state is organized differently Most have 4-tiered court structure: 1. Courts of limited jurisdiction a. Greatest variability among states b. Hear minor offenses like traffic violations, civil cases and infractions c. About 80% of total # of state courts d. Highest caseloads 2. Courts of general jurisdiction a. Have jurisdiction over all major civil and criminal cases b. Court of record and general trial courts i. Courts where a trial would happen if case was not resolved 3. Intermediate courts of appeal a. Used to review and screen caseload of the state supreme court 4. Courts of last resort (also could be called state supreme court) a. Highest court structure at state level b. They pick which cases they feel should be reviewed CJC 250 1/21/16 Inside Criminal Courts Ch. 3: Justice Delayed Courthouse delay during case processing is common throughout the U.S. 2 courthouse jobs deal with the problems of delay: 1. Court administrator – works to reduce the delay 2. Bail bondsman – earns a living by easing harm of delay a. Sort of protects those who are innocent, and put in jail and on hold from harm The Court Administrator: Life in the Slow Lane This chapter describes Tim Moss as a court administrator o Duty as a court administrator – scheduling cases for the court The Right toth Speedy Trial The 6 amendment in the constitution guarantees the right to a speedy trial o But there are thousands of cases a year scheduled by the court administrator o “Speedy” is relative and depends on many factors Some states have a speedy trial statutes o Lay limits on how long a case can wait before it goes to trial o Case must be processed within so many months U.S. Congress in 2000 passed the Federal Speedy Trial Act o Requires defendants to be indicted within 30 days and brought to trial within another 70 days Exceptions made when case is deemed complex by judges Moss discovered during his job that 600 cases passed the 12 month deadline The Human Desire for Delay Moss found that delay was actually liked by courtroom actors o Defense attorney likes delays because… Delay weakens witnesses Victims become less angry and agree more easily to pleas Defense can charge more fees over time o Prosecutors like delays because… Postpone weak cases Jailed defendants may become more willing to accept time served and plead guilty o Judge like delays because… They hope cases would be plea bargained rather than proceeding to trial o Prosecutors and defense attorneys often request the continuing of court delay processing Judges often grant the request o Defense council can request a Rule One Continuance Waiting to be paid before moving on with the case Harms of Delay Society is harmed o Limited jail space o Witnesses leave jurisdiction and weaken cases Defendants are harmed too o When kept in jail for a long time and found not guilty Wasted time spent incarcerated o Even on bail, defendants put life on hold and delay things like school, or getting a job Possible solutions to trial delay that probably won’t happen o Hiring more judges, prosecutors and public defendants Our budgets are pushed to the max though, so we must use the resources we have o Decriminalizing some offenses like drug possession Don’t make it “legal,” but don’t make it such a process Maybe just give a ticket or fine for the drug rather than the process of arrest and trial Not all of the Bill of Rights amendments are being enforced o Example: Not until Mapp v. Ohio 1961 was the prohibition against unreasonable search and seizures enforced o 6 amendment for a right to a speedy trial has just begun to be addressed Bail: Solution to Delay or Modern Form of Ransom? 8 amendment prohibits excessive bail o Meant to protect the innocent who are accused of crime and are losing their freedom Bail not permitted to ever defendant o U.S. Supreme Court decided against everyone having bail in 1984 Pre-trial detention in jail can be costly for the accused o Bail bondsmen helps people avoid this harm by getting bail to get out of jail Factors in Setting Bail and Types of Bail First appearance is made before a judge right after being arrested o Local rules vary, but U.S Supreme Court established a 48 hour rule that the first appearance should occur Most jurisdictions follow a bail schedule o Guidelines for setting bail amounts More serious crimes have consideration of multiple factors 2 broad legal factors in setting bail: 1. The defendants risk of flight 2. The defendants danger to the community Other extralegal factors for setting bail o Outrage by the judge over the offense o Jail space available o Race o Gender o Eventual guilty plea Types of bail: o 100 percent cash bail o Property bail Put up home or other properties for money o R.O.R bail (Release on Recognizance) Written agreement that says no money is paid, but defendant must show up to ALL court proceedings o Bail bondsman Sort of a loan system with “interest” (the fee charged) Most are cash bails Bail bondsman is a solution for many who are arrested o Bondman posts full bail and customer pays fee of 10%-15% o If customer does not show up, bondman loses that money Bounty hunters are then used Bounty Hunters Hired to bring back accused if they skip bail Work for bondsman and paid a percentage of forfeited bail if they bring defendant to court Sometimes called “bail enforcement agents” They do not work for the government o Constitutional limits do not apply to them Search warrant Arrest warrant Formal extradition
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