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Courts week three lecture notes

by: Khaila Coissiere

Courts week three lecture notes Crju 3700

Marketplace > Georgia State University > Criminal Justice > Crju 3700 > Courts week three lecture notes
Khaila Coissiere
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chapter 4 and 5
American criminal court
Prof Johnson
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Khaila Coissiere on Tuesday February 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Crju 3700 at Georgia State University taught by Prof Johnson in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see American criminal court in Criminal Justice at Georgia State University.


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Date Created: 02/02/16
Chapter 4 – State Courts Tuesday, January 26 History of State Courts  Colonial Courts  Early American Courts - North vs. South Courts  Courts in a Modernizing Society - City courts and specialized courts created State Courts Today Traffic Criminal Civil Domestic Juvenile Total Unified trial courts 11,412,497 2,437,408 2,620,043 742,197 241,007 17,453,152 Major trial courts of 3,442,263 3,802,927 6,591,754 3,406,641 1,011,431 18,255,016 general jurisdiction Minor trial courts of 43,184,929 14,465,449 10,313,815 1,612,290 724,335 70,300,818 limited jurisdiction Total 58,039,689 20,705,784 19,525,612 5,761,128 1,976,773 106,008,986 Four Layers of Typical State Courts  Trial courts of limited jurisdiction  Trial courts of general jurisdiction  Intermediate appellate courts  Courts of last resort Trial Courts of limited Jurisdiction  First level - lower courts o Limited jurisdiction to hear low-level misdemeanor, mostly traffic, ordinance violations o Early stages of felony case o Small claims o Problems? Inadequate financing, lax court procedures, unbalanced caseloads, and inadequate facilities o Aka: justice of peace courts, magistrate courts, lower courts, municipal court, inferior courts o >70 million matters a year Trial courts of general jurisdiction  Second level - major trial courts o Criminal and civil matters o Most criminal cases do not go to trial o Aka: superior courts o Geographical jurisdiction - county lines o >35 million cases each year o Most cases end here with a plea or some sort Intermediate courts of appeals  A century ago --> only one  Now --> most states have several appellate courts (divided regionally or civil/criminal)  3-judge panels typically Chapter 4 – State Courts Tuesday, January 26  Certain cases skip this step and go directly to the State Supreme Court for appellate review State Supreme Courts  Few states have two (TX and OK)  Most only have one (final arbiter of state law)  No rotating panels; ALL justices participate  Purely discretionary docket  Automatic jurisdiction in death penalty cases  States with an intermediate level o Discretionary docket (right to choose)  States without an intermediate level o Not a discretionary docket  Court that creates policy Problem-Solving Courts  Therapeutic jurisprudence - get the root causes of why offenders are committing crimes o Immediate intervention o Non-adversarial adjudication o Hands-on judicial involvement o Treatment programs with clear and structured goals o Team approach  Drug Courts o In-depth treatment to help change behaviors  Domestic Violence Courts o One judge with one family focus is integration  Mental Health Courts o Specialized court docket is created o Defendants have to voluntarily enroll Court Unification  Key Components o Unified court system o Simplified court structure o Centralized  Administration  Rule making  Judicial budgeting o Statewide financing Consequences of Court Organization  Decentralization and choice of courts  Local control and local corruption  Uneven court financing Chapter 5 – The Dynamics of Courthouse Thursday, January 28 The Courthouse and the People Who Work There  The courthouse o Location o Buildings o Players  The courtroom o The judge's bench - raised and wears black robe "center of focus" o Defense and prosecution o Jury box and room o Visitor pews o Deputies  Behind the scenes o Clerks of court - collect fees, oversee jury selection, maintain court records, make sure cases get on courts docket, etc. o Chief judge - in charge of other judges o Court administrators - prepare annual courts, prepare budgets , etc o Victim advocates - help/prepare victims and witnesses for court o Probation officers o Mental health professionals o Interpreters Courthouse Security and Changing Technology  Courthouse violence o Metal detectors o Surveillance cameras  Court targeted acts of violence  Security beyond the courthouse Dynamics of Courthouse Justice  Assembly-line Justice o Strengths  Processes cases quickly  Actors specialize in specific tasks, speeding things up o Weaknesses  Routine administration  Fail to consider types of cases trial courts must decide  Discretion - law enforcement has choice to choose what to do  The courtroom work group o Mutual interdependence - everyone in courtroom has united goal (justice) works together to achieve it o Shared decision making o Socialization o Normal crimes o Rewards and sanctions o Variability in courtroom work groups Court Delay  A problem in some jurisdictions but not in others Chapter 5 – The Dynamics of Courthouse Thursday, January 28 o Pros? 6th amendment , provides time to gather more evidence, get better plea deals o Cons? Cost Dynamics Law on Books Law in Action Speedy trial Case scheduling laws Limits to Coordination speedy efforts Trial laws Workgroup variability Legal Ethics  (Model Rules of Professional Conduct) MRPC & State Codes o Ethics differ from morals  Lawyers often required to choose between negative alternatives o State supreme courts enforce ethical rules


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