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first week of criminal justice notes

by: sydney emershaw

first week of criminal justice notes Criminal justice 220

sydney emershaw
Penn State
GPA 2.73
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About this Document

about 2 weeks in 1 weekworth of material
Courts and the prosecution process
Mary Ann Probst
Class Notes




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by sydney emershaw on Monday February 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Criminal justice 220 at Pennsylvania State University taught by Mary Ann Probst in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see Courts and the prosecution process in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Pennsylvania State University.

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Date Created: 02/08/16
Criminal justice  ● Court­ unit of the judicial branch of government authorized by statute or constitution with one or more officers who have the power to decide cases, controversies and dispute  matters of fact  ● Adjudication­ a process whereby a court arrives at its own decision regarding a case  (criminal or civil)  ● Federalism­ system of government power divided between central body constituent  units  ○ Dual court system between state and federal government  ■ States to have individual power  ● Cooperative federalism­ blurring of lines between federal and state systems  Terms in a court system  ● Origin of law  ○ Common law­ law origination from usage rather than a written statute  ○ Precedent­ legal concept ensures previous decisions have authority and are considered and incorporated into future cases  ○ State decisis­ “stand by the things decided” the practice of adhering to precedent  Laws today  ● Protects rights of individuals ­presumptions, constitutional and adversarial  ○ Presumptions   ○ Conclusive presumptions­ everyone agrees  ○ Rebuttable presumption­ can be argued  ○ Presumption of innocence­ innocent until proven guilty  ● Constitutional  ○ 4,5,6,8,14  ○ Substantive due process (legal)  ○ Procedural due process (how to get there)  ● Adversarial  ○ Two parties competing interests working against a eachother to determine the truth  Definition of crimes  ● Mala in se­ inherently bad (evil, harmful)  ● Mala in prohibitum­ bad by law  ● Crime­ an act or omission that violates a statute enacted by the proper authority  Categories of crime  ● Felony­most serious; punishable by more than one year incarceration  ● Misdemeanors­ less serious; punishment of less than one year  ● Summary­ fine, probation or incarceration less than 90 days  Elements of a Crime  ● Prosecution has the burden to prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable  doubt  ○ Actus rea­ act  ○ Mens rea­ intent  ○ Concurrent of intent and physical act  ○ Causation  Court control  ● Who control the courts  ○ Legislative  ○ Executive  ○ Higher courts ○ Interest groups  ○ Citizens  ○ Within the system  Legislative control  ● 2 types direct and indirect  ● Direct control­ constitutionally authorized  ○ Creates, establishes rules and limits the jurisdiction of the courts  ● Indirect control­ confirm judicial appointees (federal) and establish their budgets  ○ Senate determines who becomes federal judge even though the president officially  appoints jurisdiction  ● The authority of a court to resolve a dispute or person or subject matter it is defined by  statute or constitution  ○ Types or jurisdiction  ■ Geographical  ■ Subject matter  ■ Hierarchical  ■ Original  ■ Appellate  Executive  ● Federal level­appointment of judges  ● Department of justice­ will prosecute individuals who violate federal laws  Higher court controls  ● 2 mechanisms  ○ Jurisdictional authority ­ authority of a higher court to issue a decision which is binding  on a lower court  ○ Rule setting  ■ Administrative function  ■ Administrative office Pennsylvania court (AOPC)  ■ Administrative office United States Court (AOUC)  ● Federal judges have lifetime appointment  Interest groups  ● Interest groups­ a group whose mission is to influence political decisions and policy  ● PACs­ NRA,MADD,SADD  ● Can have input on cases by submitting amicus curie briefs  ○ A friend of the court written document submitted to attempt to sway the outcome of the  court to rule in favor of the party they support  ● Citizens­major way to influence the court is a vote  From within  ● Courtroom workgroup consists of:  ○ Judge, district attorney, defence council  ○ How control occurs  ■ Informal rules of court  ■ Daily contact  ■ Learn what judges will do in certain cases  ● Judge can influence control via  ○ Judicial restraint (decide case, decide motion)  ○ Judicial activism (ignore what case says from the other court and the judge does ther  own thing)


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