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American Criminal Justice System Test 3 Lecture Notes

by: Susannah Mace

American Criminal Justice System Test 3 Lecture Notes CRJU 101 003

Marketplace > University of South Carolina > Criminology & Criminal Justice > CRJU 101 003 > American Criminal Justice System Test 3 Lecture Notes
Susannah Mace
GPA 3.8

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About this Document

Notes from Clement's lecture on October 11, 2016 Discussed: -Civil Law -Federal Court System -State Court System -The Process of becoming a lawyer
The American Criminal Justice System
Therese Lee Clement
Class Notes
Tort Law, Contract Law, lawyers, courts, Supreme Court., Appellate
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Susannah Mace on Tuesday October 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CRJU 101 003 at University of South Carolina taught by Therese Lee Clement in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 32 views. For similar materials see The American Criminal Justice System in Criminology & Criminal Justice at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 10/11/16
Civil Law ● Where you sue someone ● Private parties start a civil case ● Person who brings the lawsuit is the plaintiff ● One who is getting sued it the defendant ● Examples ○ Contract dispute: Someone breached their part of the contract ■ Must establish that there was a contract ● Has to be an offer (I’ll sell you my  house for $100,000) ● Has to be an acceptance (I’ll buy  your house for $100,000) ■ Has to be consideration ­ legal term; both sides  have to give something up ■ Breach of contract ● Someone didn’t hold up their end of  the contract ■ Sue for specific performance ■ Not going to jail because it’s a civil case ○ Tort Civil Case ■ Tort ­ private wrong that causes harm to another ● Example: crash into someone’s car ● Sometimes some civil actions will have criminal offenses ○ Crash into someone’s car, but you were drunk ● Remedy ○ Usually remedy in civil action is fair compensation ● Standard of proof ○ Preponderance of the evidence ■ More likely than not ● Standard of proof in a criminal case ○ Beyond a reasonable doubt ● Philosophy of the Law = jurisprudence  ● Dual Court system ○ State and federal Federal Court System ● Go through this system if you commit a federal crime ● If you violated a federal statute ● Levels (starting from lowest) 1. United States Magistrate Court a. Handle small federal misdemeanor trials b. Set bail in fed cases even if not a misdemeanor c. Original jurisdiction in magistrate level case i. Original jurisdiction ­ first court that  has the authority to take the case all the way to verdict d. Can’t handle federal felony cases … 2. United States District Court (Federal Trial Court) a. Can try less misdemeanor and fed felonies b. Can be federal crime in US, territories,  c. Original jurisdiction in all federal trials i. Can trial misdemeanors (usually  wouldn’t) and fed felonies in that court 3. United States Court of Appeals a. Federal Appellate Court rather than a trial court b. Trial court is with a witness, with a jury and witness  decide whether guilty or not (TV) BUT an appellate court is when you lost  at the trial level and you want to appeal it c. Look at what happened at the trial court and decide whether or not you had a fair trial i. If you don’t object when they bring it  up in trial court, you can’t bring it up on appeal ii. Did the judge make the right call on  the objection d. Because both sides can object, we expect both  sides will put their case in the best light  i. Adversarial system ­ both sides  fighting with judge in the middle ii. If evidence got in that shouldn’t  have, it’s a due process issue but you HAVE to object during trial e. Appellate court is looking for judicial error i. Did the judge make the right  decision on an objection and let something in that shouldn’t have f. Appellate court doesn’t care if you innocent, just if  you got a fair trial g. What can happen on appeal? i. Can overturn the conviction on the  case and it’s done ii. OR Overturn the conviction and  grant a trial de novo  1. New trial iii. OR Can affirm what happened at the trial level iv. Appellate can remand with  instruction to correct judicial error 1. Send it back down  and tell them how to fix it 2. Might not even  overturn the conviction 4. United States Supreme Court a. Appellate Court b. Highest court c. If you lose there you’re done d. As opposed to the State court of last resort this is a  federal court of last resort e. Same option as any appellate court in terms of  dismissing the case f. Review Cases, provide remedies to judicial error,  look at what happened at the lower levels g. In 2011, US Supreme Court reverse 9% of the  cases it reviewed h. If you take it to the Supreme Court, they aren’t  required to take it i. How? i. File all the proper paperwork for the  appeal ii. SC will look a little bit iii. If they feel that it is an issue of  national importance  iv. If so, they will issue a writ of  certiorari (writ of cert) 1. Notifies you they’re  going to hear the case 2. It’s a document sent  to the lower court saying send all the information up State Courts 1. State Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction a. Only actually tries lesser misdemeanors b. Traffic Court c. State Magistrate Courts d. City Courts 2. State Trial Courts of General Jurisdiction a. Can hear small misdemeanor cases AND felony cases and can  take them to verdict b. In South Carolina, General Sessions Court i. Small marijuana possession or murder c. South Carolina Common pleas court i. Civil court with general jurisdiction 3. State Appellate Court a. South Carolina Court of Appeals 4. State Supreme Court a. Court of last resort on the state level b. Appellate jurisdiction as opposed to original jurisdiction Lawyers 1. Bachelor’s degree in any major 2. LSAT a. Has nothing to do with the law b. Doesn’t measure what you learned in undergrad c. Measures analytical thinking and writing abilities d. Score well and have decent grades in undergrad → law school 3. 3 years of law school a. No specialties in law school b. Everyone graduates with the same degree JD (juris doctorate) 4. Apply to take the bar exam a. Don’t just get to take it, you have to apply b. 30­50 pages i. Want to know ALL things about you 1. Name every address you’ve ever  lived at 2. Were you ever involved in a lawsuit? 3. Name every ticket you’ve ever  gotten 5. Application goes to Character and Fitness Committee a. Read it and background check, then they decide if you’re qualified to practice law b. If they say you can’t, you can’t even take the bar exam c. Do they feel as though you’ve answered honestly? d. It’s ok if you have stuff in your past but you have to tell them


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