Criminal Justice Chapter 8 Notes
Criminal Justice Chapter 8 Notes CRJU 101 001
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CRJU 101 001
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Richard Martin on Wednesday March 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CRJU 101 001 at University of South Carolina taught by Corey Burton in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Criminal Justice 101 in Criminology and Criminal Justice at University of South Carolina.
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Date Created: 03/16/16
Chapter 8: Courtroom Participants and the Trail Monday, February 29, 2016 9:39 AM Charging and Pre-Trail Proceedings • The ChargingDecision • Arguably the most important discretionary decision for the Prosecutor • Bordenkircher vs Hayes (1978) • Reasons a Prosecutor would not charge: ○ Insufficient evidence ○ Beliefin the inability to gaina conviction ○ Office policy • Pre-Trial Events ○ Information vs Indictment ○ Booking ○ Initial appearance ○ Arraignment ○ Pre-Trail Motions ○ Pleabargaining • Pre-trail motions ○ Motion for Discovery: Filed by the defense requesting that the prosecution turn over all relevantevidence that it might use at trail ○ Motion for Suppression: Filedby the defense to exclude certain evidence at trail ○ Motion for Change of Venue: Canbe made by either the defense or prosecution requesting that a trail be moved to another ○ Motion for Continuance: Can be made by either the defense or prosecution to delay the start of a trail ○ Motion for Severance of Charges or Defendants: A request that the defendant be tried on multiple charges separately or that multiple defendants be tried separately ○ Motion for Competency: Simply a motion to determine whether a defendant is competent to stand trail • Plea Bargaining ○ Background ○ Most criminal cases today are settled through the pleabargaining process, so understanding the process isessential ○ Santobello vs New York (1971) ○ It is a guilty pleaby a defendant in exchange for some concessions from the prosecutor • Charge Reductions vs Sentence Agreements ○ Charge Reduction: An agreementthat the prosecution will reduce or drop some charges ○ Sentence Agreement:An agreementthat the prosecution willreduce the sentence to be served • Effects on Judicial Discretion ○ Charge Reduction - a judge generally cannot refuse to accept a pleaagreement between a prosecutor and defense ○ Sentence Agreements - if the prosecution and defense agree to a reduced sentence, the judge generally must accept the agreement • Competency to Stand Trail: a defendant is incompetent to stand trial when for some reason, whether physical or mental impairment, the defendant isnot able to adequately assist in his or her own defense • Excessive Bail ○ No direct rightto bail ○ No precise definitionof excessive bail, determinedon a case by case basis • Denial of Bail • Bail bonds can be denied or revokedat any time ○ Administeredby independent, for-profit companies ○ Companies guarantee that defendants willshow up to court ○ Defendant pays a certain percentage of bail to the company ○ Bail bondsmen can refuse to serve a defendant • Release on Recognizance (ROR): Non-monetary, a defendant's promise to return • Unsecured Bond: A promise to pay an agreedupon amount if the defendant does not return for proceedings • Signature Bond: Release of the defendant by police after being charged with the promise to show up for court WednesdayMarch 2, 2016 Charging and Pre-Trail Proceedings • Effective Assistance of Counsel ○ McMann vs Richardson (1970): Right to counsel means a right to effective assistance of counsel ○ Strickland vs Washington (1984): Two-pronged test for competence 1. Was the attorney's performance deficient? 2. Did the deficient performance injure the defendant? Trail • Right to speedy trail Notes Page 1 • Right to speedy trail ○ Right to a speedy trail is a 6th amendmentright ○ May change depending on whether the defendant is in custody or on pre-trail release ○ Many defendants, however, waive their rightto a speedy trail (witness memoryfades, gather evidence, heat cools down) ○ For those defendants who request a speedy trail and do not waive the right, constitutional violationsmay occur ifcertain deadlines are not met, Bakervs Wingo (1972) ○ Speedy Trail Act of 1974: at federal level, 30 day time limitbetween arrest and indictment and 70 day limitbetween indictment and trail • Juries and Jury Selection ○ 6th amendment to Constitution expands upon Article III, Section 2 in a key way: requires an impartial jury ○ Traditionally, 12 person juries have been the norm dating back to common law England ○ Constitutionally, however, juries are permitted to be smaller(as few as 6) ○ 3 major steps to jury selection: 1. Developing a list of potential jurors 2. Jury panel: individualsbrought in for interviews 3. Voir Dire: process of questioning potential jurors ○ Strikes for Cause: either the defense or the prosecution excluding a potential juror for a particular reason, strikes are unlimited ○ Preemptory Strikes: either the defense or the prosecution excluding a potential juror for no reason at all, strikes limitedto 4 or 5 Opening Statements • Following rulingson all pretrial motions, the prosecutor and defense attorney engage in opening statements • Topics covered by prosecution: charges, crime & evidence, proof of elements of crime, defendant's motivation, victim impacts • Topics covered by the defense: presumption of innocence, prosecutorial burden of proof, role of the jury Presentation of Evidence • Prosecution typically goes first • Defense followsby moving for a "directed verdict" ○ Motion granted: defendant is acquitted ○ Motion denied: defense moves to presentation of evidence • Defense is not required to prove a defendant's innocence nor isthe defense required to present evidence • Questioning Witnesses: ○ Direct Examination: a witness is questioned by the side that called the witness ○ Cross-Examination: a witness isquestioned by the opposing side following direct examination • CallingWitnesses ○ Privilegeagainst self-incrimination ○ It has long been understood that defendants cannot be compelledto testify against themselves,even though they do retain the right to take the stand in their own defense • Types of Evidence ○ Direct Evidence: evidence that tends to prove or disprove a fact at issue in a case (eyewitness testimony, confession) ○ Indirect Evidence: also known as circumstantial evidence, requiresjudges and juries make inferences about what took place or the defendant's role (fingerprintsfound in a car) Friday March 4, 2016 Trail • Objecting to the introduction of evidence ○ Commonreasons for objecting to admissionof evidence or statements: lack of relevance, witness is incompetent, witness not qualifiedto give an opinion on a matter, hearsay ○ HearsayEvidence is generally not admissible in trials, although there are some common exceptions to this rule Dying Declaration Excited Utterance • Closing Arguments ○ Prosecution and defense each take their opportunity to summarize the case to the jury ○ Key Rules: Prosecutors may not comment on a defendant's unwillingnessto testify or make inflammatorycomments about the defendant Only evidence presented at trial may be discussed Defense attorneys may not question the credibility of the prosecutor or any of the state's witnesses Notes Page 2