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Chapter 7 notes

by: Leah Notetaker

Chapter 7 notes CRM 210

Leah Notetaker
GPA 3.4
introduction to the american criminal justice system
Patrick Gartin

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Here are the notes over the chapter 7 reading!
introduction to the american criminal justice system
Patrick Gartin
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Leah Notetaker on Thursday October 1, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to CRM 210 at Missouri State University taught by Patrick Gartin in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 32 views. For similar materials see introduction to the american criminal justice system in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Missouri State University.

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Date Created: 10/01/15
CH 7 COURTS AND ADJUDICATION Function and Structure The US has a dual court system state and federal courts The adversarial process is used by state and federal courts 0 Lawyers for each side present evidence and arguments to protect their clients rights and discover the truth In this process 0 a professional attorney represents each side 0 judges oversee the interactions and enforce the rules other countries use the inquisitorial process 0 the judge takes an active role in questioning witnesses and asserts herhimself into the investigation Federal crimes include counterfeiting kidnapping smuggling etc For every offender sent to jail be federal court more than 10 offenders are sent to jailprison by state courts State supreme courts monitor the decision of lower courts within their own states by interpreting state constitutions and statutes FuncUons The criminal court engages in enforcement dispute processing and policy making Norma value standard or expectation concerning people39s behavior Courts play a central role in enforcing society s rules and standards for behavior Structure State and federal court systems have 0 Trial courts of limited and general jurisdiction 0 Appellate courts 0 quotcourt of last resortquot 0 Problemsolving courts Address problems like drugs domestic violence and mental heath Cases begin in a trial court besides for federal cases 0 Handle guilt and sentencing Trial courts ofjurisdiction 0 Handle misdemeanors Trial courts of general jurisdiction 0 Felony cases and civil lawsuits 0 Federal cases begin in these courts Cases move to appellate courts if defendants claim errors by police or if trial courts contributed to their convictions ln appellate courts there are no juries and lawyers do not present evidence Appellate judges decide cases by issuing elaborate written opinions The US Supreme Court is the court of last resort in the federal system The 9 justices in the US Supreme Court choose 7585 cases from 700 submitted annually Problem solving courts were created to help with recurring problems or troubled individuals who appear in court repeatedly Mental health courts handle cases of nonviolent offenders with mental disorders and to develop appropriate treatment supervision and assistance Local courts process seemingly endless numbers of people through the crime control model and each defendants quotday at courtquot lasts only a few minutes To Be a Judge Judges decisions affect police defense attorneys and prosecutors They39re expected to uphold justice ensure due process and provide fair treatment for the defendants The judges black robe and gavel symbolize impartiality People judges are typically white males Minorities and women are still signi cantly underrepresented on the bench Women only hole 14 ofjudgeships The lack of diversity in the judiciary provides a visible contrast with American values related to equal opportunity FuncUons 3 roles o Adjudicator judges must assume a neutral stance o Negotiator judge acts as a referee keeping both sides on track with the law 0 Administrator Manage courthouse The judge must deal with political actors Effective performance in these roles requires knowledge of law fairness communication skills and thoughtful decision making 0 The recent development of specialized courts such as drug courts and mental health courts places judges in the role of a problem solver PFOCESSE 5 methods to select judges o Partisan election 0 Nonpartisan election 0 Gubernatorial appointment 0 Legislative selection 0 Merit selection 0 Federal judges are nominated by the president and con rmed by a majority vote of the US Senate Retired US Supreme Courtjustice Sandra Day O39Connor mounted a public campaign against selecting judges through elections because of her concern about the impact on the appearance ofjustice Merit selection which combines appointment and election was rst used in Missouri in 1940 and has since spread a judge who wins serves a full term 8 years 0 public polls indicate that Americans are divided in their views about judges based on race and income Merit selection attempts to abolish the in uence of politics on the selection of judges Prosecutorial System Prosecuting attorneys responsibilities are to decide who to prosecute what to charge and what the sentence should be Prosecution is mainly a task of state and local government 0 Federal cases are prosecuted by US attorneys Each state has a state attorney general who has the power to bring prosecutions in certain cases Politics 0 Politics in uence prosecutorial discretion 0 Some prosecutors are motivated to prosecute certain cases so that they can gain voters or investigate political opponents In uence Prosecutors have a greater in uence as a result of their broad discretion 0 Relationship with other members shapes the prosecutors decisions Prosecutors are involved for arrest to nal disposition of a case Prosecutors gain additional power from the fact that their decisions and actions take place away from public view Roles Prosecutors face problems when pressing charges on criminals and also seeking justice and protecting the rights of the accused Personal values professional standards goals and political climate are factors that affect how prosecutors de ne their roles 4 functions 0 Trial counsel for the police 0 House counsel for the police 0 Representative of the court 0 Elected of cial Discretion Prosecutors decisions may be shaped by different interests since they have such broad discretion These interests include desire to impress voters changing events in society and personal values and priorities Defense attorneys strengthen their position in the discovery process in which information from the prosecutors case le must be made available to the defense Prosecutors possess signi cant authority to decide whether to pursue charges and which charges to pursue Because most local prosecutors are elected officials who seek to please the voters there are risks that political considerations may affect prosecutorial decisions There is no higher authority over most prosecutors that can overrule a decision to pursue multiple counts against a defendant or to decline to prosecute noIe proseqw Relationships Community may affect the behavior of prosecutors They have to consider the reaction of police victims witnesses judges courts and the community Policies Prosecutors develop their own policies Policies shape the behavior of assistant prosecutors and the administration of justice the most Guilty pleas are typically their main method of processing cases The accusatory process the series of activities from the moment a suspect is arrested to the formal charge no other participant in the system is involved in so many different stages of the criminal process Defense Attorney defense attorney represents the accused and convicted people Role 0 requires knowledge of laws and procedures skill in investigation advocacy relationships with prosecutors judges and clients Rea es the skill of a defense attorney is important to plea negotiations and advocacy defendants may be represented by private attorneys or by public defenders depending on their nancial ability basic duty is to protect constitutional rights keep the prosecution honest and prevent innocent people from being convicted Relatively few private defense attorneys make signi cant incomes from criminal work but larger numbers of private attorneys accept court appointments to handle indigent defendants39 cases quickly for relatively low fees Environment 0 work with clients whose lives are depressing 0 they must prepare these clients for conviction and punishment 0 receive low levels of compensation lndigents 3 ways indigents are provided with lawyers o Assigned counsel 0 Contract counsel 0 Public defenders Overall private and public attorneys appear to provide similar quality of counsel with respect to case outcomes Indigent defense systems often face limited budgets so that appointed counsel are paid small amounts and public defenders are burdened by signi cant caseloads The quality of representation provided to criminal defendants is a matter of signi cant concern but US Supreme Court rulings have made it dif cult for convicted offenders to prove that their attorneys did not provide competent counsel The Courtroom The local legal culture in uences court operations through norms that de ne how a court functions tell the courtroom work group members how to treat each other and identify how cases should be processed Courtroom work groups are made up ofjudges prosecutors defense attorneys and staff who work together to make handling cases a smooth and ef cient process through plea bargaining


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