CCJ3024 NOTES - The Courts
CCJ3024 NOTES - The Courts CCJ3024
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Haley Kairab on Wednesday March 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CCJ3024 at University of Florida taught by Dr. Marvin Krohn in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Advanced Principles of Criminology Justice in Criminology and Criminal Justice at University of Florida.
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Date Created: 03/30/16
CCJ 3024 Advanced Principles of Criminal Justice NOTES The Courts Lecture from 3/24 History of the Court System • Payment to the court ◦ Bot payment to deceased family after violence had occurred in lieu of further violence (trying to appease people to avoid revenge killings) ◦ Wite payment the king or noble (court fees) ◦ Compurgation practice of taking an oath to establish innocence and having people to attest that they believe your oath • The people they brought it may not have seen the crime, they would attest to the character of the person (he seems honest so not guilty) • Tied to status of individual • Trial by Ordeal of Battle ▪ If you got through the ordeal and you were okay afterwards, you were innocent • Grand Jury law titled Assize of Clarendon ◦ Beginning of Grand Jury system ◦ 12 men who informed judges of the most serious crimes • Judges only came to town for a few days a few times a year and decide which were the most important to go to trial and to send in front of a judge ◦ Involved into determining if there was sufficient evidence ◦ Today check on power of prosecutor • Today grand jury acts as a counterbalance to power of prosecutor; • Jury trial ◦ Began in England in 13th century ◦ Court of the Star Chamber the jury were the King's counselors • Abuses led to modern day protection • The court system today is a complex and evergrowing institution intended to provide just outcomes of criminal and civil cases through a process of evaluating the facts of a case. ◦ Underlying the process is the adversary system; an ideal that is seldom employed Types of Courts • State court system ◦ Courts of limited jurisdiction • jurisdiction over misdemeanors and conducts preliminary investigations into felony charges ◦ Specialty courts • Specific types of offense (ex/ drugs, domestic violence) ◦ Courts of general jurisdiction • A state or federal court that has jurisdiction over felony offenses serious crimes that carry a penalty of incarceration ◦ Appellate courts • Asked to examine whether the state of federal constitution was improperly interpreted during a case or to evaluate new evidence ◦ Federal courts • U.S. Supreme Court appellate ▪ Writ of certiorari rule of four • 4 judges need to determine that it’s a case that can go before the Supreme court before it actually does) • U.S. courts of appeals (12 regional circuit courts) appellate • U.S. District courts (94 judicial districts) trial • Various other federal courts (military courts, U.S. tax courts Lecture from 3/29 Actors involved in the court process • Judges ◦ Senior official in a court who is authorized to hear and decide cases ◦ Manages the court sets schedule and make sure court runs in an efficient manner ◦ Typically a judge must be a resident of the state between 2570 years of age, a member of the State Bar Association and licensed to practice law ◦ Some jurisdictions do not require a law degree for municipal or town court judges ◦ Alternative dispute resolution • Arbitration third party renders decision • Mediation helps parties reach an agreement • Concept of restorative justice ◦ Selecting judges • Appointments • Elections • Prosecutor ◦ Many feel that this position is the key role in the criminal justice process • they determine if there is sufficient evidence for the case to go forward • they decide how to gather evidence • Present evidence for the state • They determine what a person is charged for (ex/ armed robbery instead of just weapon possession) ▪ A difference in the length and severity of charges is put in place to help the prosecutor with plea bargaining in order to negotiate a deal that helps the state ◦ Is responsible for bringing the case against the accused ◦ Political nature of the position ◦ Involved in most aspects of a case from search warrants to sentencing to appeals ◦ Prosecutor's discretion is widespread • Whether to pursue or drop case • Bail both if and how much ▪ Can be significant studies have found that those cases in which there is not the opportunity for bail or those where the defendant cannot make bail or those where the defendant cannot make bail are more likely to end up in a conviction • Charges against the defendant how many and what will they be • Plea bargaining • Defense attorneys ◦ Historically one of the low prestige jobs in the legal world becoming a little more prestigious in today's court system • Typically paid the lowest in the legal world ◦ Private and public defenders • Gideon vs. Wainwright (1963) right to counsel ▪ It is the state's job to provide representation to a defendant that cannot get themselves an attorney • Disadvantages of using a public defender: ▪ Inexperienced ▪ Lack of resources ▪ No resources ▪ Underpaid • Alternatives to a public defender ▪ Assigned counsel court appoints a private defender to a case usually used in rural settings where there is no public defender office ▪ Contract system block grant given to a lawyer or law firm to handle indigent defense cases Issues in the court • Plea bargaining ◦ Guilty pleas in 90% of cases • Why? ▪ Convenience ▪ Guilt ◦ Problems with plea bargaining: • Coercion • Philosophy behind court system adversary system • Juries ◦ Selection voir dire (to speak the truth) • Challenges for cause prejudiced for or against party in a trial • Preemptory challenges without reason stated (Swain v. Alabama, 1965) ◦ Jury selection • Originated in the Harrisburg 7 (197172) ▪ Accused of plotting to blow up the Pentagon and kidnap the Secretary of State • What is scientific jury selection? ▪ Community surveys ▪ Observation of potential jurors ▪ Developing jury questionnaires ▪ Conducting focus groups, mock juries, and shadow juries ▪ Assistance with theme development ◦ The law forbids exclusion of jurors based on membership in a cognizable group like race/gender (Strauder v. West Virginia) ◦ The voir dire process in special cases condones excluding jurors based on attitudes toward the case: • Capital cases (if they would be reluctant to find a person guilty based on whether or not they would receive death penalty if they found them guilty) • Juvenile Waiver cases ▪ A juvenile case where the kid is tried as an adult in terms of punishment • This may also exclude a cognizable group ◦ Research by Levett, Crocker and Kovera, 2009 • The actual questions that attorneys ask can shape the way the jury thinks or answers during selection ▪ Questions implying guilt ▪ Questions asking jurors to imagine punishment ▪ Public commitment to attitudes ▪ Nondeath qualified jurors (people who would not put someone to death) dismissed; leads to high probability of conviction • Class bias ◦ Discretion ◦ Cost of defense ◦ bail