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Lecture 6

SOC 1500 Lecture 6: courts

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SOC 1500
Michelle Dumas

Thursday, November 12, 2015 Crime and Criminal Justice Court and Trials Court and Trials - once police do their investigation, they provide the info to court - Media influence shows they're really fun and exciting, but in real life they're boring. - 10% of cases go to trial, other 90% get pleaded out or charges are dropped - Caseloads are diminished by getting people to plead guilty before trial Structure of Canadian Courts - higher courts, medium courts, lower courts - Usually decided on what the possible punishment could be for a crime - lower courts— most cases go through here (lesser offences) - higher courts— less cases go through here (serious offences) - Supreme court of Canada is the highest court - Specialty courts are next Criminal Offences and Court Summary offences - routine cases, 3-5 mins on average in court, all decisions are made by a judge alone, sentences tend to be less severe (fines up to 5000 dollars, prison term up to 6 months in prison) Indictable offences — 1. Absolute jurisdiction provincial (sec 553) . 2. Absolute jurisdiction superior (Sec 469) (include murder, treason, piracy) Begin with preliminary hearing (premaphasy case- is there enough evidence for a trial). 3. Electable offences. Don't fall under any of those 1 Thursday, November 12, 2015 Cases in Court - collected by statistics Canada - Year 2011/12 - Impaired driving is most common case to go to adult court - Males are more likely to go to court than females are - Females are more likely to be in court for traffic offences, fraud, shoplifting - 18-24 is the most likely age group to be in court - 25-34 year olds account for 28% of cases - people over 35 account for 80% of cases Decisions in Court Conviction - Highest convictions are for traffic violations - Lowest convictions are for attempted murder Acquittal - They find a person not guilty - 3-5% of cases have an acquittal - No one is ever found innocent, just guilty or not guilty Stayed (withdrawn) (dismissed) - case is stopped or suspended, usually because lack of evidence - stopping these proceedings - usually time frame given to come up with other evidence and if they don't they dismiss the case Conviction Rates traffic : 82% administration: 72% 2 Thursday, November 12, 2015 property: 61% federal: 63% - Robbery has high conviction rate because evidence is usually pretty strong to identify suspect (surveillance) Legal Process - legal training- professionals get extensive training Types of arguments - deductive, inductive, and adductive (in each of these there is a precondition, conclusion and rule) - Court - deductive:determining the conclusion - inductive: determining the rule - in court, deductive arguments are used Deductive arguments - try to find conclusion from previously known facts - If P, then Q - if premise is false, then conclusion is false Law: Important Decisions Informal level Fact vs legal - factual guilt is different from legal guilt - someone may be guilty of crime, on a legal level they are not able to establish legal guilt CJS - guilty as charged 3 Thursday, November 12, 2015 Evidence - if you are accused of a crime, you dont have to prove any evidence that you're innocent, they just have to prove evidence that you're guilty Attorneys- Crown Courtroom - most of the work these people do are inside of a courtroom - enormous power in the system - which cases go forward or which cases get dismissed - if person is released on bail, how much should that bail be - at the front lines of the courthouse Routine work - need a good knowledge of the law - need to be good at presenting evidence - need to be well acquainted with the CCRF (canadian charter of rights and freedoms) Burden of Proof - have the right to be innocent until proven innocent in the court of law Screen and Disclosure - provide full disclosure to defence if the court goes to trial - defence does not have to disclose anything to crown because the proof does not have any burden on them Factor Influencing Screening Culpability of defendant - belief this person is guilty for what they're being accused of Evidence 4 Thursday, November 12, 2015 - any confession or evidence obtained by police - do we have a victim that will cooperate (this is good evidence) Priority Cases - violent crime before property crime - second time offenders before first time offenders - strangers before family Witnesses - cooperative witnesses - a lot of domestic violence cases are dropped because victims wont cooperate - more credibility someone has the more beneficial they are in court - witnesses testify Legal Charter Rights— Courts - 11(a) (informed offence) - 11(b) (court reasonable time) - 11(c) (testify in court) - 11(d) (presumption of innocence) - 11(e) (reasonable bail) - Kellough and Wortley (2002) • race of accused played factor, and age and sex • those without permanent address were more likely detained • the more negative assessment police provided, the more people were detained • remand- if you're held on remand you're more likely to be found guilty - 11(h) (double jeopardy) - 11(i) (benefit lesser punishment) - Treated As Adults (Court) 5 Thursday, November 12, 2015 - Transfers to Adult Court (YOA) young offenders act - ◦Allow transfer (indictable offence)- has to be an indicatable offence to be transferred, older juveniles (16+) with most serious offences - ◦Crown Application - ◦Automatic transfers (amendment)- murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault - ◦Consequences- longer sentences, more serious, less emphasis on treatment and rehabilitation, kids treated more strictly than adults for same crimes - - Treated As Adults (Court) - Adult Sentences (YCJA) - ◦Court - ◦Crown application- elect their child by jury - ◦Conditions- crimes are the important crimes, possible repeat offender - ◦Age- 14 years of age to get an adult sentence - - USA - Juvenile Adult Court - Transfers- tends to be discriminatory based on race and culture, usually a harsher sentence - Population (general) –LA information, high population - ◦Hispanic (51%) - ◦White (25%) - ◦African Ame
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