CJ 2150 Lecture 4: The Court System Structure

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Criminal Justice
CJ 2150
Robert J.Norris

The Court System 2/1/2018 Concurrence - between actus reus and mens rea The harm, injury, or result of the action Causal relationship Causal relationship between action and resulting injury Two types of cause in law 1. Cause in fact a. But for causation b. Start at the result, work backwards to blame c. Necessary but insufficient on its own 2. Proximate cause (legal case) a. The action is sufficiently related to the injury to be considered the cause of that injury b. How do we determine this? c. Key = foreseeable? i. Was the injury/harm foreseeable? d. Could the harm that resulted reasonably have been predicted? FEDERAL AND STATE COURTS Original jurisdiction Court has power to hear a case for the first time Appellate jurisdiction Higher court has the authority to review cases originally decided by a lower court Judicial review Power of the judicial branch to declare acts of the legislature and executive branches unconstitutional THE US COURT SYSTEM Dual court system Different levels of governments have their own courts Each state and federal Each state has their own laws Within the national framework Disagreements of interpretation Need final and ultimate word STATE COURT STRUCTURE High Court Every state has at least one Courts of last resort 5-9 judges (or justices) Serious questions about state law/constitution They violated my rights The final voice on these matters in the state Intermediate appellate courts Most states have one court of appeals for state The Court System 2/1/2018 Some states have courts within their regional jurisdiction (multiple) Size varies Handle question of the law, not fact Dont care about who done it? care about if the person got their rights met Trial Courts Trial courts of limited jurisdiction Most common court in the US Misdemeanors/ infractions mostly Fines and short jail sentences Some involvement in felony cases Most common problems Lack of resources Judges do not have to have a law degree - can be elected Not held in real courtrooms Courts usually not held on record Trial courts of general jurisdiction Likely your perception of court Serious criminal and civil cases Courts of record FEDERAL COURTS Two proposals Virginia
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