CCJ 3024 Chapter 9: Intro to Criminal Justice 15th ed: Ch 9 Notes

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University of Florida
Sociology, Criminology and Law - Criminology
CCJ 3024
Michael Capece

Chapter9Notes THE CRIMINAL COURT PROCESS State Court Systems Courts of Limited Jurisdiction - 50 state trial and appellate systems with a lot of freedom - Courts of limitedjurisdiction: known by a variety of names such as municipal courts, county courts, district courts, metropolitan courts; minor or less serious civil and criminal cases o Misdemeanors, fines and county jail up to 1 year o Conduct arraignments, prelim hearings, and bail hearings in felony cases o Specialized court: a court that has primary jurisdiction over specific types of offenses and operates differently (ie family or juvenile courts) o 90% of all state courts Courts of General Jurisdiction - Aka felony, superior, supreme, county, and circuit - Trial de novo process: granting a new trial - Appellate courts: a court to which appeals are made on points of law resulting from the judgment of a lower court (IACs) - 40 states have one permanent IAC - Most states have 2 trial and 2 appellate - Caseload increase in the past few years Model State Court Structure - See page 335 FEDERAL COURTS District Courts - The legal basis for the federal court system is in Article 3 Section 1 of the Constitution - Jurisdiction over: violations of federal law, civil rights abuses, interstate transportation of stolen vehicles, and kidnappings, citizenship and rights of aliens. Overlaps that of state courts. - Organized by the Judicial Act of 1789 - 94 in operation today Federal Appeals Courts - 13 US courts of appeals (aka circuit courts) - Empowered to review federal and state appellate court cases involved rights guaranteed by the Constitution - Do NOT retry cases nor determine whether new facts support conviction or dismissal - Purpose: to analyze judicial interpretations of the law, such as the charge to the jury, and reflect on the constitutional issues involved in each case US Supreme Court - 9 members with lifetime appointments by the president with the approval of Congress - The Court chooses around 300 of the 5,000 that are appealed each year - It is the only court established by constitutional mandate instead of federal legislation - It decides basic social and political issues of grave consequence and importance - The justices shape the future meaning of the US constitution - Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee – the Court reaffirmed the legitimacy of its jurisdiction over state court decisions when such courts handled issues of federal or constitutional law - Writ of certiorari: an order of the supreme court requesting that the record of an inferior court be brought forward for review - Ruleoffour:fourjusticesmustagreetohearthecase;theyarerequiredtohearcasesfromathree- judge federal district court on reapportionment and cases involved the Voters Rights Act - see page 342 for tracing the course of a case to the US Supreme Court COURT CONGESTION - 18% civil cases - 6% domestic violence - 20% criminal - 2% juvenile - 54% traffic & ordinance violation - 2/3 of all cases at the state level are processed in limited jurisdiction courts - 100,000 cases receive dispositions in the district courts each year THE JUDICIARY - Thetrialjudgehasextensivecontrolandinfluenceovertheotheragenciesofthecourt:probation, the court clerk, reporters, public defender, and the DA office Judicial Qualifications - A residentofthe state,licensed to practice law, amemberofthe state barassociation, at least25 andlessthan70;itisnotuncommonformunicipalortowncourtjudgestolackalegalbackground - The National Conferene of State Court Judges operates judicial training seminars and publishes manuals and guides Selecting Judges - In some jurisdictions, the governor appoints judges - Popular election - MissouriPlan:ajudicialnominatingcommissiontonominatecandidatesforthebench,anelected official to make appointments from the list submitted by the commission, and subsequent nonpartisan and noncompetitive elections in which incumbent judges run on their records and voters can choose to retain or dismiss them Judicial Alternatives - Magistrate Act of1968 created a new typeof judicialofficerin the federal district court system to handle pretrial duties - Alternative dispute resolution o Arbitration: a simplified version of a trial; there is no discovery and the rules of evidence are simplified o Mediation o Summaryjurytrial:peoplefromarealjurypoolareselectedandaskedtodecideamatter following a one-day trial JUDICIAL DECISION MAKING - ATTITUDES, IDEOLOGY, & OPINIONS: shaped by public opinion; 2/3 of the time Supreme Court decisions align with public opinion polls - DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS: female justices more liberal; sex is more influential than race - REELECTION: decisions that draw less attention during election time; increase sentences
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