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					      9
CHA
PTE
 R




          The Courts: Structure
           and Participants



                                  1
     America’s Dual
      Court System
The United States has courts on both the
federal and state levels.
This dual system reflects the state’s need
to retain judicial autonomy separate
from the federal government.
Most criminal cases originate within state
courts.

                                             2
     Jurisdiction


The jurisdiction of a court refers
to those cases in which it may
exercise lawful authority
  § Determined by statute or
   constitution



                                     3
Original vs. Appellate
Jurisdiction
  Original Jurisdiction        Appellate Jurisdiction
  … the lawful authority of    …the lawful authority of
  a court to hear or to act    a court to review a
  on a case from its           decision made by a lower
  beginning and to pass        court.
  judgment on the law and
  the facts.
  …may be over a specific
  geographic area or over
  particular types of cases.


                                                        4
    State Trial Courts
§ Where criminal cases “begin.”
       § Bail hearings
       § Arraignments
       § Enters pleas
       § Conducts trials
       § Sentences

§ Two types of trial courts:
       § Courts of limited, or special,
         jurisdiction (lower courts)
       § Courts of general jurisdiction
                                          5
State Trial Courts: Courts
 of Limited Jurisdiction
Authorized to hear:
§ Misdemeanors
§ Family disputes
§ Traffic violations
§ Small claims




                             6
State Trial Courts: Courts
 of Limited Jurisdiction
Lower courts:
§ Rarely hold jury trials
§ Do not maintain detailed records of
  proceedings (just charge, plea, finding, and
  sentence)
§ Less formal than higher courts



                                                 7
State Trial Courts: Courts
 of General Jurisdiction
Also called: high courts, circuit courts, or
superior courts.
Formal courts that make full use of juries,
witnesses, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and
other actors.
Authorized to hear:
§ Any criminal case
§ Lower court appeals
     §Trial de novo
                                                 8
  Adversarial Process


…pits the interests of the state,
represented by prosecutors, against
the accused, represented by defense
counsel, in a process constrained by
procedural rules specified in law and
by tradition.

                                        9
State Appellate Courts

§ 39 states have intermediate and
  high-level appellate courts (courts of
  last resorts).
§ All states have supreme courts.




                                       10
        Appeals

§ Appeals are requests by a defendant
  to a higher court asking it to review
  the actions of a lower court.
§ Some cases (involving death penalty
  or life sentences) are automatically
  appealed.


                                      11
Appeals: The Process
§ Appellate court reviews transcripts
  from lower trial courts and may
  allow for lawyers from both sides to
  make oral arguments.




                                         12
Appeals: The Results

§ Most convictions are confirmed.
§ Some decisions are reversed and
  cases remanded.
§ Recourse may be to a state supreme
  court.
§ Generally, state supreme court is the
  court of last resort.

                                      13
Appeals: Moving to the
   Federal System

Cases can be appealed to the U.S.
Supreme Court if they are based on a
claimed violation of the defendant’s
rights as guaranteed under federal law or
the U. S. Constitution.




                                        14
The
Federal
Court
System

          15
The Federal Court System
Established by the U.S.
Constitution

Article III, Section 1

“One Supreme Court, and such inferior
  courts as the Congress may from time
  to time ordain and establish.”

                                         16
Jurisdiction of Federal Courts
Article III, Section 2
§ Federal courts are to have
  jurisdiction over cases arising
  under the Constitution, federal
  law, and treaties.
§ Federal courts are to settle
  disputes between states and to have
  jurisdiction in cases where one of
  the parties is a state.
                                        17
Structure of Federal Court System


  Three Levels of Courts

  § U.S. Supreme Court
  § U.S. Courts of Appeals
  § U.S. District Courts

                                    18
   U.S. District Courts

§There are 94 judicial districts
    § At least 1 district court per state
    § District courts in Puerto Rico, the
      District of Columbia, and other
      U.S. Territories




                                            19
   U.S. District Courts


…the trial courts of the federal
system

…original jurisdiction over all cases
involving alleged violations of
federal statutes



                                        20
U.S. Courts of Appeal:
     Circuit Courts
§ There are 13 U.S. Courts of
  Appeals
    § The 94 judicial districts are
     organized into 12 regions (circuits)
         § Each region has 1 Circuit Court

    § 1 U.S. Court of Appeals for the
     Federal Circuit


                                             21
U.S. Courts of Appeal:
    Circuit Courts

§ 167 appeals court judges
§ Review cases on appeal from U.S.
  district courts and trial-level
  federal courts
§ Mandatory jurisdiction over
  decision of appealed district
  court cases

                                     22
     Right to Appeal

§ The Constitution guarantees a right to
  appeal.
§ A defendant’s right to appeal, however, has
  been interpreted to mean the right to one
  appeal.
§ Therefore, the U.S. Supreme Court
  does not hear every appeal by defendants
  dissatisfied with the decision of a federal
  appeals court.

                                                23
U.S.
Supreme
Court


          24
  U.S. Supreme Court

§ The U.S. Supreme Court consists of
  nine justices:
      § Eight Associate Justices
      § One Chief Justice

§ Justices are nominated by the
  President, confirmed by the Senate,
  and serve for life.

                                        25
 Jurisdiction of the U.S.
     Supreme Court
Original jurisdiction
     § Limited
     § Reserved for disputes between states
       and some cases of attorney disbarment

Appellate jurisdiction
    § Reviews the decisions from U.S. Courts
      of Appeals and state supreme courts



                                               26
U.S. Supreme Court: Appeals

 § Of 5,000 annual requests for review, only
   about 200 are heard.
        § Four justices must vote in favor of a
          hearing for a case to be heard.
 § Usually the Court only reviews cases
   that involve a substantial federal
   question.
 § The Court issues a writ of certiorari to a
   lower court.
                                                  27
  Writ of Certiorari

… a writ issued from an appellate
court for the purpose of obtaining
from a lower court the record of
its proceedings in a particular case.




                                        28
  Judicial Review

… the power of a court to review
actions and decisions made by
other agencies of government.

It is probably the U.S. Supreme
Court’s greatest power.


                                   29
Marbury v. Madison (1803)

Formally established Court’s power
of judicial review.

The U.S. Supreme Court established the
Court’s authority as final interpreter of
the U.S. Constitution by declaring “it is
emphatically the province of the judicial
department to say what the law is.”

                                            30
Opinions of the Court
Supreme Court decisions are
 rarely unanimous.
Types of opinions:
  § Majority—Justices agree in
    outcome and reasoning. This is the
    opinion of the court.
  § Concurring—Agree with outcome,
    but for different reasons.
  § Dissenting—Disagree with
    outcome.
                                     31
Courtroom
 Work
 Group


            32
  Courtroom Participants
Professional             Non-Professional
§ Judge                  § Lay witnesses
§ Prosecuting attorney   § Jurors
§ Defense attorney       § Defendant
§ Bailiff                § Victim
§ Court reporter         § Spectators
§ Clerk of the court     § Press
§ Expert witnesses




                                            33
          The Judge
Primary duty à to ensure justice

Responsibilities include:
§ Ruling on most matters of the law
§ Weighing objections
§ Deciding the admissibility of evidence
§ Sentencing offenders
§ Disciplining disorderly courtroom attendees
§ Deciding guilt or innocence (for bench trials)


                                                   34
      Judicial Selection

Federal Judges    State Judges
§ Nominated by    § Popular election
  President       § Gubernatorial
§ Confirmed by      appointment
  senate          § Missouri Plan
                   (combines
                   appointment and
                   election)


                                       35
     Missouri Plan

§ Non-partisan committee creates a list
  of possible candidates.
§ Final list sent to governor’s office.
§ The governor appoints from the list.
§ After a specified time period, the
  appointed judge stands for election.

                                    36
Judges: Qualifications

At general and appellate levels:

 § Be a member of the state bar
 § Be a licensed attorney
 § Hold a law degree (in most
   states)
 § Attend professional training

                                   37
Ethical Issues



                 38
 Prosecuting Attorney

Prosecutors are also referred to as:
solicitor, district attorney, state’s
attorney, county attorney, or
commonwealth attorney.

Federal prosecutors are called U.S.
Attorneys.

                                        39
       Prosecutor

§ All but five states elect
  prosecutors. Prosecutors are
  elected for a four-year term.
§ Five states and the federal
  government appoint their
  prosecutors.

                                  40
Prosecutor’s Responsibilities

§ Present the state’s case against the
  defendant
    §   State has the burden of proof
§ Supervise staff of assistant district
  attorneys
§ Serve as quasi-legal advisor to police
§ Files appeals on behalf of the state
§ Makes presentations to parole boards

                                           41
Prosecutorial Discretion

…decision-making power, based on
 the wide range of choices available
 to them.




                                       42
Prosecutorial Discretion
Prosecutor decides:
§ Whether or not to charge someone with a crime
§ Which charges are to be filed against the
  defendant
§ Whether multiple charges should be filed together
  or separately
§ When to schedule cases for trial
§ Whether or not to accept a negotiated plea
§ What evidence to present, including witnesses
§ What sentencing recommendations to make


                                                      43
   Abuse of Discretion
Prosecutors may abuse their discretion by…
§ Not prosecuting friends
§ Accepting guilty pleas or reduced charges for
  personal consideration
§ Overzealous prosecution to gain visibility for
  possible reelection
§ Scheduling activities to make life difficult for
  defendants, in an attempt to put pressure on
  them to plead guilty
§ Discrimination against minorities


                                                     44
Ethical Issues




                 45
     Defense Counsel
§   Represents the accused
§   Participates in plea negotiations
§   Prepares a defense
§   Calls witnesses
§   Refutes case presented by prosecutor
§   Presents arguments at time of sentencing
§   Files appeals


                                               46
Types of Defense Counsel

§ Private attorney (retained
  counsel)
§ Court-assigned counsel
§ Public defender




                               47
    Right to Counsel

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution guarantees criminal defendants
the effective assistance of counsel.

Texas v. Cobb (2001)—the Supreme Court
ruled that the Sixth Amendment right to
counsel is “offense specific” and applies only
to the offense with which a defendant is
charged and not to other offenses, even if they
are factually related to the charged offense.

                                                  48
  Criminal Defense
     of the Poor
The Sixth Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution guarantees criminal
defendants the effective assistance of
counsel.

Defendants who are unable to pay for
private defense attorneys will receive
adequate representation at all stages of
criminal justice processing.


                                           49
   In re Gault (1967)

The U.S. Supreme Court extended
the right to legal counsel for
juveniles charged with a delinquent
act.



                                      50
   Criminal Defense
      of the Poor
Three Types of Programs

 § Court-assigned counsel
 § Public defender
 § Contract attorney


                            51
Court-Assigned Counsel

 § Fee paid based on state rate (most
   widely used).
 § Fee is usually low, raising questions
   about the level of commitment of
   defense attorneys.
 § Roster of local attorneys who are
   willing to take cases under established
   fees.
                                             52
Public Defender Program

§ Uses full-time salaried attorneys.
§ 28% of counties nationwide use
  this system exclusively.

§ 64% of counties nationwide use
  public defenders as part of their
  system.
                                       53
  Contract Attorneys


§ Local attorneys are maintained on
  contract to handle all cases.

§ This is the least widely used form
  of indigent defense.

                                       54
 Waiving the Right to an
       Attorney
§ 1% of federally charged
  defendants and 3% of state level
  defendants represent themselves.

§ Faretta v. California (1975)
  §   Indigents are not required to accept counsel. They
      may waive their right and represent themselves.



                                                           55
Ethical Issues



                 56
           Bailiff
§ Charged with ensuring order in the
  courtroom
§ Announces judge’s entry
§ Calls witnesses
§ Maintains control over the defendant if
  person has not been released on bail
§ Maintains physical custody of and
  supervises jury during deliberations
  and sequestering
                                            57
Local Court Administrators

 § Facilitate the smooth running of
   courts in particular judicial
   districts
 § Provide uniform court management



                                  58
    Court Reporter

§ Also called the “stenographer” or
  “court recorder.”
§ Creates a written record of all
  court proceedings.
§ Transcripts are necessary if an
  appeal is to be filed.

                                      59
      Clerk of Court
§ Maintains all records of criminal cases
  and verdicts
§ Prepares jury pool and issues jury
  summonses
§ Subpoenas witnesses
§ Marks physical evidence for
  identification at trial
§ Swears in witnesses
                                            60
    Expert Witness

… a person who has special
knowledge and skills in an
established profession or
technical area. This person is
usually a paid professional.

…unlike lay witnesses, they may
express opinions and draw
conclusions in their testimony.

                                  61
       Lay Witness

§ Non-expert witness
§ May be:
  § Eye witness
  § Character witness

  § Victim


§ Are subpoenaed to appear
§ Testify to that which they have
  direct knowledge of
                                    62
             Jurors

Article III of the U.S. Constitution

§ “trial of all crimes…shall be by jury”
§ States determine the number of jurors.
  Most use 12, plus 2 alternates.
§ Jury duty…a civic responsibility


                                           63
      Peer Juries

§ Defendants have the right to have
  their cases heard before a jury of
  their peers.
§ Peer juries are those composed of a
  representative cross section of the
  community.

                                    64
       The Victim

§ Not all crimes have clearly
  identifiable or surviving victims
§ Victims often face hardships as
  they participate in the court
  process.


                                      65
      The Defendant

§ Generally, they must be present at
  trial.
§ Defendants exercise choice in:
  § Selecting and retaining counsel
  § Planning a defense strategy with counsel

  § Deciding what information to provide counsel

  § Deciding what to plea

  § Deciding whether or not to testify

  § Determining whether or not to file an appeal


                                                   66
Spectators and the Press

§ May be present at trial; with more at
  higher-profile cases
§ The right of reporters to be there is
  supported by the Sixth Amendment’s
  requirement of a public trial.
§ Most courts allow cameras in the
  courtroom…for television coverage.

                                          67

				
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