Bell Ringer Instructions • Each day you will have vocabulary words to copy when the bell rings to start class. • Copy each word onto a list in your notebook. These should be on loose-leaf paper. • LISTEN to the definitions of the words as I go over them in class each day. • There will be a QUIZ on the words at the end of each list—Every 25 words • You will turn in your Bell Ringer words on the QUIZ day for a grade. Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 1-1 • Accelerant--A substance, chemical, or compound that speeds the combustion process • Accessory--One who assists in a subordinate capacity in the commission of an offense; one who aids and assists • Accomplice--A partner in a given crime; one who knowingly and voluntarily assists another in the commission of an unlawful act • Accountability--The state of being culpable, answerable, liable, or responsible Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 1-2 • Acquittal--A setting free, absolving, release, or discharge of a defendant from a formal accusation • Admissibility of evidence--The ruling by the trial judge as to whether evidence is admissible at trial • Admission--A voluntary acknowledgment made by a suspect to the existence of a fact or facts at issue in an investigation. • Affidavit--A written statement of facts voluntarily made under oath. Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 1-3 • Age of accountability--The minimal age at which one is legally considered to have the mental capacity to be held accountable for his or her actions or inactions in a criminal context • Age of consent--The minimal age at which a female may legally consent to sexual intercourse without placing her sexual partner in criminal jeopardy for charges of statutory rape or some like offense. • Aiding and abetting--The affirmative assistance of facilitation in the commission of a crime through various forms of encouragement or support Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 1-4 • Alibi--An excuse or explanation that the accused was elsewhere or otherwise could not have committed the alleged offense • Altercation--A heated dispute, often ending in an assault or a battery • Annulment--Invalidation or cancellation of something; the make void or abrogate • Appeal--A review of the decision by a lower court by a higher court Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 1-5 • Appellant--The person who initiates and carries forward an appeal from a lower court to a higher court • Apprehension--The physical seizure, taking, or arresting of a person for violation of a law • Arbitrator--A neutral person chosen to settle disputes, outside of the formal justice system • Arrest--The deprivation of one’s liberty through legal authority, usually for the purpose of formally charging him or her with a crime Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 1-6 • Arson--The intentional and malicious burning or explosion of another’s building, vehicle, or property or the burning or explosion of one’s own for the purpose of insurance fraud • Assault--A willful and lawful attempt to deliver a battery or a gesture that places another in the position to reasonably expect to receive a battery • Attorney-Client Privilege--A client’s privilege to disallow disclosure of any confidential communications between himself/herself and the attorney of record Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 1-7 • Authenticating witness--One who testifies that a written document is what it purports and that it was generated by the party to whom it is attributed • Automated Fingerprint Identification System--a relatively recent computer-based fingerprint recording and classification technology • Autopsy--The physical examination and surgical dissection of a body in order to determine the cause of death Quiz Tomorrow! Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 2-1 • Bail--The surety or sureties, deposited with the court, procuring the release of a person under pretrial custody, for the purpose of ensuring the defendant’s appearance at trial • Bailiff--An officer of the court responsible for the custody of prisoners while in court, the security of the court, as well as the protection of its personnel, property, and processes • Battery--The unlawful use of force upon another, that which follows an assault Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 2-2 • Bench Trial--A trial before a judge without a jury; a trial where a jury waiver has been granted • Benzidine Test--A preliminary chemical field test used on stains to detect the presence of blood • Best-evidence rule--This rule requires the original or “best evidence” to be produced in court. • Beyond a reasonable doubt--That level of proof required for a conviction for the violation of a criminal statute Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 2-3 • Bias--The influence, prejudice, inclination, or predisposition of opinion that does not leave the mind open to fully and fairly consider all facts in a legal controversy • Bill of Indictment--A legal document of accusation, often drafted by a prosecutor charging an individual with the commission of a crime (usually a felony). • Bill of Rights--The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution • Blackmail--Extorted payment made to prevent the disclosure of information that could bring about public disgrace Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 2-4 • Bond--An obligation imposed by money or other assets, which is deposited with the clerk of the court by the defendant, to secure temporary release from custody • Booking--The administrative processing of an arrested person • Bounty--An award or premium offered and authorized by the government for the carrying out of a particular act • Bribe--Anything offered with the intention of inducing another to do something illegal, morally, or ethically wrong Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words 2-5 • Brief--A written document prepared by an attorney representing a condensed statement of a larger document of facts and circumstances • Burden of proof--The legal duty or responsibility to affirmatively establish a fact at issue • Burglary--The unlawful entry of the dwelling of a place of another with the intent of committing a crime • Cadaver--A dead human body Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 2-6 • Caliber--The size of a firearm projectile, bullet, or shell casing according to its diameter • Capacity--A legal qualification, ability, competency, or disability • Capital offense--Any offense punishable by death Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 2-7 • Career criminal--A person with a history of criminal arrests and convictions for various offenses • Cease-and-desist order--A formal order issued by a court forbidding a person, persons, organization, or business to continue a specific act, actions, or course of conduct. • Chain of command--An organizational hierarchy through which information and orders flow QUIZ TOMORROW! Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 3-1 • Chain of custody--A formal accounting for the security of evidence to be used by the prosecution at trial to ensure the integrity of the evidence • Change of venue--The movement of a case from one judicial venue to another, often granted when one of the parties to the case demonstrates that an impartial trial cannot be had in the original district • Character evidence--Evidence concerning one’s reputation or moral standing in the community. Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 3-2 • Charge--An allegation of a criminal act or acts against an individual, appearing in a formal complaint in misdemeanor cases or information or an indictment in a felony case. • Child abuse--Acts or omissions endangering a child’s physical or emotional well-being. • Child molester--One, often a pedophile, who in some capacity knowingly assaults a child sexually. • Child neglect--The willing failure to adequately provide a minor child with the basic necessities of life, including but not limited to nutrition, clothing, housing, education, and adult supervision. Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 3-3 • Chronic offender--One who continues to violate the law long-term. • Circumstantial evidence--Evidence, often testimonial, establishing facts from which a jury may make inferences regarding other facts at hand. • Citation--A written order executed by a police agency to appear before a judge at a specified date and time Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 3-4 • Citizen’s arrest--A warrantless arrest executed by a private citizen for a violation of a serious breach of peace. • Civil commitment--A civil detention or confinement of individuals who are disordered, alcoholically or chemically dependent, or insane. • Civil death--The act of losing certain privileges such as the right to vote, litigate, hold public office, because of a felony conviction Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 3-5 • Civil disobedience--A method of drawing attention to perceived injustice, condition, or law by purposely breaking another law. • Civil law--That body of law dealing exclusively with private wrongs between individuals • Civil liberties--Those liberties enumerated in the first ten amendments of the US Constitution that expressively states what the government can and cannot do to its people Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 3-6 • Civil rights--Those privileges to which a citizen may lawfully request affirmative governmental assistance, such as the right to vote. • Clemency--A form of final nonjudicial relief for alleged crimes, generally issued by a governor of a state • Coercion--Any compulsion or constraint, whether physical, psychological, direct or indirect, that compels one to act against their will Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 3-7 • Competency--Those factors that make a witness legally qualified or disqualified to give testimony or evidence to be admitted or excluded from trial • Complaint--A formal written accusation, made under oath and providing facts required to support a criminal charge • Condemn--To pass judgment or pronounce guilty Bell Ringer Vocabulary List 3-8 • Confession--A statement that is usually recorded in some fashion, being composed of a number of admissions concerning the commission of a crime or crimes • Confiscation--The authorized seizure of property without compensation • Conflict of interest--A condition arising from decisions and actions by officials when they have a vested interest in the outcome of a controversy and cannot act in a neutral capacity QUIZ TOMORROW! Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 4-1 • Constitutional right--A right or a protection granted to the citizens of a commonwealth in the law of the sovereign • Continuance--The postponement of a court proceeding for cause • Contraband--Any property, material, object, or substance that is unlawful to possess, transport, or manufacture • Convict--To find one guilty of a criminal offense Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 4-2 • Conviction--The affirmative determination or judgment of a court arising from a jury verdict or the decision of a judge at a bench trial • Copycat Syndrome--The committing of an act, often criminal, in imitation of what others have recently done • Coroner--An elected county-level criminal justice official charged with the duty of determining the cause of death where suspicious circumstances are present Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words list 4-3 • Correctional institution--A facility dedicated to administering the sanctions pronounced by the criminal courts following guilty verdicts • Counselor--A licensed member of the legal profession who renders legal advice on issues of the law • Count--A synonym for “charge” in criminal proceedings • Court order--Any command or directive issued under the authority of a judicial officer Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 4-4 • Crime--Any act that a reasonable person would or should have known intuitively was a wrong • Criminal contempt--The willful vilification of the court in the presence of the court • Criminal intent--An element inherent in all crimes that must be proven in order to achieve a criminal conviction • Criminalist--A forensic scientist who is employed by a crime laboratory Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 4-5 • Cross-examination--The reexamination of a witness by a party other than the original examiner • Cruel and unusual punishment--Punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution • Curfew--A law, rule, or regulation establishing a time at which all persons of a specified age or class must be out of public places • Custody--The legal detention of a person or thing Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 4-6 • Deadly weapon--Any weapon, instrument, tool, object, material, or substance used in a manner intended to cause death or great bodily harm to another • Death penalty--The imposition or sanction of death upon a criminal conviction for a small band of criminal offenses that meet special circumstances • Decedent--The deceased or a dead person Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 4-7 • Defendant--One who is civilly sued or is criminally accused • Defense--The defendant and his or her attorney collectively • Delinquent--A juvenile offender QUIZ TOMORROW! Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 5-1 • Demeanor--Conduct or outwardly observable behavior • Deportation--The banishment of a person to another nation state, often accompanied by confiscation of properties and the withdrawal of civil rights and liberties • Detain--To restrain, delay, or keep in custody • Detention--A noninvasive technical arrest where the decision to charge has not formally been made Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 5-2 • Direct evidence--Evidence proving the existence of facts at issue deriving from the testimony of a first-hand witness • Direct examination--The first examination of a witness by the party who summoned him or her • Discretion--A legally recognized prerogative granted to public functionaries to make their own judgments and to act in an official capacity in situations that are ambiguous Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 5-3 • Disorderly conduct--Any act against public morals, peace, and safety • DNA fingerprinting--A metaphor for the unique identification rendered through biological processes, where comparisons are made upon a probability estimate • Docket--The formal register in which the proceedings of the significant acts done in a court of justice are recorded Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 5-4 • Doe, John--A fictitious name given to a party in a legal action where his or her name is unknown or where he or she wishes to remain anonymous • Domain--The sovereign authority of a state, allowing for public control, usage, or ownership of private property • Domestic violence--An assault or battery upon a member of the household including a spouse, parent, child or other blood-related family member, or others living in the house Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 5-5 • Double jeopardy--A prohibition found in common-law and the Fifth Amendment against a second prosecution for the same offense • Due process clause--Found in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments—individuals are guaranteed fundamental fairness in legal proceedings and the right to prevent government interference • Duress--The unlawful influence inducing one to commit an act or crime otherwise not contemplated by the actor Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 5-6 • Embezzlement--The unlawful appropriation and or conversion of money or other assets places in one’s care to his or her gain • Eminent domain--A legal document granting the state the right to seize private property for public interests with adequate compensation to the owner • Entrapment--The act of the government inducing one to violate a criminal statute for the express purpose of arresting him or her Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 5-7 • Evidence--Something presented at trial with probative value, providing information to the court regarding matters in controversy, including documents, objects, substances, and testimony • Examination--An investigation, search, or interrogation of a subject • Exclusionary rule--A court-generated rule holding that evidence obtained in violation of the U.S. Constitution becomes tainted and thus, is inadmissible at trial Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 5-8 • Execution--The lawful putting to death of a person thus sentenced • Executive order--Any order or regulation issued by the president or administrative agency of government by the president’s authority to interpret or carry out a law • Exemplar--A form on nontestimonial evidence taken from or produced by the defendants QUIZ TOMORROW! Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 6-1 • Exhibit--Any physical object offered in evidence at a trial • Exhumation--The digging up of a corpse • Exonerate--To free one from the verdict of guilt • Extortion--the exacting of something of value from another through threats, violence, or the law Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 6-2 • Extradition--The process of formally surrendering a person wanted on criminal charges by one nation to another • Eyewitness--One offering direct testimony concerning something that he or she has observed first-hand. • Felony--A crime of greater gravity than a misdemeanor • Finding--A decision on a question of fact by a jury, court, or other tribunal Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 6-3 • Fine--A sanction imposed by the court on a convicted person, stipulating a specific sum of money to be paid to the court • Flight--The act of knowingly and voluntarily escaping or fleeing from justice • Forgery--The unlawful act of imitating or counterfeiting documents or personal signatures for the purpose of deception with the intent to knowingly injure or defraud another • Fraud--The knowing and unlawful deception of another with the intent to cause him or her to unwillingly surrender property, rights, or money Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 6-4 • Fugitive--One who knowingly and intentionally flees from justice • Gag order--An order issued by the court to attorneys and witnesses that prevents them from discussing a trial with the media in attempt to assure the defendant a fair trial • Grandfather clause--A policy exempting those already vested under a preexisting rule to continue to do what a new rule disallows Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 6-5 • Grand jury--A group of citizens judicially impaneled for the purpose of determining whether there is sufficient cause to bind a criminal defendant over for trial • Grievance--A formal complaint filed by the proper union representative with an organization regarding an issue covered under a collective bargaining agreement • Hate crimes--Acts of violence or intimidation intended to victimize, terrorize, or frighten unpopular groups or individuals as a result of the ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 6-6 • Hearing --A proceeding, generally before a trial, where facts, evidence, witnesses and arguments are reviewed or heard by a judge without a jury • Hearsay--Out-of-court statements offered with the intent of proving the truth of a matter • Hijacking--Taking control of any vehicle and/or the driver and passengers through the use of force or intimidation Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 6-7 • Hit and run--The unlawful flight by the operator of a motor vehicle from the scene of an accident resulting in death, injury, or damage to the property of another • Homicide--The killing of a human being by another • Hostage--One confined or offered as a pledge for the attainment of specified agreements or conditions • House arrest--The monitored restriction of a subject to his or her residence before a hearing QUIZ TOMORROW! Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 7-1 • Hung jury--A jury that is so irreconcilably divided as to be unable to come to a decision • Immunity--Exemption, release, or freedom from legal obligations, duties, and requirements • Impoundment--The confiscation or seizure by police or law enforcement authorities of evidence or materials used in the commission of a crime • Inadmissibility--The inability to gain admittance into evidence for trial, under recognized rules or evidence and procedure Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 7-2 • Inalienable rights--Those rights that are not capable of surrender or transfer without the express consent of the person in possession of such rights • Incapacitation--The lack of legal, physical, moral, or mental capacity • Incarceration--An imprisonment or confinement in a penal, correctional, or custodial facility • Incendiary--A type of device used to set a fire Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 7-3 • Incriminate--To blame, accuse, or suggest culpability in crime • Indictment--A formal written accusation presented to the court by a grand jury, charging one or more persons with the violation of a statute after examination of facts • Informant--One who provides information and is used as a source • Injunction--A judicial order directed to a person, requiring that a person do or refrain from doing a particular act or thing Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 7-4 • Insanity--A term indicating the necessary degree of mental illness or capacity to negate one’s legal culpability, responsibility, or capacity • Intelligence--The acquisition of information relative to crime • Intent--The state of mind behind a criminal act • Internal Affairs Division (IAD)--A unit within a police agency charged with investigating police wrongdoing Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 7-5 • Interrogation--A forceful questioning or examination of a suspect in a criminal investigation • Intrinsic evidence--The evidence garnered from a document needing no explanation • Involuntary manslaughter--An unlawful homicide committed unintentionally • Jeopardy--Exposure danger in legal process, criminal conviction and punishment • Judgment--A judicial or other legal decision, decree, order, sanction, or sentence Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 7-6 • Jurisdiction--The authority and power to apply specific types of law and the geographic area in which the legal authority and power is applicable • Jury--A group of citizens, selected according to law and sworn to hear evidence in a legal trial and to render a decision based upon that evidence Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 7-7 • Justification--A term used to demonstrate sufficient reason why a defendant acted in the way he or she did in the cause for which he or she is to answer before the court • Juvenile--A person under a statutorily specified age who is potentially under the jurisdiction of a specialized court QUIZ TOMORROW! Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 8-1 • Kidnapping--The unlawful, intentional, and felonious taking of a human being by force against his or her will • Larceny--A general term for various forms of theft, defined as the unlawful and intentional taking of another’s property, without his or her consent and with the intent to permanently deprive • Latent fingerprint--One present yet not visible to the naked eye Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 8-2 • Lay witness--A non-expert who must testify to facts based on this or her ability to observe or recall • Legal aid--A generic phrase used for a nationwide system providing legal services to those who cannot afford to hire private legal counsel • Lineup--A police investigative technique wherein a suspect is placed in a line with others known not to have been involved in the crime Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 8-3 • Litigation--A suit or judicial controversy • Mandate--A command, order, or directive issued buy a court demanding that the proper officer enforce a judgment, sentence, or decree. • Mandatory sentence--A statutory provision requiring that a specified penalty be imposed for specific offenses upon conviction • Manslaughter--The unlawful killing of another without malice Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 8-4 • Material witness--A witness whose testimony is so important to either the prosecution or defense that he or she may be required to post a bond to ensure appearance in court • Medical examiner--A licensed physician, usually a pathologist, holding an appointed position at the county level, who performs autopsies on the bodies of persons that meet violent or unexplained deaths Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 8-5 • Mistrial--A trial terminated prior to its finish as a result of a lack of jurisdiction, improper drawing of jurors, or some other fundamental shortcoming • Modus operandi--A term that describes the habits, patterns, or operating methods of criminals • Morgue--A facility where dead bodies of unknown persons are held for identification purposes and eventual disposal Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 8-6 • Motive--The causative factor or combination of factors moving the will and inducing the action • Murder--The unlawful and intentional killing of a human being • Negligence--Conduct falling short of what would be expected of a prudent, reasonable person under similar circumstances • Objection--A formal opposition, made in court and noted in the official record, to a statement or evidence presented Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 8-7 • Offender--A term for one implicated in a criminal act • Ordinance--A public law or statute • Organized crime--An illegal pattern of activity conducted by a consortium of people and/or organizations, acting in concert, to carry out fraud, theft, extortion, or intimidation Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 8-8 • Overrule--To supersede or to nullify • Pardon--A remission of criminal acts • Parole--The discretionary and conditional release from prison, under the authority of a supervising board QUIZ TOMORROW! Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 9-1 • Pathology--The science dealing with the causes, development, and effects of diseases or death • Perjury--The intentional false statement made by one under oath • Petition--A formal written document delivered to the court, requesting judicial action in some matter • Plaintiff--One who brings an action Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 9-2 • Plea--The answer of a defendant to a formal charge in open court • Plea bargaining--The process of negotiation between the state and the defendant • Polygraph--An electro-mechanical instrument that measures and records numerous involuntary physiological responses to acts of deception • Postmortem--After death Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 9-3 • Possession--The custody, detention, control, or occupancy of anything that is the subject of property • Posthumous--Something occurring, arising, granted, or continuing after death • Precedent--A decision by an appellant court serving as the ruling authority on an issue in question • Profiler--One who develops an idea of an unknown suspect Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 9-4 • Probable cause--The reasonable grounds to support a belief in a reasonable person of average intelligence that the accused is responsible for a crime in question • Probation--The conditional release of one convicted of a crime into the community during a period of supervision under an officer of the law • Prosecution--The party who initiates and carries out a criminal or civil proceeding against a defendant Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 9-5 • Protective custody--Custody provided for the purpose of ensuring the safety of a person • Public defender--A licensed attorney employed by a governmental entity, or one appointed by the court, to defend indigent defendants in criminal matters • Racial profiling--The selective enforcement of the criminal law by police and law enforcement officers, based on a profile regarding a specific criminal activity, heavily based upon racial or ethnic characteristics Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 9-6 • Ransom--The money, consideration, or demand paid for the return of a kidnapped person • Rape--Sexual intercourse with another without lawful consent • Rebuttal--A refutation of something asserted • Recant--To withdraw prior testimony formally and publicly Bell Ringer Vocabulary Words List 9-7 • Relevance--The state or quality of being pertinent to the issue at hand • Remand--To return by court order for review or further consideration • Retribution--Punishment for wrongs committed QUIZ TOMORROW!