Note: The violent crimes included are rape, robbery,
aggravated and simple assault, and homicide.
manslaughter – accidental death due to
negligence (lazily careless)
aggravated assault – attempting to cause
serious bodily injury
malice - A desire or INTENT to harm others or to
see others suffer; extreme ill will or spite.
premeditation – planned ahead of time
jurisdiction – area in which a law enforcement
body has the authority to act
The national law enforcement agency in
the U.S. is the F.B.I. (Federal Bureau of
The F.B.I. publishes a list of its Ten Most
Pictures and descriptions of the Most Wanted
are posted in public buildings such as the
deadly force – police can use deadly force
only to protect themselves and others
booking – period when the suspect is
photographed and fingerprinted
arraignment – charges are read to the
suspect in court and the suspect must
enter a plea
Not guilty – suspect claims they did not commit
Guilty – suspect admits to the crimes charged,
usually for a lesser sentence
No contest – suspect does not admit any wrong
doing but accepts punishment in order to end
NOTE: In a verdict, not guilty does not
necessarily mean innocent. It simply means that
the prosecution did not prove guilt.
Entrapment – the defendant claims they
were induced or persuaded to commit a
crime by law enforcement
Duress – acting because of coercion or a
threat of immediate danger to life or
Insanity – people who have a mental
defect should not be convicted if they don’t
know right from wrong
“You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can and will be used
against you in a court of law. You have the
right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an
attorney, one will be provided for you at
interrogation time and at court.”
All suspects must be read these rights before
Right to Counsel
The sixth amendment guarantees
defendants the right to counsel (meaning
an attorney). If they cannot afford an
attorney, one is provided for them at no
cost because it is their right to have one
according to the U.S. Constitution.
Plea bargain – agreeing to plead guilty in
exchange for a lesser charge (or fewer charges)
or for a lighter sentence
burden of proof – the prosecution has the
burden of proof. They must show evidence that
the defendant is guilty. The defendant is
innocent until proven guilty.
reasonable doubt – the prosecution must prove
the defendant has committed the crimes beyond
a reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt is where
the jury believes that there is a good chance that
the defendant did not commit the crime.
The prosecution presents its case first.
The judge acts as a referee.
cross examination – After an attorney
questions a witness the opposing attorney
may ask questions in an effort to discredit
perjury – lying under oath
deliberation – when the jury privately discusses
and decides the case
sequester – when the jury is kept away from the
public for the duration of the trial
unanimous – all jurors are in agreement. A
unanimous verdict is required in a criminal trial
to find a defendant guilty.
appeal – to take a case to a higher court for a
rehearing. All convicted criminals have the right
to appeal their conviction.
restitution– the lawbreaker is ordered to
repay the victim for his or her loss or for
harm done to him or her. (Usually civil).
fine – a sum of money to be paid to the
government by a person convicted of an
offense. This may be in addition to or
instead of prison or jail time (in a criminal
Jail vs. Prison
jails– usually house people temporarily
before their trial or those convicted
criminals who have a short sentence.
prisons – house criminals who are
particularly violent and those who have
long prison terms.
Getting out of jail
probation – a type of sentence which
requires a person convicted of a crime to
follow certain rules or conditions, often
under the supervision of a probation
officer. Usually an alternative to prison.
parole – release of an offender from a
correctional institution before they
complete their sentence.
Getting out of jail - continued
house arrest – a person is sentenced to
wear a monitoring device and follow a set
of rules issued by the court.
work release – a person is sentenced to
jail but permitted to leave to go to their job.