Constitutional Law and Criminal Justice

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When evidence is excluded or a case is dismissed or overturned, it is puzzling that the redress of constitutional rights violations is spoken of so derisively. As a check on improper police and governmental behavior, the constitution is one of our strongest allies against corruption and malfeasance. Yet comprehension of this often vague document and the cases which seek to interpret it is frequently difficult. Written in a simple, straightforward manner, Constitutional Law and Criminal Justice examines the U.S. Constitution and its implication for criminal justice system policies and practices, clarifying principles in a concise yet comprehensive format. The book is carefully crafted to provide students with an easy-to-read explanation of the relationship between the two.

Plain Language Explanations of Constitutional Rights

Following an overview of the Bill of Rights, the book examines the components of the judiciary before focusing on due process; the first, fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth amendments; and the exclusionary rule. Additional chapters address civil liability and the criminal justice professional as well as the impact of terrorism on the right of habeas corpus.

Using review questions and relevant cases in each chapter to illustrate legal applications, this volume illuminates the concepts in plain language, eliminates unnecessary legal jargon, and clarifies the nuances in the law, making complicated concepts approachable by those without advanced legal training.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
… an important contribution to its field as it covers many of the essential topics that are critical to an academic study of constitutional law. The text is well-organized and is easy to read, an important characteristic for assimilation of material that is often quite difficult to digest.
— Michael A. Cretacci, State University of New York at Buffalo, in the Journal of Criminal Justice Research, vol. 1, no. 1.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781420086102
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/18/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 0.61 (w) x 0.92 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

In 2009, a research study conducted by a group of professors from Sam Houston State University determined that Cliff Roberson was the leading criminal justice author in the United States based upon on his publications and their relevance to the profession.
—Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol.6, issue 1, 2009

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the U.S. Constitution


Original Constitution

Bill of Rights

Supreme Law of the Land

Overview of the Judiciary

Supreme Court Justices (2008–2009 Term)

Capstone Case: United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995)

Questions in Review

The Concept of Due Process


States and the Fourteenth Amendment

Police Power


Equal Protection of the Law

Capstone Case: Medina v. California, 505 U.S. 437 (1992)

Questions in Review

Fourth Amendment


Overview of the Amendment

What Constitutes a Search?

Probable Cause



Capstone Case: Atwater v. City of Lago Vista, 149 L. Ed. 2d 549 (2001)

Questions in Review

Fourth Amendment Issues


Searches without Warrants

No Reasonable Expection of Privacy Situations

Arrests without Warrants

Terry Stops

Traffic Stops

Scope of the Search


Capstone Case: Virginia v. Moore, 128 S. Ct. 1598 (2008)

Questions in Review

Exclusionary Rule


Exceptions to the Rule

Noncriminal Trial Proceedings

Situations Where the Rule Has Not Been Applied

Exclusionary Rule and the Fifth Amendment

Exclusionary Rule and the Sixth Amendment

Capstone Case: Groh v. Ramirez, 540 U.S. 551 (2004)

Questions in Review

Fifth Amendment Issues


Grand Jury

Double Jeopardy


Miranda Warning

Involuntary Confessions

Commenting on Defendant’s Silence

Capstone Case: Missouri v. Seibert, 542 U.S. 600 (2004)

Questions in Review

Sixth Amendment Issues


Speedy Trial

Public Trial

Impartial Jury

Trial in the Judicial District in Which the Crime Was Committed

To Be Informed of the Nature and Cause of the Accusation

Right to Confront the Witnesses

To Have a Compulsory Process for Obtaining Witnesses in His Favor

To Have Assistance of Counsel for His Defense

Guilty Pleas

Capstone Case: United States v. Gonzalez-Lopez, 548 U.S. 140 (2006)

Questions in Review

The Eighth Amendment


Death Penalty as Cruel and Unusual

Noncapital Punishments

Jail and Prison Conditions as Cruel and Unusual

Court Sentences as Cruel and Unusual


Capstone Case: Overton v. Bazzetta, 539 U.S. 126 (2003)

Questions in Review


The First Amendment


Religious Issues

Freedom of the Press

Right to Assemble and Free Speech

Petitions to the Government

Right of Privacy


Students and the First Amendment

Prisoners and the First Amendment

Capstone Case: Morse v. Frederick, 127 S. Ct. 2618 (2007)

Questions in Review

Civil Liability and the Criminal Justice Professional


Federal Civil Rights

Under Color of Law

Liability of Federal Agents under 42 USCS § 1983

Officer’s Duty to Arrest

Liability of a Public Agency for Failure to Train Its Police Officers

Immunity from Liability

Capstone Case: Wilson v. Layne, 526 U.S. 603, 628 (1999)

Questions in Review

Terrorism and the Writ of Habeas Corpus


Boumediene v. Bush Case

Subsequent Proceedings

Questions in Review



Appendix A: U.S. Constitution

Appendix B: Search Warrants

Appendix C: Grand Jury Indictment, August 2005—at Alexandria, Virginia


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