Courts: A Text/Reader / Edition 1

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Just published and already adopted at Penn State, Wright State University, and Western Michigan University!

Courts: A Text/Reader provides the best of both worlds- authored text sections with carefully selected accompanying readings that illustrate the questions and controversies legal scholars and court researchers are investigating in the 21st century. The articles, from leading journals in criminology and criminal justice, reflect both classic studies of the criminal court system and state-of-the-art research, and often have a policy perspective that makes them more applied, less theoretical, and more interesting to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Key Features

  • Begins with an introductory chapter that presents a succinct overview of the U.S. criminal court system and its processes, and briefly describes the organization and content of the book
  • Features “How to Read a Research Article”-a perfect introduction to understanding how real-world research is organized and delivered in the journal literature-which precedes and is tied to the first reading in the book
  • Includes a "mini-chapter” for each section, with figures and tables that present basic concepts and provide a background for the readings that follow
  • Introduces students to cutting-edge research and classic studies of the criminal court system by leading scholars in the field in carefully selected, edited research articles
  • Provides key terms, Web resources, and thought-provoking discussion questions for each section, along with questions for each reading to help students develop their critical thinking skills

Accompanied by High-Quality Ancillaries!

  • Instructor Resources on CDinclude a test bank, Power Point slides for each section, classroom activities, and more. To request a copy, qualified adopters should contact SAGE Customer Care at 800-818-SAGE (7243) from 6am – 5pm, PT.
  • A Student study site at provides additional articles, self-study quizzes, e-flashcards, and more.

Intended Audience
This unique Text/Reader is primarily intended for undergraduate and graduate courses on the criminal court system and/or judicial processes.

To learn more about author Cassia Spohn, please click here.

Interested in a text/ reader for another criminology or criminal justice here? Explore other titles in the series.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412940641
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 10/20/2008
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 752
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Craig Hemmens holds a J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law and a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University. He is Department Head and Professor in the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice at Missouri State University. In addition to being the series editor for SAGE’s Text/Reader series in Criminology/Criminal Justice, Professor Hemmens has published several books, including Law, Justice and Society (Oxford University Press, ©2009), Legal Guide for Police (Anderson, ©2011) and an Introduction to Criminal Evidence (Oxford University Press, ©2009). He has been nominated for several teaching awards, and is currently serving as the first Vice President of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Cassia Spohn received her Ph D in political science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1978. Prior to joining the faculty at Arizona State University, she was the Kayser Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where she served as Director of Graduate Studies for 12 years and as Department Chair for one year. Dr. Spohn is the author of How Do Judges Decide? Second Edition (SAGE, ©2009), and co-author of Criminal Courts (SAGE, ©2010). She also is co-author of two books: The Color of Justice: Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America (Cengage, ©2007) and Rape Law Reform: A Grassroots Movement and Its Impact (Springer, ©1992). She has published more than 75 articles on topics such as the effects of race/ethnicity and gender on sentencing decisions, sentencing of drug offenders, prosecutors' charging decisions in sexual assault cases, and the deterrent effect of imprisonment. She is currently working on a project investigating case attrition and case clearances in sexual assaults reported to the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Preface Acknowledgments Introduction: Courts and Case Processing Why Study Courts?
The Structure and Jurisdiction of U.S. Courts Courtroom Actors Court Process Decision Making Overview of the Book, Key Terms, Discussion Questions, Web Resources SECTION ONE: OVERVIEW OF COURTS Introduction Conflict: The Wellspring of the Modern Court How Courts Make Law The Role of the Courts in Criminal Justice Striking a Difficult Balance The Juvenile Court Summary: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Courts Key Terms, Discussion Questions, Web Resources How to Read a Research Article Readings The Process Is the Punishment: Handling Cases in a Lower Criminal Court, by Malcolm M. Feeley The Honest Politician's Guide to Juvenile Justice in the Twenty-First Century, by Barry C. Feld The Rehnquist Court and Criminal Justice: An Empirical Assessment, by Christopher E. Smith SECTION TWO: PROSECUTORS AND DEFENSE ATTORNEYS Introduction The Adversarial System Prosecutors Defense Attorneys Summary: Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys Key Terms, Discussion Questions, Web Resources Readings Prosecutorial Justifications for Sexual Assault Case Rejection: Guarding the "Gateway to Justice," by Cassia Spohn et al.
Modeling Prosecutors' Charging Decisions in Domestic Violence Cases, by John L. Worrall et al.
Prosecutorial Discretion in Seeking Death: An Analysis of Racial Disparity in the Pretrial Stages of Case Processing in a Midwestern County, by Jon Sorensen and Donald H. Wallace The Criminal Defense Lawyer: Zealous Advocate, Double Agent, or Beleaguered Dealer? by Rodney J. Uphoff Indigent Defenders Get the Job Done And Done Well, by Roger A. Hanson and Brian J. Ostrom Negotiating a Plea: Bargaining With the Devil, by Seymour Wishman SECTION THREE: JUDGES AND JURORS Introduction Judges and Jurors: Fact Finding and Applying the Law Judges Jurors and Jury Decision Making Summary: Judges and Jurors in the Courtroom Key Terms, Discussion Questions, Web Resources Readings Women and Men Policymakers: Does the Judge's Gender Affect the Sentencing of Criminal Defendants? by Darrel Steffensmeier and Chris Hebert Judges and the Politics of Death: Deciding Between the Bill of Rights and the Next Election in Capital Cases, by Stephen B. Bright and Patrick J. Keenan Juror Decision Making in Hate Crime Cases, by Phyllis B. Gerstenfeld Gazing Into the Crystal Ball: Can Jurors Accurately Predict Dangerousness in Capital Cases? by James W. Marquart et al.
Racially Based Jury Nullification: Black Power in the Criminal Justice System, by Paul Butler SECTION FOUR: PLEA BARGAINING AND TRIAL DYNAMICS Introduction The Court Process Plea Bargaining The Courtroom Workgroup: Cooperation Rather Than Conflict Media Influence in Criminal Trials Summary: Pleas and Trials Key Terms, Discussion Questions, Web Resources Readings Prosecutorial Discretion and Plea Bargaining in the United States, France, Germany, and Italy: A Comparative Perspective, by Yue Ma The Impact of Arizona's Mandatory Drug Treatment Law on Prosecutorial Plea Bargaining in Drug Cases, by Vincent J. Webb and Nancy Rodriguez It's Not the Old Ball Game: Three Strikes and the Courtroom Workgroup, by John C. Harris and Paul Jesilow Juvenile Justice Reform and the Courtroom Workgroup: Issues of Perception and Workload, by Erika Gebo et al.
The Entertainment Value of a Trial: How Media Access to the Courtroom Is Changing the American Judicial Process, by Jeffrey S. Johnson SECTION FIVE: SENTENCING Introduction The Goals of Sentencing The Judge's Options at Sentencing How Do Judges Decide?
Summary: Sentencing-An Inexact Science Key Terms, Discussion Questions, Web Resources Readings The Brothel Boy, by Norval Morris Is Preferential Treatment of Female Offenders a Thing of the Past? A Multisite Study of Gender, Race, and Imprisonment by Cassia Spohn and Dawn Beichner The Interactive Effects of Victim Race and Gender on Death Sentence Disparity Findings, by Marian R. Williams and Jefferson E. Holcomb The Juvenile Penalty: A Comparison of Juvenile and Young Adult Sentencing Outcomes in Criminal Court, by Megan C. Kurlychek and Brian D. Johnson SECTION SIX: SPECIALIZED COURTS AND OTHER TRENDS IN ADJUDICATION Introduction Trendy Courts?
The Specialized Court Movement Restorative Justice Key Terms, Discussion Questions, Web Resources Summary: Specialized Courts Readings The Baltimore City Drug Treatment Court: One-Year Results From a Randomized Study, by Denise C. Gottfredson and M. Lyn Exum Combating Domestic Violence: Findings From an Evaluation of a Local Domestic Violence Court, by Angela R. Gover et al.
A Therapeutic Jurisprudence Approach to the Trial Process in Domestic Violence Felony Trials, by Carolyn Copps Hartley Teen Court Referral, Sentencing, and Subsequent Recidivism: Two Proportional Hazards Models and a Little Speculation, by Andrew Rasmussen SECTION SEVEN: BEYOND CONVICTION AND SENTENCING Introduction What Happens Next?
Underlying Concepts Appeals Habeas Corpus Considering Clemency Summary Key Terms, Discussion Questions, Web Resources Readings Appellate Court Supervisions in the Federal Judiciary: A Hierarchical Perspective, by Susan B. Haire et al.
Measuring the Preferences of State Supreme Court Judges, by Paul Brace et al.
The Federal Habeas Corpus Process: Unraveling the Issues, by Robert D. Pursley Who Has the Body? The Paths to Habeas Corpus Reform, by Cary Federman Identity, Strategy, and Feminist Politics: Clemency for Battered Women Who Kill, by Patricia Gagné
Glossary References Index About the Authors

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