Criminal Courts: A Contemporary Perspective

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Overview

Written by three leaders in the field, this comprehensive and accessible text for undergraduate courses explores all conventional topics (court structure, courtroom actors, and the trial and appeal process) as well as others seldom covered. The text first reviews the judicial function, the role and purpose of law, sources of law, the various types of law, and the American court system structure and operations, both state and federal. The participants in the system are discussed next, followed by the pretrial, trial, and posttrial processes. A wealth of pedagogical tools adds valuable related content, ranging from the points of view of court process participants to comparative information to hotly debated topics.

Key Features

  • Thorough coverage of topics typically omitted or treated briefly elsewhere, including judicial decision making, specialized courts, and comparative court systems
  • “View From the Field” features topics from the perspective of a participant in the process, from a criminal defense attorney to a U.S. District Court judge
  • “Controversial Issues” boxes provide balanced views of current issues, encouraging classroom discussion and sparking student interest
  • “Comparative Courts” inserts provide students with a glimpse of how courts around the world approach a topic discussed in the chapter
  • “Current Research” boxes present current social science research and show how research can help policymakers and those in the court system evaluate and implement processes and programs
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412979566
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 10/31/2009
  • Pages: 499
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Craig Hemmens is Department Chair and Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University. In addition to being the editor for the SAGE Text/Reader Series in Criminology/Criminal Justice, he has published several books, including Law, Justice and Society (Oxford University Press, ©2012), Legal Guide for Police (Anderson, ©2011) and An Introduction to Criminal Evidence (Oxford University Press, ©2009). He 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 served as the President of the Association of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) from 2012 to 2013.

David C. Brody is an associate professor and the Academic Director of the Criminal Justice Program at Washington State University. He received a JD from the University of Arizona College of Law and a Ph D in Criminal Justice from the State University of New York at Albany. He is the co-author of textbooks on criminal law and criminal procedure, and over twenty scholarly articles that have been published in such journals as the American Criminal Law Review, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, Hastings Women's Law Journal, Crime and Delinquency, and Judicature.

Cassia C. Spohn is a Foundation Professor and Director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University. She is the author or coauthor of six books, including Policing and Prosecuting Sexual Assault: Inside the Criminal Justice System, which was published in 2013. Her research interests include prosecutorial and judicial decision making, the intersections of race, ethnicity, crime and justice, and sexual assault case processing decisions. In 2013 she received ASU’s Award for Leading Edge Research in the Social Sciences and was selected as a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
SECTION I: THE PURPOSE AND STRUCTURE OF AMERICAN COURTS
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION: LAW AND THE JUDICIAL FUNCTION
Why Study Courts?
What is Law?
The Code of Hammurabi
Two Opposing Perspectives: Conflict and Consensus
What is the Relationship of Law to Justice?
The Rule of Law
Justice, the Law, and Packer’s Models of Criminal Justice
Judicial Functions
How Judges “Make Law”
Development of the Common-Law System
The Role of Courts in the Criminal Justice System
Summary
Discussion Questions
Key Terms
Internet Sites
Cases Cited
References/Future Reading
CHAPTER 2: SOURCES OF LAW
Introduction
Sources of Law
Sources of Individual Rights
Due Process and the 14th Amendment
Standard of Review
Incorporation of the Bill of Rights Into the 14th Amendment
Summary
Discussion Questions
Key Terms
Internet Sites
Cases Cited
References/Future Reading
CHAPTER 3: TYPES OF LAW
Introduction
Types of Law: Criminal and Civil
Summary
Discussion Questions
Key Terms
Internet Sites
Cases Cited
References/Future Reading
CHAPTER 4: COURT ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE
Introduction
Jurisdiction
The Structure and Jurisdiction of U.S. Courts
A Brief Historical Overview
Federal Courts
State Courts
Court Actors
Overview of the Criminal Process
Overview of Defendant’s Rights/Due Process
Summary
Discussion Questions
Key Terms
Internet Sites
Cases Cited
References/Future Reading
SECTION II: COURTROOM ACTORS AND THE COURTROOM WORKGROUP
CHAPTER 5: PROSECUTORS
Introduction
Historical Evolution of the American Prosecutor
The Federal Prosecutor
State Prosecutors
The Prosecutor’s Duties
Assistant Prosecutors At Work
The Expansion of the Prosecutor’s Discretionary Power
Prosecutorial Ethics And Misconduct
Community Prosecution
Summary
Discussion Questions
Key Terms
Internet Sites
Cases Cited
References/Future Reading
CHAPTER 6: DEFENSE ATTORNEYS
Introduction
Defense Attorney's Role in Criminal Justice System
Historical Development of the Right to Counsel
Indigent Defense Systems
Private Versus Appointed Counsel: Which is Better?
Effective Assistance of Counsel
Ethics and Lawyer-Client Relationships
Realities of Being a Defense Attorney
Summary
Discussion Questions
Key Terms
Internet Sites
Cases Cited
References/Future Reading
CHAPTER 7: JUDGES
Introduction
Roles And Duties Of Judges
Judicial Selection
Judicial Socialization and Development
Judicial Accountability and Judicial Independence
Summary
Discussion Questions
Key Terms
Internet Sites
Cases Cited
References/Future Reading
CHAPTER 8: THE JURY
Introduction
History of Jury Trials
The Role of the Jury
Limits On The Right To Trial By Jury
Jury Size And Unanimity Requirements
The Selection of Jurors
Reforms to the Jury System
Jury Nullification
Summary
Discussion Questions
Key Terms
Internet Sites
Cases Cited
References/Future Reading
SECTION III: COURT PROCESSES
CHAPTER 9: PRETRIAL PROCEDURES
Introduction
Arrest
The Charging Decision
Information
Indictment
Booking
Initial Appearance
Arraignment
Discovery
Pretrial Motions
Plea Bargaining
Jury Selection
Summary
Discussion Questions
Key Terms
Internet Sites
Cases Cited
References/Future Reading
CHAPTER 10: THE CRIMINAL TRIAL
Introduction
Opening Statements
The Presentation of Evidence
Calling Witnesses
Evidence and Rules of Evidence
Closing Arguments
Instructing the Jury
Jury Deliberations and Verdict
Summary
Discussion Questions
Key Terms
Internet Sites
Cases Cited
References/Future Reading
CHAPTER 11: SENTENCING
Introduction
The Goals of Sentencing
The Judge’s Options at Sentencing
How Do Judges Decide? Modeling the Sentencing Process
Summary
Discussion Questions
Key Terms
Internet Sites
Cases Cited
References/Future Reading
CHAPTER 12: THE APPELLATE PROCESS
Introduction
Appealing to a Higher Court
The Appellate Courts
The “Right” To Appeal
The Writ of Habeas Corpus
How Do Appellate Courts Decide?
Summary
Discussion Questions
Key Terms
Internet Sites
Cases Cited
References/Future Reading
CHAPTER 13: SPECIALIZED COURTS
Introduction
Problem-Solving Courts
Drug Treatment Courts
Domestic Violence Courts
Other Problem-Solving Courts
Juvenile Courts
Summary
Discussion Questions
Key Terms
Internet Sites
Cases Cited
References/Future Reading
Glossary
Case Index
General Index
About the Authors

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