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Chapter 30.4 texas judical


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  • 1. Section 4 – Texas Judiciary
  • 2.
    • Civil law- law relating to private rights or obligations.
    • Criminal law – law determining what actions are illegal within a society
    • Misdemeanors – minor crimes
    • Felonies – major crimes
    • Trial courts – courts that hear new cases and give a verdict, or ruling
  • 3.
    • Appellate courts – courts that review trials to determine if correct procedures were followed
    • Judicial review – courts’ power to determine if a law is constitutional.
    • Grand jury – jury that decides if a person accused of a felony should be indicted, or formally charged
    • Petit jury – jury that decides the verdict in a trial
  • 4.
    • State’s Court System
    • 2500 judges hear cases in some 3,000 Texas courts.
      • Most are elected serving either 4 or 6 year terms.
      • Must be a resident of the United States and Texas.
    • Can be removed if they break the law or cannot perform their duties.
      • Legislature can impeach a judge
      • Legislature can ask the governor to remove a judge
      • Texas Supreme Court can remove district judges
  • 5.
    • Civil Law
    • Criminal Law
    • Misdemeanors
    • Felonies
  • 6.
    • Heard in a trial court
      • Three level of trial courts –
        • Justice of the Peace/Municipal Courts – misdemeanor and civil cases between $200 and $5000
        • County Courts
        • District Courts – hear all civil cases involving sums greater than $5000, divorce cases, and some misdemeanor cases. Hear all felony cases – family, criminal and civil.
  • 7.
    • Appellate Courts review trials to determine whether the correct procedures were followed.
      • Can reorder a new trial or overturn a verdict
        • 1 st level has 14 courts
        • Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals are the state’s highest courts.
          • Mainly review criminal cases and ALL death penalty cases
  • 8.
    • Both high courts have the power to judge the constitutionality of a law – judicial review
    • Interpret the Texas Constitution
  • 9.
    • Two types of juries – grand and petit.
      • Grand decides whether a person is accused of a felony should be indicted (formal charge of a crime). Consists of 12 people (9 must vote in order to indict for a felony case to go to a trial).
      • Petit decides the verdict in a trial
    • All citizens must participate in the jury system
      • Must be qualified to vote
      • Read and write English
      • Cannot have been convicted of a theft or felony.
  • 10. Would you enjoy being a judge? why or why not?  Would you welcome the opportunity to serve as a juror? Explain why or why not.  Create a bumper sticker about the jury system's importance.