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Goal 5 NC Competency Goal 5 The learner will explain how the political and legal systems provide a means to balance competing interests and resolve conflicts.
Objectives 5.01 Evaluate the role of debate, consensus, compromise, and negotiation in resolving conflicts. 5.02 Identify the jurisdiction of state and federal courts. 5.03 Describe the adversarial nature of the judicial process. 5.04 Evaluate the role of debate and compromise in the legislative process. 5.05 Explain how local government agencies balance interest and resolve conflicts. 5.06 Analyze roles of individual citizens, political parties, the media, and other interest groups in public policy decisions, dispute resolution, and government action.
Methods of Resolving Conflict Debate—a form of conflict resolution in which two parties take sides of an issue and argue using evidence in order to persuade their opponent(s). Consensus—this is when a general agreement is made by all parties after careful consideration of the opinions of all members of the group. Negotiation—form of conflict resolution in which one party may or may not use a third party to bargain for terms that benefit one or both parties. Compromise—form of conflict resolution where the two parties give up certain demands in order to accomplish a mutual goal.
What is the difference? Mediation—conflict resolution in which a third party (person) guides the arguing parties to a solution. Arbitration—conflict resolution in which a third party makes the decision for the arguing parties based on evidence given in a formal setting.
Conflict Resolution in Congress Debate: Members of the houses discuss and decide if a bill should be a law Compromise: Conference Committee: HoR and Senate meet to make the two versions of the bill into one version.
Local government and Zoning The purpose of a zoning code is to resolve conflicts between land uses by separating them… When might this be used?
Court Cases & Jurisdictions
Jurisdiction The authority to act, hear a case, investigate, or make an arrest DISCUSS: Where does Governor Easley have jurisdiction? Where does he NOT have jurisdiction?
Due Process Requires that both the ways in which government acts and the laws under which it acts must be fair. 5th Amendment – Federal Government can’t deprive any person of life liberty or property without due process 14th Amendment – the states cannot deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process
Original Jurisdiction The authority to be the first court to hear a case Courts with Jurisdiction Supreme Court- ex: cases between states District Courts- ex: state crimes
Appellate Jurisdiction The authority to hear a case on appeals Courts with Jurisdiction Appellate courts- hear cases from district level Supreme Court- hears cases from Appellate level
Exclusive Jurisdiction The authority of only federal courts to hear the case Courts with Jurisdiction Federal Courts -all levels
Concurrent Jurisdiction The authority of state and federal courts to hear the case Courts with Jurisdiction District, Appellate, & Supreme- all levels
Court Hierarchy Supreme- hears cases with Constitutional questions. Guilt is not decided and decision is final! Appellate- hears cases where legal errors were made in the original trial. District- usually first court to hear a case and decides guilt.
Miranda v. Arizona (1966) Amendment at Question 5th(self-incrimination), 6th (attorney) & 14th (equal protection) Story Arrested but never informed of his 5th and 6th Amend. Rights Impact All charged suspects must be informed of their rights
Mapp v. Ohio (1962) Amendment at Question 4th(illegal searches/seizures) & 14th (equal protection) Story Mapp is arrested for obscene materials while police searched for a fugitive Impact Warrants must be specific or evidence is not allowed in court
In Re Gault (1966) Amendment at Question 14th (equal protection) Story Gault, a minor, was arrested but not given a lawyer or allowed to question witnesses Impact Minors are guaranteed some the same “due process” rights as adults
Gregg v. Georgia (1976) Amendment at Question 8th(cruel & unusual punishment) Story Gregg sentenced to death but appealed on basis of 8th Amendment Impact Capital Punishment (Death Penalty) does not violate 8th Amendment, depending on case
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) Amendment at Question 6th(right to attorney) & 14th (equal protection) Story Gideon arrested, but denied an attorney even though he could not afford one Impact Attorney must be provided for all defendants in a felony trial
The Criminal Trial
Felony vs. Misdemeanor Felony- committing a major crime resulting in a harsh punishment (jail time) Misdemeanor- committing a minor crime resulting in a weaker punishment (fine or community service)
What is a Docket? A docket is the schedule of court cases. It is currently full and backed up.
Plea Bargain When the prosecution offers to reduce the sentence if the suspect pleads guilty and/or testifies against others. Plea bargains result in a smaller docket and help to reduce prison overcrowding.
DISCUSS: What do you think the term “adversarial” means? HINT: Who is your adversary?
Adversarial trial system opposing or attacks an opponent The truth is discovered by two sides competing against each other to prove their case to the jury (direct and cross examination)
Criminal Trial Description: When the prosecution attempts to prove the defendant guilty of breaking a law Opposing sides: Prosecution vs. Defense
The steps of a Criminal Trial Arrest Arraignment Preliminary hearing Indictment Trial Sentencing
Arrest Miranda Rights are read to suspect Booking (fingerprints & mug shot) DISCUSS: Which Court case gave us the line “you have the right to an attorney…”
Preliminary Hearing Check to make sure “due process” has been carried out. Make sure nothing unfair has happened so far.
Indictment(pronounced: in-dite-ment) Suspect brought before a grand jury Grand Jury decides if enough evidence exists for a trial to take place
Arraignment Judge informs suspect of the crime Suspect pleads guilty or not guilty Bail is set to ensure suspect returns to court DISCUSS: Which amendment protects us from excessive bails?
Trial Opening statements Direct & cross examination for Prosecution Direct & cross examination for Defense Petit jury (12 people) comes to a verdict (guilty or not guilty)
Sentencing(if guilty) Petit Jury decides punishment that matches the crime Judge can reduce the sentence if necessary
Civil Law Civil Law addresses conflicts between individuals that cannot be settled without legal assistance.
Methods of conflict resolution that have failed : Compromise: each side gives up something they want to reach an agreement. Negotiation: the act of reaching a compromise Mediation: a third party intervenes to help reach an agreement. Arbitration: a third party intervenes to issue a legally binding agreement.
In Civil Cases: There is NO CRIME involved! NO POLICE! NO JAIL!
Examples of Civil Cases Property disputes: Who does it belong to? Breach of contract: Did you do what you said you would do? Personal Injury: Did you hurt someone? Negligence: Were you careless and something bad happened to someone else? Family issues Divorce: Legally ending a marriage (Who gets what?). Adoption: Legally obtaining a child (Are you fit to be a parent?)
People Involved In Civil Cases Plaintiff: The person filing the lawsuit. Defendant: The person the plaintiff is in conflict with. Attorney: Each side may or may not hire one to help (6th amendment does NOT apply). Judge: Single person who rules on a case (bench trial) Jury: usually 12 people who must unanimously agree on a decision and decide the remedy.
Civil Trials 1st: a plaintiff brings a complaint (law suit) against the defendant Plaintiff vs. Defendant Tort: Civil wrong 2nd Defendant receives a summons of the complaint. 3rd: Plaintiff and Defendant try to settle the matter (most law suits end here!) 4th: Last Resort: Trial
Steps to a Civil Trial Trial & Decision: Each side presents an argument to the Judge/Jury May include witness statements, expert testimony, evidence. Decision is based on a “preponderance of evidence” (have you proven responsibility) Settlement: amount of money based by the defendant to the plaintiff to make the situation “right” Most civil cases are about $$$ Custody: ownership
In Review: Criminal Process
Criminal Law Involves the violation of statutes (laws passed by legislatures). Dual (TWO) Court System: Federal: addresses federal crimes EXAMPLES: Terrorism, Cyber crimes, Crimes against children, Hate crimes, Immigration, Organized crime, gun crimes, tax crimes, serial killers, or if it occurs in more than 1 state State: addresses state crimes EXAMPLES: murder, rape, robbery, vandalism, burglary, shoplifting
Types of Crimes Felonies: serious offenses Usually punished by lengthy incarceration. Ex. murder, kidnapping, arson, rape, robbery Misdemeanors: less serious offenses Usually punished by fines, community service, less than a year in jail. Ex. littering, shoplifting, jaywalking, vandalism
Steps in a Criminal Trial APIATS Arrest, Preliminary Hearing, Indictment, Arraignment, Trial, Sentencing
A: Arrest Step One: The Miranda rights are read to the suspect. Miranda v. Arizona Step Two: The suspect has their mug shot taken and they are fingerprinted.
P: Preliminary Hearing 1st The suspect appears before a judge to hear the official charges brought against them. (Writ of Habeas Corpus) 2ndBail (money to get out of jail) is set to ensure that the accused shows up to trial (8th amendment)
I: Indictment The suspect appears before a grand jury to hear evidence of the charges. They do not decide guilt or innocence!! The purpose of the grand jury is to determine whether or not there is enough evidence issue an indictment (formal charges).
A: Arraignment The accused appears before a judge and enters a plea (guilty or not guilty). If the accused enters a plea of guilty, it usually means that the accused has made a plea bargain(plead guilty to a lesser crime) with the prosecution. If the suspect pleads not guilty, a trial date is set.
T: Trial The adversaries (two sides) Prosecution: the states side, has “burden of proof” Defense: the accused A petit jury is selected (jury duty). Each side presents their arguments & evidence.
The jury then deliberates and returns a verdict (decision) If the jury agrees unanimously (all) that the accused is not guilty, the suspect is acquited. If the jury agrees unanimously that the suspect is guilty, the accused is convicted. A date is set for sentencing. If the jury cannot reach a unanimous decision, a hung jury is declared. The case may be tried again or dismissed
S: Sentencing The jury renders their punishment for the crime that was committed according to the state’s penal code (consequences) Must adhere to the 8th amendmentwhen issuing their sentence.
Other important vocabulary Subpoena– an order requiring you to appear in court (MUST) Summons – a request for you to appear in court Extradition – When a law enforcement agency from one area works closely with another law enforcement agency to return a suspect to the place of a crime
To Be Eligible (able) to Serve on a Jury in NC: Must be 18 years old Must be a US Citizen Must be able to understand English Cannot have served on a jury in the last 2 years Must not have been convicted of a felony (unless your rights were restored) Must be physically and mentally competent
Jury Selection Process Group of between 30-50 people receive a summons in the mail (tells them when to show up for court) Called to the jury box 12 at a time Judge gives a brief intro to the case and asks whether there is any reason why a juror can’t serve (like you knew the victim or the defendant, etc…)
Each side (the Prosecution and the Defense) asks jurors questions
Dismissing a Juror
For cause – a lawyer can request a juror be dismissed if there is evidence that they are prejudice about a case.
Preemptory challenges – dismissing a juror without stating a reason. The lawyer can dismiss a juror if they think the juror will not help them win.
Small number of alternate juror selected in case a juror becomes ill.
A foreperson is usually selected to run the deliberations or the voting. In most states, the decision must be unanimous (all jurors agree on innocence or guilt) Jurors can be Sequestered, or housed in a hotel secluded from other people and reporters.
Juveniles & the Law
Who is a “juvenile”? By federal standards all persons 17 and under are considered juveniles. Each state has the authority to decide who, by age, may be tried in juvenile courts. North Carolina juvenile courts only have jurisdiction over persons 15 and younger.
Juvenile’s rights due-process rights right to trial right against self-incrimination right to call witnesses right to have their parents and legal advisor present In most states, juveniles being tried in juvenile court are not entitled to a jury. Most juvenile court proceedings are closed to the public and records are highly confidential. The privacy of juvenile offenders is strictly guarded. Under certain circumstances, juvenile records may even be cleared.
Types of Juvenile Cases Delinquents: juveniles who break the law Neglected: juveniles who are abused or abandoned by their caregivers
Punishment Wide range- community service, boot camp, detention centers, treatment programs. Emphasis is on REHABILITATION Correcting the juvenile before they become adults.
Supreme Court Cases The "In re Gault" decision youth would be entitled to certain due process rights (similar to adults) Ropper v. Simmons No death penalty if the offender was under the age of 18 at the time of the crime.