The Courts Class notes
I. Two main types Resolve disputes between individuals Resolve cases brought by the
state against individuals accused of
II. Functions of Criminal Courts Protect the rights of individuals B. Crime Control Function Punish wrongdoing, protect society from harm C. Rehabilitation Function Ordering “treatment” of criminals if warranted
Speed and efficiency in handling caseload
III. Court System A. Trial Courts—court of original jurisdiction. Only courts where jury is present. B. Appellate Courts—reviews decisions of lower courts on appeals. C. Supreme Court (state)--Highest court in the state.
D. Supreme Court (US)--Highest court in the land. Decisions are final. “Court of last resort”
IV. Adversarial Nature of Criminal Trials 1. Prosecution—represents the state 2. Defense—represents the accused
3. Judge—impartial referee (ensure due
1. Jury—usually 12 people, produce 2. Court reporter—records every 3. Bailiff (or deputy sheriff)—keeps order and provides security
4. Witnesses—testify for prosecution or
V. Relevant Amendments A. 4th—Protection against unreasonable search and seizure; law enforcement must prove probable cause
B. 5th—Can't be held without charges, no double jeopardy (being tried twice for the same crime), right against self-incrimination, right to due process
Amendments cont. C. 6th—Right to a speedy trial, right to an impartial jury of peers, right to be tried locally, right to know nature and cause of accusation, right to be confronted by opposing witnesses and to present witnesses in one's favor, and right to counsel (a lawyer).
D. 8th—protection from excessive bail