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
A. Main Players
1. Prosecution—represents the state
2. Defense—represents the accused
3. Judge—impartial referee (ensure due
process of law)
B. Other players
1. Jury—usually 12 people, produce
2. Court reporter—records every
word of trial
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
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).