Original jurisdiction : the lawful authority of a court to hear cases that arise within a specified geographic area or that involve particular kinds of a law violations.
Bail The money or property pledged to the court or actually deposited with the court to effect the release of a person from legal custody
Release on Recognizance (ROR) The pretrial release of a criminal defendant on his or her written promise to appear in court as required. No cash or property bond is required.
Third Party Custody An alternative to bail that assigns custody of the defendant to an individual or agency that promises to ensure his or her later return appearance in court
Appellate jurisdiction : the lawful authority of a court to review a decision made by a lower court.
Judicial Review : <ul><li>the power of the U.S. Supreme Court to decide what laws and lower court decisions are in keeping with the intent of the U.S. Constitution. </li></ul>
Subpoena : a written document to officially notify a witness that they are to appear in court to testify
Nolo Contendere: (no contest) Used when the defendant does not want to contest conviction. Because to plea does not admit guilt. *Spiro Agnew
Speedy Trial Act: (1974) Federal law requiring that proceedings against a defendant in a criminal case begin within a specified period of time, such as 70 working days after indictment . *180 days in Maryland. Guaranteed by the 6 th amendment: “speedy and public”
Drawbacks: the ability of the criminal justice system to opirate effectively and efficiently has been severely impeded… resources are misdirected, cases proceed to trial inadequately…~a federal judge
Direct evidence Proves a fact without requiring the judge or jury to draw inferences. For example, a photo or videotape.
Circumstantial evidence Indirect and requires a judge or jury to make an inference. Ex: someone testified to hearing gunshots and saw a person running, but didn’t see the actual shooting.
Hearsay rule: Can’t be used in American courts. Anything not based on the personal knowledge of a witness.
Change of Venue: Trial is moved to another jurisdiction less exposed to the publicity. Under separate allowances, trials may be postponed to give an event a chance to cool off, or jury screening can occur to prevent bias.
Aggravating circumstances: Indicates a greater degree of culpability which judges can take into consideration in imposing a sentence somewhat at variance from the presumptive term. Usually involving more heinous behavior, such as cruelty, injury, more than one victim, etc.
Mitigating circumstances: Indicates that a lesser sentence is called for and are similar to a legal defense. They only reduce criminal responsibility, not eliminate it. (Ex: cooperation with the investigating authority, surrender, good character, etc.)
Writ of Habeas Corpus: A writ that directs the person detaining a prisoner to bring him or her before a judicial officer to determine the lawfulness of the imprisonment.