Chapter 9
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Chapter #9. The Courts: Structure & Participants. Dual court system. State & federal courts 10 th Amendment – most criminal cases start state court. jurisdiction. Lawful authority of a court Statute / constitution. State court systems. Massachusetts Bay Colony. 1629 – general court

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Chapter 9

Chapter #9

The Courts: Structure & Participants


Dual court system

Dual court system

State & federal courts

10th Amendment – most criminal cases start state court


Jurisdiction

jurisdiction

Lawful authority of a court

Statute / constitution


State court systems

State court systems


Massachusetts bay colony

Massachusetts Bay Colony

  • 1629 – general court

  • 1. legislative

  • 2. judicial

  • 1639 – county courts

  • 1. outlying areas

  • 2. general court – court of appeal


Pennsylvania early history

Pennsylvania – early history

Peacemakers – mediated disputes

Justices of the Peace – today’s district magistrates


Early british influence 1776

Early British influence - 1776

Barristers – formally trained lawyers

“Counselor’s at Law” – learned by apprenticeship


Jurisdiction1

Jurisdiction

  • Original

  • Appellate


Federal judiciary act 1789

Federal Judiciary Act - 1789

  • Limited jurisdiction courts

  • General jurisdiction courts

  • Appellate courts


Pa court system modern

PA court system - modern

  • PA Supreme Court

  • Superior Court / Commonwealth Court

  • Common Pleas (67)

  • Magistrate / Philadelphia Criminal / Philadelphia Traffic / Pittsburgh


Pa structure

PA structure

  • Magisterial Courts

  • 1.

  • 2.

  • 3.

  • 4.

  • Common Pleas

  • 1.

  • 2.

  • 3.

  • 4.

  • 5.


Lehigh county structure

Lehigh County structure

  • Criminal / juvenile

  • Civil / family

  • Orphans

  • Magistrates


Adversarial process

Adversarial process

Prosecution v defense


Pa appeals process

PA appeals process

  • PA Supreme Court

  • Death penalty

  • PA Superior Court

  • Criminal appeals

  • PA Commonwealth Court

  • Administrative appeals


Appellate process

Appellate process

  • Empanelled judges

  • Transcripts

  • Briefs

  • Oral arguments

  • Affirmed

  • Remanded

  • Court of last resort


Appeals to ussc

Appeals to USSC

Constitutional issues:

4th / 5th / 6th / 8th / 14th


Keeney v tamayo reyes 1993

Keeney v Tamayo-Reyes: 1993

Federal evidentiary hearing only if:

Petitioner can show he / she didn’t have opportunity in state court


Herrera v collins 1993

Herrera v Collins: 1993

Evidence of innocence:

Not a reason for hearing in federal court


Court support personnel

Clerk of Courts

1. recording keeping:

2. public records except:

3. oaths & affirmations

4. seal of courts

Court Administrator

1. personnel / fiscal management

2. information systems

3. equipment

4. records control

5. public information

Jury management

Court support personnel


Federal court system

Federal Court System


Article iii section 1

Article III, Section 1

  • “One Supreme Court, and such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish”


Article iii section 2

Article III , Section 2

  • Jurisdiction

  • 1. cases: constitution / federal law / treaties

  • 2. disputes b/w states // where one party is a state


Federal court system1

Federal Court System


Federal court structure

Federal court structure

  • USSC

  • U.S. Courts of Appeal

  • U.S. District Courts


U s district courts 94

U.S. District Courts (94)

  • Trial courts: civil / criminal

  • Original jurisdiction

  • 94 districts:

  • 1 per state

  • Puerto Rico / D.C. / U.S. territories


U s district courts

Judges

650

Appointed by President / confirmed by Senate

Serve for life

$154,700

Magistrates

Arraignments

Bail

Issue warrants

Try minor offenses

Federal numbers

Criminal: 71,022

Civil: 281,338

U.S. District Courts


U s circuit courts of appeal

U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal


U s circuit courts of appeal1

13 circuits

12 circuits (regions)

1 U.S. Court of Appeals – federal circuit

167 judges

Same as district judges

History of the circuit judge

Appeals

Frivolous

Ritualistic

Non-consensual

U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal


United states supreme court ussc

United States Supreme Court (USSC)


The courts 3a structure participants

  • Background

  • 9 justices

  • 8 + 1 Chief Justice

  • Nominated by President

  • Confirmed by Senate

  • Serve for life

  • Salaries: $217,400 / $208,100


The courts 3a structure participants

Original jurisdiction

Appellate jurisdiction

Writ ofCertiorari (cert)

Judicial review

Process

Marbury v Madison (1803)

“province of the judicial department to say what the law is”

Opinions: majority / concurring / dissenting

USSC


Courtroom work groups

Courtroom work groups


The judge

Primary duty  to ensure justice

Responsibilities include:

Ruling on most matters of the law

Weighing objections

Deciding the admissibility of evidence

Sentencing offenders

Disciplining disorderly courtroom attendees

Deciding guilt or innocence (for bench trials)

Formal arraignment

Pre-trial hearings

Post-trial appeals

President (Chief) Judge: hires staff / training / court operations

The Judge


Judges

Judges

  • Popular election

  • Gubernatorial appointment

  • Missouri Plan – merit (endorsement & public records)

  • PA:

  • 1. popular election

  • 2. ten years

  • 3. retention


Judges qualifications

Judges - qualifications

  • Member of state bar

  • Licensed attorney

  • Hold law degree

  • Attend professional training


Prosecuting attorney

Titles: solicitor / district attorney / state’s attorney / county attorney / commonwealth attorney

Federal level: U.S. attorney

45 states elect D.A./s

5 states + federal government appoint

James Martin: Lehigh County

John Morganelli: Northampton County

4 year terms

Prosecuting Attorney


Prosecutor s

Prosecutor’s

  • Duties:

  • 1. present case

  • 2. advisor to police

  • 3. files appeals

  • 4. parole violations

  • 5. beyond a reasonable doubt

  • Prosecutorial discretion: decision making power


Prosecutorial discretion

Prosecutor decides:

Whether or not to charge someone with a crime

Which charges are to be filed against the defendant

Whether multiple charges should be filed together or separately

When to schedule cases for trial

Whether or not to accept a negotiated plea

What evidence to present, including witnesses

What sentencing recommendations to make

Prosecutorial Discretion


Abuse of discretion

Abuse of Discretion

  • Not prosecuting friends

  • Accepting guilty pleas or reduced charges for

    personal consideration

  • Overzealous prosecution to gain visibility for

    possible reelection

  • Scheduling activities to make life difficult for

    defendants, in an attempt to put pressure on

    them to plead guilty

  • Discrimination against minorities

  • Prosecutors may abuse their discretion by…


Disclosure of evidence

Disclosure of evidence

  • Brady v MD (’63)

  • Exculpatory evidence must be disclosed

  • U.S. v Bagley (’85)

  • Must disclose all evidence requested


Imbler v patchman 76

Imbler v Patchman (’76)

Prosecutor’s have absolute immunity from liability for conduct during trial


Defense attorney

Defense attorney


Types of defense attorneys

Types of defense attorneys

  • Court assigned attorney

  • Public defender

  • Contract attorney


Defense counsel

Duties

1. represents accused

2. guilty pleas

3. prepares defense

4. calls witnesses

5. adversarial process

6. sentencing

appeals

Types

1. private attorney

2. court appointed attorney

3. public defender

Defense counsel


Sixth amendment cases

TX v Cobb (’01): counsel is offense specific

Gideon v Wainwright (’63): counsel for indigent defendants in all felony cases

Faretta v CA (’75): indigent defendants can reject counsel & represent themselves

Argersinger v Hamlin (’72): counsel for indigent defendants in misdemeanor cases

Gault (’67): juveniles granted right to attorney

AL v Shelton (’02): counsel for indigent offenders in state court if prison likely

Sixth Amendment cases


Ethics of defense

Ethics of defense

Canons of Professional Ethics

Model Code of Professional Responsibility

Model Rules for Professional Conduct

Standards for Criminal Justice


Additional jobs

Bailiff / U.S. Marshall: controls courtroom, security & jury

Court Reporter: written record of all court proceedings

Expert Witness: paid professional / may express opinions

Lay Witnesses:

Eye witnesses / character witness / victim

Jurors: trier of facts / peers / verdicts

Victim: seeks justice

Spectators: trials must be fair / public

Additional jobs


Jury reform

Jury reform

  • ABA – 19 principles:

  • 1. protect privacy of juror

  • 2. inform jurors of trial schedules

  • 3. explain law in plain English

  • 4. right to talk to anyone after trial

  • 5. right to refuse to talk after the trial


Trial participants

Victim

1. witness

2. unsure of role

3. lack of knowledge of trial procedure

4. fear retaliation

5. trauma of testifying

Defendant’s choices:

1. select counsel

2. plan defense strategy

3. decide what to tell counsel

4. decide what to plea

5. decide whether or not to testify

6. determine appeal if found guilty

Trial participants


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