Chapter 1 Courts, Crime and Controversy Prepared by Helen McAninch, J.D. and Thomas McAninch, Ph.D.
Criminal Justice System • Police • Courts • Corrections • Is criminal justice an integrated system or is it a non-system of individual actors?
Costs of Crime • Annually, local, state and federal governments spend… • 146 BILLION on apprehension, conviction and punishment of criminals (BJS 2004) • Over 2 million employees in the CJ system • Every year over 14.5 million arrests are made • Every DAY, correctional people supervise 6.3 million people!
Court Structure FEDERAL STATE Supreme Court of the U.S. Appellate court of last resort Circuit Courts of Appeals Intermediate courts of appeals District courts Trial courts of general jurisdiction Magistrate Courts Trial courts of limited jurisdiction
Actors in the Courthouse • Prosecutors • Defense Attorneys • Judges • Defendants • Victims • There are many other actors in the courthouse; these will be discussed in future lectures
Police Clerk of Court Court reporter Pre-trial Services Bailiff Court Administrator Victim-witness program Probation officer Witness Juror Others Other Actors in the Courthouse
Crime: any violation of the criminal law. Arrest: the physical taking into custody of a suspected law violator. Initial Appearance: the accused is told of the charges, bail is set, and a date for a preliminary hearing is set. Bail: guarantee that a released defendant will appear at trial. Preliminary Hearing: pre-trial hearing to determine if probable cause exists to hold the accused. Steps of Criminal Procedure
Steps of Criminal Procedure Continued • Charging: formal criminal charges against defendant stating what criminal law was violated. • Grand Jury: group of citizens who decide if persons accused of crimes should be charged (indicted). • Arraignment: the defendant is informed of the pending charges and is required to enter a plea. • Evidence: formal and informal exchange of information before trials.
Steps of Criminal Procedure Continued • Plea Negotiations: the defendant pleads guilty with the expectation of receiving some benefit. • Trial: a fact-finding process using the adversarial method before a judge or a jury. • Sentencing: punishment imposed on a defendant found guilty of violating the criminal law. • Appeal: review of the lower court decision by a higher court.
Law on the Books • Constitutions • Laws enacted by legislative bodies • Regulations issued by administrative agencies • Cases decided by the courts
Law in Action • We need to know not only what the law says (law on the books) but also how the rules are applied (law in action). • Few cases ever go to trial. • Defendants plead guilty. • Judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys negotiate sentences. • There is a wide gap between legal theory (law on the books) and how that law is applied (law in action).
Crime Control Model Emphasizes protecting society Assembly line justice Informal fact finding Necessity of speed and finality Goal: crime suppression Due Process Model Emphasizes protecting the rights of the individual Obstacle course Very formal Slow and deliberate Goal: protect against mistakes made by the police and prosecutor Crime Control Model vs Due Process Model