Criminal Procedure Today: Issues and Cases

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9780130805201: Criminal Procedure Today: Issues and Cases

For courses in Criminal Procedure. This combination text/casebook on criminal procedure offers a welcome alternative to most of the other texts on the subject-which are either texts OR casebooks and are geared more towards attorneys than introductory-level students. Using language that is easily accessible to students, it combines both the "black letter" law approach and the case approach by beginning each chapter with a discussion of the law, followed by significant cases (carefully edited and abridged) in that area. Comprehensive in coverage, it explores criminal procedure in relation to the courts; the justice system; the Fourth Amendment; Fourth Amendment exceptions; interrogation, confessions, and admissions; remedies; identification; pretrial proceedings; counsel; grand jury, charging decision and speedy trial; and punishment.

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Using language that is easily accessible to non-attorneys, this innovative introduction to criminal procedure combines both the "black letter" law approach and the case approach by beginning each chapter with a discussion of the law, followed by significant cases (carefully edited and abridged) in that area. It features a unique three-question strategy for determining applicability, compliance with, and sanctions regarding the Fourth Amendment. Explores criminal procedure in relation to the courts; the justice system; the Fourth Amendment; Fourth Amendment exceptions; interrogation, confessions, and admissions; remedies; identification; pretrial proceedings; counsel; grand jury, charging decision and speedy trial; and punishment. For law enforcement professionals, workers in the criminal justice system, and lay persons interested in criminal procedure.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

This book, now in its second edition, was designed to assist professors in teaching a course in criminal procedure—my purpose being to provide a combination textbook and casebook that will be easily understood by the students, thus enabling instructors to focus on selected criminal procedure issues and topics during class time. Too often textbooks are written at a level that can only be understood by instructors, and thus valuable class time must be used to explain the meaning of the concepts. To overcome this problem, I have followed the example of Ernest Hemingway and used familiar, concrete words and short sentences whenever possible.

One decision that most professors struggle with when deciding how to teach a criminal procedure course is whether to use a casebook or a regular textbook—referred to as "black letter" law, "hornbook," or treatise by attorneys. There are significant advantages to using either approach. Accordingly, in this book I have used the black letter law approach and the case approach. Each chapter begins with a discussion of the law followed by significant cases in that area. Deciding which cases to include and which to exclude was no easy task. As a long-time student of criminal procedure, there are certain cases which I excluded only reluctantly. To include all relevant cases would have made the text size unmanageable. The cases included have been significantly edited and abridged. For a more in-depth coverage of any case, the reader should refer to the unedited version contained in one of the "reporters." In addition, since this is an introductory text, I have limited the case citations to a minimum.

For instructors teaching in programs that have a criminal courts course, I recommend that Chapters 1 and 2 be omitted and the course begin with Chapter 3.

Chapter 4 is designed as an overview chapter on the Fourth Amendment. The approach used in this chapter is different from that used in other criminal procedure textbooks and was developed by a former mentor, justice Charles E. Moylan, Jr. of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. I found this approach to be very useful in providing students with foundational concepts of the Fourth Amendment. The following three questions are asked of readers:

  1. Is the Fourth Amendment applicable? Open fields, consent, plain view, etc. (if not, evidence is not excluded by reason of the Fourth).
  2. If the Fourth Amendment is applicable, has it been complied with? (If so, evidence is not excluded by reason of the Fourth.)
  3. If the Fourth Amendment is applicable and has not been complied with, what sanctions will the court impose? (Exclusionary rule and its exceptions.)

Included in the instructor's manual is a scenario for a moot court case that instructors may want to use with student role players. The case will contain fact statements for each witness, a police report, and instructions for each role player. Students taking part in the moot court will gain an appreciation for the problems involved in trying or defending a criminal case.

While I am listed as the sole author of this text, it could not have been published without the assistance of many persons, including General William K. Suter, former judge Advocate General, U.S. Army and presently Clerk, U.S. Supreme Court; Franz Jantzen of the Curator's Office, U.S. Supreme Court; Professors Robert Perez and Harvey Wallace, California State University, Fresno. A special thanks to the manuscript reviewers: Carolyn Brown Dennis, Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville, NC; K. Lee Derr, J.D., Policy Development & Research Office, Harrisburg, PA; Charles Meyers, Aims Community College, Greeley, CO; James Newman, Rio Hondo Community College, Fresno, CA; and William Kelly, Auburn University, Auburn AL. The text would not have been completed without the continual encouragement and persistence of my editor, Kim Davies.

I would be glad to hear from readers of the book about any suggestions, improvements, or errors noted.

Cliff Roberson, L.L.M., Ph.D.
Professor of Criminal Justice
Washburn University

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