Criminal Courts: Structure, Process, and Issues

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9780137803880: Criminal Courts: Structure, Process, and Issues

Unlike other available books on the subject, this introduction to criminal courts is shorter and more concise — yet more comprehensive— and is extensively illustrated with interesting examples and up-to-date factual information. It explores in detail the origin, evolution, and emergence of the three major components of contemporary criminal courts in the United States — law enforcement; prosecution and the courts; and corrections. Considers media impact on juries and trial outcomes -- focusing on several “trials of the century” ,including the Menendez brothers, O.J. Simpson, John Scopes, and Bruno Richard Hauptmann. Explains jury consultants and jury member selection techniques. Features a detailed discussion of eyewitness testimony. Discusses plea bargaining and pleas bargaining issues. Details sentencing schemes and sentencing issues. For anyone interested in the contemporary criminal court system in the U.S.

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Criminal Courts: Structure, Process, and Issues, 3e provides a comprehensive examination of the criminal court system, from basic pretrial procedures, to the trial process, to sentencing and appeals. It begins with a discussion of the law and its origins, compares the federal and state court systems, and examines the key courtroom personnel. This edition includes separate chapters on the juvenile justice system and juvenile courts, and a new chapter on diversion, alternative dispute resolution and specialty courts. Key cases, newspaper articles, and real court examples add practicality and provide a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding criminal courts today.

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Key features of Criminal Courts: Structure, Process, and Issues include:

  • Concise synopsis of the history of American courts, featuring the judicial system and key courtroom actors
  • Up-to-date box materials supplementing text, featuring key issues and relevant themes of different aspects of court procedures
  • Comprehensive discussion of pretrial procedures, motions, bases for appeals, and alternatives to criminal prosecution, including alternative dispute resolution, pretrial diversion, and restorative justice
  • Extensive coverage and comparison of state and federal court systems
  • Comprehensive discussion of juvenile courts, juvenile rights, and the juvenile justice process
  • Detailed discussion of key courtroom actors, including prosecutors, defense counsels, and judges, and how each are elected or appointed
  • Comprehensive discussion of plea bargaining, plea bargaining controversies and ethical considerations, and plea bargaining bans in different jurisdictions
  • Complete discussion of the jury system in the United States, including jury selection, jury deliberations, and jury issues including jury nullification, use of jury consultants, and juror misconduct
  • Complete discussion of the trial process, including opening and closing arguments, examination and cross-examination, and other aspects of presentation of testimony and evidence
  • Comprehensive discussion of American courts, their interplay with the media, and how the media have changed courtroom procedures
  • Extensive discussion of key federal and state cases concerning court actions and defendants' rights
  • Discussion of major sentencing systems, including indeterminate, determinate, mandatory, and guideline-based or presumptive sentencing
  • Ancillaries include test bank, comprehensive glossary, and bibliography
  • Questions for review at chapter ends, including listings of key terms featured, and suggested readings for further student inquiry

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