court process in U.S. and other former British colonies in which lawyers on each side represent their clients best interests by presenting evidence and arguments in order to discover the truth and protect the rights of the defendants
court process employed in most countries of the world in which the judge takes an active role in investigation the case and examining evidence by, for example, questioning witnesses.
the geographic territory or legal boundaries within which control may be exercised, the range of court authority.
role of courts in enforcing society's rules and standardsfor behavior to contribute to peace and stability
the courts role in resolving disputes between people involving contracts, money, property, and personal injuries that they cannot resolve on their own.
role of judges to interpret the U.S. constitution or other forms of law and thereby define the rights of individuals - they essentially have the authority to tell officials at all levels of government how to do their jobs
trial courts of limited jurisdiction
handle only misdemeanors, lawsuits for small amounts of money, and other specific kinds of cases.
trial courts of general jurisdiction
hear full range of felony cases and all other civil lawsuits - where evidence is presented, witnesses testify, and lawyers make arguments - have juries and sentencing
where cases are moved in which a defendant claims that errors by police or the trial court contributed to their convictions. there are no juries and lawyers do not present evidence, they just make arguments about alleged errors
Three major roles of a judge
adjudicator: must maintain neutral in overseeing the contest between prosecution and defense
negotiator: negotiate with prosecutors and defense attorneys on plea bargains, sentencing, and bail conditions outside of the courtroom
administrator: direct courthouse
ways in which judges are elected
nonpartisan: candidates political affiliations are not listed on the ballot
partisan: candidates openly endorsed by political parties are on the ballot
merit selection: judges are nominated by a commission and appointed by the governor for a given period, then when their term expires the voters approve or disapprove of the judge
legal representative of the state with sole responsibility for bringing criminal charges. referred to as district attorney, state's attorney commonwealth attorney, or county attorney.
officials responsible for the prosecution of crimes that violate the las of the US. Appointed by the president and assigned to a US district court jurisdiction.
4 Different Prosecutor Roles
Trial counsel for the police: believe they should reflect the views of law enforcement in the courtroom and a crime-fighter role in public
House counsel for the police: give legal advice so arrests stand up in court.
Representatives of the court: enforce the rules of due process to ensure police act according to the law
elected official: may be most representative of the public opinion - political impact is main concern
each separate offense of which a person is accused in an indictment or an information
a prosecutor's pretrial disclosure to the defense of factsd and evidence to be introduced at trial
an entry made by the prosecutor to drop charges in a case
gives specific assistant prosecutors continuing responsibility for particular neighborhoods. these prosecutors in turn build relationships with members of the community which helps them to gather info and witnesses when crime occurs
series of events from the arrest of a suspect tot he filing of a formal charge (through an indictment or information) with the court.
lawyer who represents accused offenders and convicted offenders in their dealings with criminal justice.
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