1) Review – Chapters 11 – 12 , Full paragraph responses
In this discussion board, let’s discuss some of the main concepts covered in Chapters 11 – 12. Remember that our final exam will ONLY cover chapters 11 – 14, it will NOT cover material from our first or second quiz.
Chapter 11 was about pretrial procedures. These can be divided into two groups. I would call one “Hearings” and these would include the arraignment, bail hearing, preliminary hearing, etc. These hearings take place after the case enters the court system (after the case is issued by the prosecutor or a grand jury indicts). Then we have “Motions.” There are motions/hearings that are related directly to the criminal trial itself. For example, one motion might be a change of venue. Here the defense would argue that the case is too well know in a particular jurisdiction and they won’t be able to find an unbiased jury. Therefore, the case must be moved to another venue. Another pretrial motion could be a motion to suppress evidence. The defense would argue that police searched and seized evidence illegally, therefore the evidence should not be used in court.
Chapter 12 was about the criminal trial itself. So we talked about opening statements, presenting evidence, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the 6th Amendment privilege against being forced to testify against oneself, etc.
So let’s discuss some of these things, and this is a good place to ask questions as well.
1. What is the purpose of “discovery?”
2. What are the two main types of plea bargains?
3. What is the purpose of the opening statement? And how does it differ from the closing statement? In which one are the lawyers allowed to “argue” the evidence, rather than just give a roadmap of the case?
4. What’s the difference between direct examination of witnesses and cross examination of witnesses?
2) Review – Chapters 13-14, Full paragraph response
Here we will continue our review of the material for the final.
Chapter 13 was about sentencing. The four theories or justifications for sentencing were discussed. These include retribution, rehabilitation, incapacitation, and deterrence. And deterrence includes two types: specific and general. Specific deterrence means that the one particular defendant being sentenced will be deterred from committing more crime. General deterrence means that the public will be deterred if they see the consequence to the defendant.
Chapter 14 was about the Appellate Process.
It’s important to understand the appellate courts in both the state and federal systems. Both systems have trial courts, and that’s where the truth is decided, the facts. Appellate courts don’t hear witness or review the facts. Their job is to review the process of the lower court to make sure the law was followed and the Constitutional standards were upheld. The appellate court only reviews the court transcripts and the motions filed by the attorneys.
All states have their own trial courts, appellate courts, and then a state supreme court. It’s the same with the federal system. They have district courts (where trials are held), appellate courts, and then the US Supreme Court.
In continuing our review, let’s all talk about the concepts raised in the questions below.
1. What is the harmless error rule?
2. What is a writ of habeas corpus?
3. What’s a type of “creative sentencing” decision a judge might make?
4. What’s the difference between indeterminate and determinate sentencing?