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Cover

American Courts and the Judicial Process

Second Edition

G. Larry Mays and Laura Woods Fidelie

Publication Date - January 2016

ISBN: 9780190278892

464 pages
Paperback
8 x 10 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $129.99

A comprehensive, concise, and current courts textbook--at an affordable price

Description

Featuring the insights of criminal justice scholars G. Larry Mays and Laura Woods Fidelie, American Courts and the Judicial Process, Second Edition, is ideal for undergraduate courts courses. It examines the many elements of the U.S. court system--its structures, functions, and key actors--addressing the major problems facing the system and considering potential solutions. This unique text also provides students with a practical perspective, discussing the contrast between the law and the rules as they are written and the ways in which they actually play out in the real world. The book is enhanced by "In the News" boxes that discuss contemporary events and "World View" boxes covering international courts and legal systems.

New to this Edition

  • Additional examples of real-world scenarios
  • Updated cases and research boxes
  • Updated chapter-opening photos on current, high-interest topics

About the Author(s)

G. Larry Mays, now retired, was formally Regents Professor of Criminal Justice at New Mexico State University. He is the author or coauthor of several textbooks, including Making Sense of Criminal Justice, Second Edition (OUP, 2014) and Essentials of Corrections, Fifth Edition (2014).

Laura Woods Fidelie is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Midwestern State University. A supplements author for the previous edition of American Courts, she is also coauthor, with G. Larry Mays, of Criminal Law: Core Concepts (2014).

Previous Publication Date(s)

November 2011

Reviews

"This text's approach is very student friendly; it starts with an overview of the criminal justice system and then moves on to the courts and the levels of the courts. That is brilliant."--Patrick Ibe, Albany State University

"I love this approach because it makes it easy for students to read and understand often complex issues as they pertain to our court systems."--Kizzy V. Crawford-Heath, Wake Technical Community College

"This book provides an excellent overview of the U.S. courts in a manner that is appropriate for first- and second-year college students."--Lisa Kara, Blue Ridge Community College

Table of Contents

    Each Chapter begins with Learning Objectives and an Introduction and ends with a Summary, Questions
    for Critical Thinking, Key Terms, Recommended Readings, References, and Endnotes.
    Preface
    Acknowledgments
    I. PERSPECTIVES ON THE JUDICIAL PROCESS
    CHAPTER 1. AN OVERVIEW OF THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM
    The Criminal Justice System
    The Police
    Law Enforcement
    Order Maintenance
    Public Service
    Levels of Police Agencies
    Local Police Departments
    Sheriffs' Departments
    State Policing
    Federal Law Enforcement
    The Courts
    Levels of Courts
    Corrections and Criminal Sanctions
    Retribution
    Rehabilitation
    Deterrence
    Incapacitation
    Levels of Corrections
    State Corrections
    Federal Corrections
    Separation of Powers
    The Legislative Branch
    The Executive Branch
    The Judicial Branch
    Federalism
    Differences in Court Jurisdictions
    Subject Matter Jurisdiction
    Venue
    Limited Versus General Trial Jurisdiction
    Hierarchical Jurisdiction
    Law versus Equity
    Adversarial Justice
    Summary
    Questions for Critical Thinking
    Recommended Readings
    Key Terms
    References
    Endnotes
    CHAPTER 2. FOUNDATIONS AND FUNCTIONS OF LAW
    The Development of Law
    The Pre- Historical Era
    The Early Historical Period
    The Modern Era
    Typologies of Law
    Penal Law
    Compensatory Law
    Therapeutic Law
    Conciliatory Law
    Differences in Civil Law and Criminal Law
    Civil and Common Law Legal Systems
    Civil and Criminal Law in the United States
    Examples of Differences
    Civil Law Distinctions
    Criminal Law Distinctives
    Substantive Law versus Procedural Law
    Substantive Law
    Procedural Law
    Sources of Law
    Common Law
    Constitutional Law
    Statutory Law
    Case Law
    Administrative Law
    Degrees of Seriousness
    Evilness
    Offense Seriousness
    Felonies
    Misdemeanors
    Petty Misdemeanors, Infractions, and Ordinance Violations
    Elements of a Crime
    Mens Rea
    Actus Reus
    Concurrence
    Inchoate Offenses
    Conspiracies
    Solicitations
    Attempts
    Defenses
    Burden of Proof
    Affirmative Defenses
    Self- Defense
    Duress
    Entrapment
    Infancy
    Insanity
    Intoxication
    Necessity
    Alibi
    Types of Criminal Offenses
    Violent Crimes
    Aggravated Assaults
    Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter
    Rape
    Robbery
    Crimes against Property
    Larceny/Theft
    Burglary
    Motor Vehicle Theft
    Arson
    Public Order Offenses
    Other Crimes
    * Theories of Criminal Punishment
    Retribution
    Rehabilitation
    Deterrence
    Incapacitation
    II. COURT PARTICIPANTS: ROLES AND RELATIONSHIPS
    CHAPTER 3. THE COURTROOM WORK GROUP
    The Actors
    The Work Group Core
    Judges
    Prosecuting Attorneys
    Defense Attorneys
    Other Work Group Actors
    Law Clerks
    Court Clerks and Court Administrators
    Jurors
    Witnesses
    Police Officers
    The News Media
    Defining the Courtroom Work Group
    Authority Relationships
    Influence Relationships
    Common Goals
    Doing Justice
    Maintaining Group Cohesion
    Disposing of the Case Load
    Reducing Uncertainty
    Specialized Roles
    Work Techniques
    Tasks
    Stability and Familiarity
    Group Interactions
    Judges
    Prosecuting Attorneys
    Defense Attorneys
    Disruptions in Group Goals
    CHAPTER 4. JUDGES
    Selection of Judges
    Partisan Election
    Non- Partisan Elections
    Appointment
    Merit Selection
    Judicial Qualifications
    Local and State Judges
    Federal Judges
    Judicial Discipline and Removal from Office
    Judicial Independence and Accountability
    Quasi- Judicial Officers
    Functions Performed by Judges
    Pretrial Functions
    Trial Functions
    Post-Trial Functions
    Appellate Functions
    Judges as Administrators
    CHAPTER 5. LAWYERS AND LITIGANTS
    Legal Education in the United States
    Primitive Legal Systems
    Transitional Legal Systems
    Modern Legal Systems
    Lawyers and the Practice of Law
    Prosecuting Attorneys
    Local and State Prosecutors
    Federal Prosecutors
    Defense Attorneys
    The Roles Played by Defense Attorneys
    Attorney Status
    The Constitutional Right to Counsel
    Methods for Selecting Attorneys
    Public Defenders
    Voucher Systems
    Assigned Counsel
    Contract Systems
    Legal Clinics
    Legal Aid Societies
    Issues Surrounding Attorney Competence
    Attorneys in Civil Cases
    Civil Litigants
    CHAPTER 6. JURORS, WITNESSES, AND OTHERS IN THE JUDICIAL PROCESS
    The Right to a Jury Trial
    Jurors and Jury Service
    Age Qualifications
    Other Requirements for Jurors
    Factors That Disqualify Potential Jurors
    Jury Selection
    Court Clerks and/or Jury Commissioners
    Frequency of Jury Service
    Excusals at the Time of Trial
    Juror Duties
    Juror Functions
    Jury Size
    Jury Unanimity
    *Jury Reform Proposals
    Witnesses
    Bailiffs and Other Security Personnel
    Court Clerks and Administrators
    Other Courtroom Personnel
    III. TRIALS AND RELATED FUNCTIONS
    CHAPTER 7. TRIALS AND TRIAL PROCEDURES
    Pretrial Procedures
    Arrest
    Bail
    Initial Appearance
    Preliminary Hearing
    Grand Jury
    Arraignment
    Pretrial Motions
    Discovery
    Motions in Civil Cases
    Dismissal of Charges
    Change of Venue
    Continuance
    The Trial
    Bench Trial or Jury Trial?
    Assembling the Jury Pool
    Jury Selection
    Opening Arguments
    Witness Examination
    Scientific Evidence in Court
    Closing Arguments and Jury Instructions
    Jury Deliberations and Verdicts
    Sentencing
    Appeals
    CHAPTER 8. SENTENCING
    Sentencing Philosophies
    Retribution
    Rehabilitation
    Deterrence
    Incapacitation
    Responsibility for Sentencing Decisions
    Sentencing Options Available
    Misdemeanor Sentences
    Probation
    Community Service
    Fines
    Incarceration
    Felony Sentences
    Community- Based Sanctions
    Probation
    Economic Sanctions
    Incarceration
    Capital Punishment
    The Sentencing Decision Making Process
    Sentencing Strategies Employed
    Indeterminate Sentencing
    Determinate Sentencing
    Structured Sentencing
    Mandatory Sentencing
    Alternative Sentencing
    Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Sentencing
    Minorities and Sentencing
    Gender and Sentencing
    Trends in Sentencing
    Changes in Sentencing Policy
    Increased Punitiveness
    Capital Punishment
    IV. COURT STRUCTURE
    CHAPTER 9. COURTS OF LIMITED JURISDICTION AND SPECIALIZED COURTS
    The Structure of Limited Jurisdiction Courts
    Federal Courts
    State Courts
    Operations of Limited Jurisdiction Courts
    Types of Cases Heard by Lower Level Courts
    Tort Claims
    Breaches of Contract
    Probate Cases
    Juvenile Courts
    Background
    Court Mandate
    Age Jurisdiction
    Subject Matter Jurisdiction
    Other Specialized Courts
    Family Courts
    Probate Courts
    Other Specialized Courts
    Problem-Solving Courts and Therapeutic Jurisprudence
    CHAPTER 10. COURTS OF GENERAL TRIAL JURISDICTION
    Creation of State Courts
    Jurisdiction of State Courts
    Courts of General Jurisdiction
    State Court Workloads
    Civil Cases
    Breaches of Contract
    Tort Claims
    Domestic Relations
    Criminal Cases
    Establishment of the Federal District Courts
    Jurisdiction of the Federal District Courts
    Maritime Cases
    Diversity of Citizenship
    U.S. Government as a Party
    Case and Controversy Rule
    Flexibility of Jurisdiction
    Structure of the Federal District Courts
    Workload of the Federal District Courts
    Civil Rights Cases
    Criminal Cases
    Bankruptcy Cases
    CHAPTER 11. COURTS OF APPELLATE JURISDICTION
    Structure of State Appellate Courts
    Intermediate Courts of Appeals
    Courts of Last Resort
    Structure of Federal Appellate Courts
    United States Courts of Appeals
    The Court of Last Resort
    Judges and Justices of Appellate Courts
    Appellate Court Decision Making
    Workloads of Appellate Courts
    Adding Judges
    Intermediate Appellate Courts
    Panel Decision Making
    Law Clerks and Staff Attorneys
    Other Solutions
    The Mechanisms for Appeal
    The Outcomes of Appeals
    V. ISSUES FACING THE COURTS
    CHAPTER 12. ADDRESSING THE PROBLEMS AND CRAFTING SOLUTIONS
    Resource Issues
    Judicial Independence
    Budgets
    Court Jurisdiction
    Elections
    Management Concerns
    Pro Se Litigation and Access to the Courts
    Alternative Dispute Resolution
    Negotiation
    Mediation
    Arbitration
    Hybrid ADR Options
    Restorative Justice as a Form of ADR
    Issues of Gender and Race
    Gender Issues
    Women as Victims
    Women as Offenders
    Women as Judges and Attorneys
    Race and Justice
    Minorities as Defendants
    Minorities as Judges and Attorneys
    The Use of Scientific Evidence
    Wrongful Convictions
    Eyewitness Misidentification
    False Confessions
    Jailhouse Snitches
    Misleading Forensic Science
    Prosecutorial Misconduct
    Ineffective Counsel
    Adjudicating Non-Traditional Issues: The Case of Terrorism
    APPENDIX: THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AND AMENDMENTS
    Glossary
    Table of Cases
    Index

Related Titles

Capital Punishment
 
The American Legal System