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Criminal Courts
A Contemporary Perspective

Fifth Edition


January 2022 | 528 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Comprehensive and engaging, Criminal Courts: A Contemporary Perspective explores all aspects of courts and related areas which are crucial to the criminal justice system. Written by three nationally recognized experts in the field, this text examines court structure, courtroom actors, trial and appeal process, and in addition, judicial decision making, specialized courts, and comparative court systems. 

By presenting up-to-date key cases, data, and current controversial discussions such as the death penalty or legalization of cannabis, this fifth edition provides students with opportunities to view topics from the perspectives of the participants involved in the process and take a position on the issue that is raised. 


 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Section I: The Purpose and Structure of American Courts
 
Chapter 1: Introduction: Law and the Judicial Function
Why Study Courts?

 
What Is Law?

 
The Code of Hammurabi

 
Two Opposing Perspectives: Consensus and Conflict

 
What Is the Relationship of Law to Justice?

 
The Rule of Law

 
Justice, The Law, and Packer’s Models of Criminal Justice

 
Two Models of Criminal Justice

 
Judicial Functions

 
How Judges “Make Law”

 
Development of the Common Law System

 
The Role of Courts in the Criminal Justice System

 
 
Chapter 2: Sources of Law
Introduction

 
Sources of Law

 
Sources of Individual Rights

 
Standard of Review

 
Incorporation of the Bill of Rights Into the Fourteenth Amendment

 
 
Chapter 3: Types of Law
Introduction

 
Types of Law: Criminal and Civil

 
 
Chapter 4: Court Organization and Structure
Introduction

 
Jurisdiction

 
The Structure and Jurisdiction of U.S. Courts

 
A Brief Historical Overview

 
Federal Courts

 
State Courts

 
Court Actors

 
Overview of the Criminal Process

 
 
Section II: Courtroom Actors and the Courtroom Work Group
 
Chapter 5: Prosecutors
Introduction

 
Historical Evolution of the American Prosecutor

 
The Federal Prosecutor

 
State Prosecutors

 
The Prosecutor’s Duties

 
To Prosecute or Not, That Is the Question

 
Assistant Prosecutors at Work

 
The Expansion of the Prosecutor’s Discretionary Power

 
Prosecutorial Ethics and Misconduct

 
Community Prosecution

 
 
Chapter 6: Defense Attorneys
Introduction

 
Defense Attorney’s Role in the Criminal Justice System

 
Historical Development of the Right to Counsel

 
Indigent Defense Systems

 
Caseload Limits and Compliance

 
Private Versus Appointed Counsel: Which Is Better?

 
Effective Assistance of Counsel

 
A Plea Bargain and Inadequate Counsel

 
Measuring Competency for Self-Representation

 
Ethics and Lawyer–Client Relationships

 
Realities of Being a Defense Attorney

 
 
Chapter 7: Judges
Introduction

 
Roles and Duties of Judges

 
Judicial Selection

 
Judicial Socialization and Development

 
Judicial Accountability and Judicial Independence

 
Judicial Performance Evaluations

 
Accountability for Judicial Misconduct

 
 
Chapter 8: Criminal Defendants and Crime Victims
Introduction

 
Criminal Defendants

 
Victims and the Criminal Courts

 
 
Chapter 9: The Jury
Introduction

 
History of Jury Trials

 
The Role of the Jury

 
Limits on the Right to Trial by Jury

 
Jury Size and Unanimity Requirements

 
The Selection of Jurors

 
Reforms to the Jury System

 
Jury Nullification

 
 
Section III: Court Processes
 
Chapter 10: Pretrial Procedures
Introduction

 
Arrest

 
Booking

 
The Charging Decision

 
Information

 
Indictment

 
Initial Appearance

 
Arraignment

 
Discovery

 
Pretrial Motions

 
Plea Bargaining

 
 
Chapter 11: The Criminal Trial
Introduction

 
Opening Statements

 
The Presentation of Evidence

 
Calling Witnesses

 
Evidence and Rules of Evidence

 
Closing Arguments

 
Instructing the Jury

 
Jury Deliberations and Verdict

 
Wrongful Conviction and Exoneration of the Innocent

 
Randall Kennedy’s Critique

 
 
Chapter 12: Sentencing
Introduction

 
The Goals of Sentencing

 
The Judge’s Options at Sentencing

 
How Do Judges Decide? Modeling the Sentencing Process

 
 
Chapter 13: The Appellate Process
Introduction

 
Appealing to a Higher Court

 
The Appellate Courts

 
The “Right” to Appeal

 
The Writ of Habeas Corpus

 
How Do Appellate Courts Decide?

 
Oral Arguments Before the Supreme Court

 
 
Chapter 14: Specialized Courts
Introduction

 
California Voters Approve Proposition 47

 
Problem-Solving Courts

 
Drug Treatment Courts

 
Domestic Violence Courts

 
Other Problem-Solving Courts

 
Juvenile Courts

 
 
Glossary
 
References and Suggested Reading
 
Case Index
 
General Index

Supplements

Instructor Resource Site
Online resources included with this text

The online resources for your text are available via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site, which offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank and editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides.


For additional information, custom options, or to request a personalized walkthrough of these resources, please contact your sales representative
 
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION: 

Breonna Taylor’s case has been added to Chapter 10 under the discussion of the Grand Jury

Chapter 10 includes a new section on reforms designed to reduce the number of persons detained prior to trial

Chapter 11 features an updated discussion of unanimity requirement and the hung jury in relation to Ramos v. Louisiana (2020)

New discussion of Hidalgo v. Arizona (2018) and the death penalty is included in Chapter 12

An added section on life and life without parole in Chapter 12

Chapter 12 includes new discussions on sentencing reform bills and offense seriousness and prior criminal records are legally relevant factors 

Chapter 13 includes new material on the Cutis Flower case, error rule and prosecutors’ use of ethnic stereotypes

A new section on sentencing review units is includes in Chapter 13

Chapter 14 features new research on drug courts, updated discussions on how drug treatment and domestic violence courts operate



KEY FEATURES: 

“View From the Field” features topics from the perspective of a participant in the process, from a criminal defense attorney to a U.S. District Court judge

“Comparative Courts” inserts provide students with a glimpse of how courts around the world approach a topic discussed in the chapter

“Current Research” boxes present current social science research and show how research can help policymakers and those in the court system evaluate and implement processes and program

A "Movies and the Courts" boxed feature that engages students in examining myths about the criminal courts perpetuated by popular culture.

Instrumental Cases are included throughout to offer students insights into crucial rulings that have shaped the American legal system. 

Current Discussion Topics in each chapter provide balanced views of contemporary issues, encouraging classroom discussion and sparking student interest

 

For instructors

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