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Criminal Law:the branch of law that regulates the conduct of individuals, defines crimes, and specifies punishmentfor criminal acts.Plaintiff:the individual or organization that brings a complaint in court.Defendant:the one against whom a complaint is brought in a criminal or civil case.Civil Law:the branch of law that deals with disputes that do not involve criminal penalties.Precedent:prior case whose principles are used by judges as the basis for their decision in a present case.Stare Decisis:“let the decision stand”, the doctrine that a previous decision by a court applies as a precedent in similar cases until that decision is overruled.Trial Court:the first court to hear a criminal or civil case.Court of Appeals:a court that hears appeals of trial court decisions.Supreme Court:the highest court in a particular state or in the United States. This court primarily serves an appellatefunction.Plea Bargain: a negotiated agreement in a criminal case in which a defendant agrees to plead guilty in return for the state's agreement to reduce the severity of the criminal charge or prison sentence the defendant is facing.Jurisdiction:The sphere of a court's power and authority.Due Process of Law:the right of every citizen against arbitrary action by national or state governments.Writ of Habeas Corpus:a court order that the individual in custody be brought into court and shown the cause for detention. Habeas corpus is guaranteed by the Constitution and can be suspended only in cases of rebellion or invasion.Original Jurisdiction:the authority to initially consider a case. Distinguished from appellate jurisdiction, which is the authority to hear appeals from a lower court's decision.Chief Justice:justice on the Supreme Court who presides over the Court's public sessions and whose official titleis chief justice of the United States.Senatorial Courtesy:the practice whereby the president, before formally nominating a person for a federal judgeship, seeks the indication that senators from the candidate's own state support the nomination.Judicial Review:the power of the courts to review and, if necessary, declare actions of the legislative and executive branches invalid or unconstitutional. The Supreme Court asserted this power in Marbury v. Madison.Supremacy Clause:Article VI of the Constitution, which states that laws passed by the national government and all treaties are the supreme law of the land and superior to all laws adopted by any state or any subdivision.Common Law:law made through court precedent rather than legislative enactments.Standing:the right of an individual or organization to initiate a court case, on the basis of their having a substantial stake in the outcome.Mootness:a criterion used by courts to screen cases that no longer require resolution.Writ of Certiorari:a decision of at least four of the nine Supreme Court justices to review a decision of a lower court; certiorari is Latin for “to make more certain”.Solicitor General:the top government lawyer in all cases before the Supreme Court where the government is a party.Per Curiam:a brief, unsigned decision by an appellate court, usually rejecting a petition to review the decision ofa lower court.Amicus Curiae:“friend of the court”, individuals or groups who are not parties to a lawsuit but who seek to assist the Supreme Court in reaching a decision by presenting additional briefs.Briefs:written documents in which attorneys explain, using case precedents, why the court should find in favor of their client. Oral Argument:the stage in Supreme Court procedure in which attorneys for both sides appear before the Court to present their positions and answer questions posed by justices.Opinion:the written explanation of the Supreme Court's decision in a particular case.Dissenting Opinion:a decision written by a justice in the minority in a particular case in which the justice wishes to express his or her reasoning in the case.Judicial Restraint:judicial philosophy whose adherents refuse to go beyond the clear words of the Constitution in interpreting the document's meaning.Judicial Activism:judicial philosophy that posits that the Court should go beyond the words of the Constitution or a statute to consider the broader societal implications of its decisions.Class-Action Suit:a legal action by which a group or class of individuals with common interests can file a suit on behalf of everyone who shares that interest.According to the authors, the Court's most important decisions werethose that protected the freedoms of those whose beliefs or race made them unpopular.Why did Congress confer on federal courts the authority to issue writs of habeas corpus?distrust of southern courts after the Civil War.To win Senate confirmation, judicial nominees usually needto have support from the state’s senior senator in the president’s party.The modern Supreme Court has nine members becauseCongress set the size of the Court at nine members.Judicial review was established in the case of ____________.Marbury v. Madison.Today’s Supreme Court can best be described as ideologicallyconservative.The member of the justice department who handles all Supreme Court appeals for the U.S. government is thesolicitor general.Justices who agree with the majority decision but disagree with the legal reasoning will likely filea concurring opinion.The three steps in the Supreme Court’s procedures are, in order,preparing briefs, giving oral argument, making and writing opinions.U.S. circuit court decisions are made bya panel of three judges.Justices who disagree with the majority decision of the Court may choose to publicize the character of their disagreement in the form of adissenting opinion.Which of the following concepts is the least related to the other concepts?judicial review.The doctrine of stare decisisapplies only to criminal law.The U.S. Supreme Court is made up of one chief justice and ____________ associate justices.eight.If you were an outside interest group and wanted to influence the Supreme Court’s ruling on a case it will hear next month, what action would have the most influence?filing an amicus curiae briefMore than ____________ percent of all court cases in the United States are heard in ____________ courts.99; state.Which of the following is not a case in which the federal courts would have jurisdiction?a case involving burglary of a house.Dr. Jane Doe delivered a baby in a hospital while intoxicated. The baby died

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UNT PSCI 1040 - Criminal Law

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