1. “The United States has a dual court system.” Explain what this means.
2. “The general rule is that a case is accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court for decision only if that case has nationwide significance.” Is this statement true or false? Defend your answer.
3. “A court decision is effective only within a limited jurisdiction.” What does this mean? Give an example.
4. “Every criminal act can be prosecuted in both federal and state courts.” Is this statement true or false? Explain your answer.
1. Define criminal procedure. Distinguish it from criminal law.
2. Distinguish between a grand jury and a trial jury. If you had a choice, would you prefer to serve as a grand juror or a trial juror? Why?
3. How does an indictment differ from an information? When is one used and not the other?
4. M is charged with sexual assault. Assume you are a defense lawyer for M. Will you ask for a preliminary examination for your client or not? Justify your answer.
various procedural aspects of our criminal justice system including due process rights, jurisdiction, discovery, and various other legal considerations and requirements from arrest through conviction and appeal. There are many legal issues that may arise in a single case. How the United States legal system addresses each of these issues can affect the outcome of a trial and ultimately whether justice is served. Review each of the short articles reporting issues arising from the prosecution of a Philip Chism, a teen accused of brutally murdering his teacher, and answer the following questions. Discuss your answers with other students.
Motion to suppress evidence: Judge Denies Tossing Evidence in Chism Trial
Change of venue: Chism Lawyers Seek Change of Venue
Pleas and plea bargains: Teen Charged in Teacher Slaying May Use Insanity Defense
Public and open trial: Judge: Public Can See Questioning of Teen Accused of Killing Teacher
1. Should the judge in this case consider the defense’s motion to suppress the confession made by the teen to police?
2. What is the purpose of excluding evidence from a trial thus not allowing a jury to ever hear or consider evidence that may incriminate a defendant?
3. Defense lawyers for Chism sought to keep his video confession to police sealed before trial. The trial judge denied their motion and the defense has appealed that decision. Should Chism’s confession remain hidden from public view before trial or does the public have a right to see it?
4. Should Chism’s attorneys be allowed to use the insanity defense to protect their client? In our legal system, a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Is a defendant presumed sane until proven insane?
5. Lawyers for Chism have argued that news coverage has violated his right to a fair trial and therefore have requested the trial be moved. Should the judge grant this motion? Does media coverage and public display of evidence affect the ability to receive a trial from a fair and impartial jury?