Criminal Courts

Criminal courts are a process. Most assume that all the action takes place when the trial starts, but this is not true for all proceedings. Most offenders will enter a guilty plea to comply with a prosecutors “deal” offered to the offender. What is considered to be a courtroom work group? A courtroom work group is a group of participates in a criminal trial.

The participants can be divided into two categories: professionals and outsiders. The professionals are the officials that work in the courtroom for a living, which includes judges, prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, public defenders, and court reporters. The professionals are called the courtroom work group. (Schmalleger, 2009) How does this courtroom work group interact on a daily basis? “Courts plan ahead for Pandemic.

Where everything infectious was passed around, he knows how fast flu can move through a group in his…, essential functions, telework, alternate worksites, and recovery, each court tailors the templates… for its anticipation of needed information and procedures to be followed should a pandemic or other emergency require all or most judges and employees to work from home for an extended period of time… and which of our operations could continue if we had to work from home for an extended period …

The work group for example: work as a well-oiled machine or function as a beehive, everyone knows their place and job, however they have the ability to easily move into a position that needs to be filled at the last minute. (News/Third Branch/9-11-30) What changes to the courtroom work group would you recommend? I would recommend acquiring more security for the violent offenders. In recent times the offenders have taken control of the deputy’s weapon and had a shoot out in the courtroom. This needs to be prevented. More security in the courtroom and not standing so close with a gun are a couple of choices.

Another recommendation would be to leave the personal business out of the courtroom. The work group is working so close together whether they want it or not their personal feelings, opinions whatever one would like to call it seeps into the courtroom. This changes the dynamics of the case and in turn the outcome of the case. I would suggest an impartial judge to watch the work group to keep everything honest and fair. How would you define the pretrial criminal process? The pretrial is what goes on before and trial, if a trial does occur.

The first court appearance is the arraignment. Here is where the defendant goes before a judge and enters a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If bail has not already been set for the defendant bail will be set at the arraignment hearing. Bail is not given to a defendant in all cases. A judge can decide to deny a defendant bail. If this occurs the defendant will sit in jail until his or her trial, or until a plea bargain is reached between the defendant and the prosecutor. How does this affect post arrest processes and trial?

During arraignment a judge will decide if there was probable cause of the arrest that took place. If there was not probable cause the defendant must be released, if probable cause is present than the next step is a pretrial where the case is scheduled for a trial. In a misdemeanor case “a defendant will enter a plea at the pretrial. At other times, the case will be scheduled for a “bench trial,” “jury trial,” or “plea hearing. “”. (Larson A. , 2000) If a defendant is charged with a felony, but has not been “indicted” by a “grand jury,” the next step will likely be a “preliminary examination” (Larson A., 2000)

Where the prosecution must show the judge a crime did take place and the defendant is responsible for this crime. During the preliminary examination the defendant can question witnesses and may also testify on their own behalf. In most cases the defendant will not testify for themselves because it leaves the door open for the prosecution to ask questions that will test to the character of the defendant or the defendant may not be prepared for the questions that will be asked. Is there a better solution to the current process?

I do not think as of the present time there is a better solution to how the pretrial works. It allows sufficient time for evidence, eye witness, forensics, and other vital information to be gathered for both prosecution and defense teams. We do live in a country where not matter who someone is or what crime someone is accused of one has the right to a fair trial. This process also gives the offender the ability to reflect on what is occurring and how they found themselves in this predicament. Deterrence is a very powerful weapon on crime. What is the role of the prosecutor?

The role of a prosecutor is to seek and not always to convict a defender. Prosecutors represent the court system in which they provide proof if the defendant is found guilty or not guilty of the crime. In the criminal justice system prosecutors assist the district attorneys of the offense done by the defendant. Prosecutors review all evidence against the defendant in which the prosecutor can determine his or her case in the judicial system. In the criminal justice system prosecutors have the hard part of the job, and many criminals despise them, because they are decision makers.

They are appointed by the government, in which they play an important role to the judicial and court system. They have the responsibility of indicting individuals under the court of law with also valid evidence of the crime. How does a prosecutor determine which cases to pursue? Prosecutors have difficulty when it comes down to pursing a case. Prosecutors have cases that can take months and years before the case is even finalized. When a complaint is made, prosecutors start to seek evidence in order to pursue the case.

The majority of many cities and counties, prosecutors review and evaluate the sufficient evidence to also pursue with the case. Sufficient evidence that prosecutors evaluate are police reports, interviewing, and asking witnesses questions who could be a possible lead to the case. What would happen if the criteria for taking a case were more/less stringent? In today’s society there are still unsolved cases that have not been solved because of the lack of evidence. Many people do not realize how important life is today and how important the judicial system is to society as well.

Without a criminal and judicial system there would not be any peace to a crime that was committed in the communities today. Each day I watch different shows such as first 48, jail, prison wives, all of these shows have criminals who are convicted of some type of crime. The first 48 for example, they have murders everywhere and some murders are not solved due to lack of evidence, or due to them not catching the suspect who murdered the victim. If cases were less stringent, the society and community would never have peace for crimes committed each day.

If there is a lack of evidence there is no ruling in the case, and basically prosecutors have worked hard to charge an individual with a crime, but with lack of evidence the individual is found not guilty of the crime and free to go back into the streets. What is an appeal? “In its broadest sense, an appeal is a formal request that a higher court re-examine the procedure or decision of a lower court, administrative agency, or other body. An appeal normally is taken by the party who loses or did not get all of the relief sought.

If both parties are dissatisfied each may appeal part of the decision. ” (Free Advice, 1995-2011) How does an appeal relate to the overall process? After a trial the judge sends the parties in a case a copy of the judgment, the parties have 30 days to decide whether or not to appeal the judge’s decision. An appeal is done in cases where the judge made a serious mistake that affected the outcome of your case. How the appeal relates in the overall process, allows a second chance in the justice system to plead your case in front of another judge.

The appeal process allows the parties to pointout the mistakes made in the first trial; however it also allows the prosecution the same amount of time to find other evidence to keep the verdict. What would happen if appeals were eliminated from the system as a whole? If the appeals were eliminated from the system the system would crash. Usually at the first trial mistakes are made, we are human. Having the appellate court allows a second chance to fix the mistakes made in the first trial, allowing both the prosecutor and defendant the right to point it out hoping for a now verdict.

We are human, which means we make mistakes the mistakes would be people’s lives. The guilty would go free, and the innocent will be in prison. There would not be any justice. What is sentencing? When prosecutors have finished their investigation and have determined the case, the case gets reviewed by the judge to determine the ruling and sentencing. Sentencing is the ruling from the judge to the defendant. The defendant and his or her attorney will stand before the judge while the judge reads a plea bargain and reads the defendants punishment.

The form of sentencing that defendants can get is imprisonment, fines, probation, and community service. Each criminal is not always sentenced to a correctional facility. Some judges sentence individuals to a rehabilitation center to serve some part of their sentence, and also to get the lives back on track. How do philosophical roles of sentencing play a role in the process? Philosophical role of the sentencing process is important to sentencing an individual. The philosophy has four fundamentals of sentencing incapacitation, retribution, deterrence, and rehabilitation.

Incapacitation removes the criminal from the society with a long-term imprisonment sentencing. According to researcher, John Rawl, in 1972 the punishment is determined within natural justice of the criminal justice system. Deterrence is the law that helps individuals, criminals from committing criminal acts in the community and also to the society. Most importantly everyone knows that if someone breaks the law then, it is a 90% chance that they will be apprehended of the crime. Each day the courts continue to aim to deter and punish those past defenders.

Rehabilitation is the process to restore and seek a behavioral health levels for those who have been committed of crime, and also who have been in and out of a correctional facility. There are different types of rehabilitation processes, such as education, quality of life, and careers. These rehabilitation programs help those to progress and achieve their goals within their circumstances. Some individuals have any addictions in which working with counseling groups, helps them to overcome individual’s addictions, and become fully rehabilitated.

What changed would you recommend to the sentencing process? If I had to change the sentencing process in the criminal justice system, there would be no plea bargains. I believe anyone who commits the crime, should do his or her time, and imprisonment. I would not release anyone on probation or parole, some individuals can get probation after a three month sentence but what have they officially learned during that time, he or she are just booked into the correctional facility, and some are put in pre-trail cells.

Also, I believe if the crime is done, then no one should be in society because it gives the individual the opportunity to run, go out of state or even be harm to society again. How would you define punishment? Punishment is a penalty inflicted on an offender by judicial, a fine or imprisonment, for an offense committed by the offender. In short a punishment an offender will receive for his or her criminal actions. How do the variations of punishment affect convicted criminals? Now a day’s punishment does not seem to deter too many criminals from offending or continuously reoffending.

Most criminals do not realize what parts of their lives they will be giving up until the damage is already done. In the cases which an offender is given a life sentence at a young age they will have a tendency to not regard for life. They feel they have nothing to lose, and some will even state “if I’m going to die I’m going to take out as many people I can before I go. ” What recommendations would you suggest regarding sentencing to help reduce recidivism rates? To reduce recidivism rates sentencing should be a bit harsher.

The three strike rule in some states such as Texas is a start. The three strike rule in Texas says that after you third felony you are cannot be released from prison. For offenders who have spent most of their lives in and out of jail and tend to offend just to stay in jail should be given longer stays in programs such as halfway houses. I also believe that after five misdemeanors it should count as a felony. Making sure that offenders understand the system will crack the whip no matter what the offense shows them that once you commit the crime you will do the time.

References Larson A. , (2000) Pretrial Procedure, retrieved from http://www. expertlaw. com/library/criminal/pretrial_procedure. html#Q1 on April 8, 2011 Schmalleger F. (2009) Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the 21st Century, 10th edition Free Advice (1995-2011) Appeals, retrieved from http://law. freeadvice. com/litigation/appeals/appeal_legalese. htm on April 9, 2011 Braithwaite J. (2008) West Encyclopedia of American Law, the Gale Group, Inc. 2nd edition.