U.S. criminal courts are constrained by several legal processes and organizational structures that determine how the they operate and how laws are applied. Part I of American Criminal Courts: Legal Process and Social Context explores how democratic processes develop criminal law in the United States the documents that de ne law, the organizational structure of courts at the federal and state levels, the overlapping authority of the appeals process, and the affects of legal processes such as precedent, jurisdiction, and the underlying legal philosophies of various types of courts.
Additionally, criminal courts are staffed by people who represent different domain perspectives, occupational pressures, and organizational goals. Thus, Part II includes chapters on actors in the traditional courtroom workgroup (judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, etc.) as well as those outside the court who seek to influence it, including advocacy groups, media, and politicians.
It is the interplay between the court legal processes and the social actors in the courtroom that makes the application of criminal law so fascinating. By focusing on the tension between the law and the actors inside of it, American Criminal Courts: Legal Process and Social Context demonstrates how the courts are a product of "law in action," and presents content in a way that enables you to understand not only the "how" of the U.S. criminal court system, but also the "why."
* Focuses on the way courts operate within the context of the broader criminal justice system. * Has a two-pronged approach of looking at the legal process -- how courts operate and how laws are applied, and who works in these courts and how they seek to influence them. * Five different types of boxed features look at how courts are portrayed in TV, film, and news; identify landmark due-process cases; illustrate situations in which the discretionary decision-making of the courts can be both good and bad. Examine procedures and how they work towards the ultimate goal of justice in our society, and highlight the various types of careers available within the criminal courts.