Criminal Procedure for the Criminal Justice Professional 11th Edition John N. Ferdico Henry F. Fradella Christopher Totten Criminal Courts, Pretrial Processes, and The Exclusionary Rule Chapter 2 Prepared by Tony Wolusky Structure of the U.S. Court System Structure of the U.S. Court Systems United States Supreme Court The High Court of Last Resort in the United States Discretionary Appellate Jurisdiction over decisions of the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the decisions of the highest courts in the state systems if a question of federal law (including federal constitutional law) is presented. The Federal Courts United States Courts of Appeals Mandatory appellate jurisdiction over the decisions of the U.S. District Courts 12 Regional Circuits and 1 Federal Circuit that hears appeals from specialized trial courts like the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Claims Court, and the U.S. Court of Veterans’ Appeals. The State Courts State High Courts of Last Resort Mandatory and discretionary appellate jurisdiction over decisions rendered by lower state courts. State Intermediate Appellate Courts United States District Courts Trial courts of original jurisdiction over federal cases. 94 federal districts (including territorial ones in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Mandatory appellate jurisdiction over decisions by non-Article III courts. (40 out of 50 states) Mandatory appellate jurisdiction over decisions by the state’s major trial courts. State Major Trial Courts Superior Courts/Courts of Common Pleas/District Courts. Trial courts of general jurisdiction (felonies and major civil cases. Sometimes there is appellate jurisdiction over state’s minor trial courts. Non-Article III Courts U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, U.S. Tax Court, decisions of U.S. Magistrate Judges, and Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) in various federal agencies like the FCC, Social Security Administration, EEOC, NLRB, FTC, etc. State Minor Trial Courts Municipal Courts/Justice of the Peace Courts/Magisterial District Courts. Limited original jurisdiction to hear misdemeanor cases, traffic violations, local ordinance violations, and small claims of a civil nature. Federalism and the Dual Court System The Constitution of the United States recognizes a unique interrelationship between the states and the federal government, known as federalism. The federal government has power over national matters, while states maintain their separate existence and power over local matters. Each state, as well as the District of Columbia and the federal government, has its own separate court system, each with its own limited jurisdictional authority. Jurisdiction Jurisdiction, the power of court to hear and decide a case, depends on: Geographical location and venue Structure of court system and court’s placement in the judicial hierarchy Trial courts are original jurisdiction courts, and appellate courts have appellate jurisdiction. Trials my be jury trials or bench trials. Appellate courts review lower court decisions. Subject matter Courts of limited or specialized jurisdiction hear only specific cases. Federal Courts The basic structure of the federal courts includes: Specialized courts Trial level courts Intermediate courts of appeal The United States Supreme Court—the court of last resort Federal District Courts District Courts are the trial courts for the federal court system. There are of ninety-four district courts in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the territories of Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Each state has at least one district court; some of the larger states have as many as four. Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals The United States Circuit Courts of Appeals are the intermediate appellate courts of the federal system. They review the decisions of federal trial courts and review and enforce orders of many federal administrative bodies. The decisions of the courts of appeals are final, except that they are subject to discretionary review or appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. is divided into thirteen circuits. The U.S. Supreme Court The United States Supreme Court is the court of last resort in the federal court system. There are eight justices and one chief justice, all serving life terms. It is mainly an appellate court, but has original jurisdiction over some matters. Appeals are heard through granting of a writ or certiorari. Certiorari is granted at the Court’s discretion. Non-Article III Federal Courts Non-Article III Federal Courts are specialized courts of limited subject matter jurisdiction. Examples are: U.S. Court of International Trade U.S. Court of Federal Claims U.S. Tax Court U.S. Court of Military Appeals There are also quasi-judicial boards or commissions that have special and limited jurisdiction under specific federal statutes. State Courts The constitution and statutes of each state dictate the structure of their individual court systems. A typical state court system has the same basic structure as the federal system. Trial courts (includes courts of limited jurisdiction and courts of general jurisdiction) Intermediate appellate courts Court of last resort Preliminary Pretrial Criminal Proceedings Charging Police arrest; prosecutors charge. A prosecutor has broad discretion in determining: When to bring charges Whether to investigate Whether to grant immunity Whether to plea bargain, and, if so, the type of plea which will ultimately be acceptable Discretion can be abused, as in selective prosecution and vindictive prosecution. Charging County prosecutors are generally elected and prosecutors may aggressively prosecute sex offenders by refusing to plea bargain in order to appear more electable. Do you think that electing prosecutors is a compromise of justice? Why or why not? Prosecutors are considered the most powerful people in the criminal justice system. This is because prosecutor can decide whether to pursue criminal charges, went to plea bargain, and what sentences to recommend. Do you think prosecutors have too much influence on the process? Why or why not? Charging The Prosecutor http://www.wadsworthmedia.com/cj/cjnow/lm/Pr osecution/ The Complaint A criminal process against a felony defendant formally begins with a complaint, a written statements of the facts supporting the offense. The complaint Must be made on oath or affirmation Must state the essential facts of the offense being charged Must be in writing Must be made before a judicial officer authorized to issue process in criminal cases May be supported by an affidavit Warrant or Summons Issued on the Complaint Once the magistrate has determined from the complaint and accompanying affidavits that there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and that the defendant committed it, the magistrate issues either a summons or an arrest warrant for the defendant's appearance in court. Initial Appearance An person arrested without a warrant is required to be brought before a magistrate "without unnecessary delay," for an initial appearance. Also called a Gerstein hearing, it is a judicial determination of probable cause. An initial appearance is unnecessary if a grand jury has already returned an indictment. The initial appearance may include a preliminary hearing. Preliminary Hearing At the preliminary hearing, the magistrate determines if there is probable cause to believe that a felony was committed and that the defendant committed it. Formal adversarial procedure in open court. Not required for petty offenses or misdemeanors. May be waived by the defendant. Indigent defendants are entitled to representation. If probable cause exists, the magistrate binds over the defendant for trial. Grand Jury The federal government and some states require a grand jury indictment for certain crimes. The primary duty of the grand jury is: To receive complaints in criminal cases, To hear the evidence put forth by the state, and To return an indictment if probable cause that the defendant committed an offense is established. Grand juries are non-adversarial and: Use 16-23 grand jurors. Require a consensus of grand jurors before reaching and indictment. Indictments and Informations In felony cases in jurisdictions that have a grand jury system, an indictment replaces the complaint as the charging document upon which the defendant is brought to trial. In jurisdictions that do not require indictments or when a grand jury hearing was waived, felony trials may proceed using an information—a charging document signed and sworn to only by the prosecuting attorney. Indictments may be handed down before a person is taken into custody. Indictments and Informations In felony cases in jurisdictions that have a grand jury system, an indictment replaces the complaint as the charging document upon which the defendant is brought to trial. In jurisdictions that do not require indictments or when a grand jury hearing was waived, felony trials may proceed using an information—a charging document signed and sworn to only by the prosecuting attorney. Indictments may be handed down before a person is taken into custody. Arraignment and Pleas After the issuance of a true bill on the indictment or a bind over order in the preliminary hearing, the next step is the arraignment. At arraignment, the defendant enters a plea. Types of pleas include: Guilty Not guilty Nolo contendere (no contest) Not guilty by reason of insanity (available in most jurisdictions) Impact of Guilty/Nolo Contendere Pleas A defendant pleading guilty or nolo contendere, waives many constitutional rights, including: The right to a trial by jury The right to confront and cross-examine witnesses The right to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses The right to testify on one's own behalf The right to be free from being forced to incriminate oneself The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty The right to appeal one's conviction. Plea Bargaining Plea bargaining is an essential component of the administration of justice. Plea bargaining is the disposition of criminal charges by agreement between the prosecutor and the accused. Preparing for Trial Preparing for trials may include preparing: Motions Depositions Participating in discovery Finding exculpatory evidence Searching for impeachment material Determining who/what to subpoena Determining the defendant’s competency to stand trial The Exclusionary Rule The Rule The exclusionary rule requires that any evidence obtained by police using methods that violate a person’s constitutional rights must be excluded from use in a criminal prosecution against that person. Rule developed in 1914, Weeks v. U.S. Mapp v. Ohio (1961) extended it to the states. Deters Fourth Amendment violations. Does not apply to evidence obtained illegally by a private citizen, unless the private citizen acts as an agent of the police. Alternatives to the Exclusionary Rule There are possible alternatives to the exclusionary rule Conducting an illegal search and seizure could be designated as a crime. An officer who makes an illegal search and seizure may be subject to internal departmental disciplinary procedures. Victims of unconstitutional actions by police officers may also bring civil lawsuits against offending officers. Victims of unconstitutional actions by federal officers may also be able to sue the U.S. government. Criticisms of the Exclusionary Rule Criticisms of the exclusionary rule include the following: That individual police officers are not personally impacted by the exclusion of evidence they obtained unconstitutionally. That police officers are not deterred because few prosecutions against the officers come about as a result of illegal seizure. It allows some factually guilty individuals to go free. Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine Under the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine, evidence is inadmissible in court if it was directly or indirectly obtained by exploitation of some prior unconstitutional police activity (such as an illegal arrest or search). Evidence directly or indirectly obtained in this manner is called tainted evidence. Exceptions to the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine The fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine does not require suppression of the tainted evidence if The evidence was also obtained through a source wholly independent of the primary constitutional violation, The evidence inevitably would have been discovered by some other lawful means already in process (inevitable discovery), or The means of obtaining the tainted evidence were sufficiently remote from and distinguishable from the primary illegality. The Good Faith Exception to the Exclusionary Rule Under the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule, evidence obtained by police who acted in good faith in objectively reasonable reliance on a warrant or statute is admissible, even though the warrant or statute is subsequently determined to be invalid. Standing to Assert an Exclusionary Rule Claim To have standing to invoke the exclusionary rule challenging the admissibility of evidence, a defendant’s own constitutional rights must have been allegedly violated in obtaining the evidence.