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Criminal Law, Procedure, and Evidence

ISBN: 9781439854495 | 1439854491
Edition: 1st
Format: Nonspecific Binding
Publisher: CRC Press
Pub. Date: 1/6/2011

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In addition to delving deeply into criminal law, procedure, and evidence, this volume considers how constitutional law interacts and shapes the legal process. Distinct issues are addressed such as probable cause, search and seizure, stop and frisk, confessions, Miranda warnings, the right to counsel, lineups, the exclusionary rule, criminal law principles, proportionate sentencing, competent evidence, standards of proof, and the right to confront accusers,. It also addresses the overlays and connections between these issues, thereby providing a complete view of American legal principles.The challenge for practitioners is to apply constitutional principles to specific situations in a manner that produces just and fair results .To describe how the process works, this book draws from a wide array of cases and relates those cases to the kinds of encounters between citizens and police that regularly occur throughout the nation.While covering the landmark cases, the book emphasizes the cases and issues that are less settled and more pertinent to current conditions. For example, extensive coverage is provided for the various and fluid situations that might arise when the police stop an automobile. In such a situation, it is important for individuals to understand their rights and the powers of the police, while it is equally or, perhaps, more important for the police to understand the limits of their powers. The roles of the police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges are explained, and critical issues such as false confessions and misidentifications are thoroughly explored.Each chapter of the text contains a problem in the form of a fact pattern that highlights one or more of the classic criminal justice issues, such as an automobile stop, a family dispute, or a police interrogation. These problems are presented from both the point of view of citizens caught up in a police investigation and from the point of view of police officers attempting to enforce the law within the framework of constitutional protections. After each problem, a series of questions are posed, and the reader is asked to play the role of a decision-maker, either as a citizen, police officer, prosecutor, defense attorney, or judge.Some of the questions have obvious answers'”the reader, even without any legal training, and through instinct and common sense, should recognize the generally accepted answer. Other questions raise conflicting issues that do not lend themselves to easy answers; they may have diametrically opposed answers for which valid and rational supporting arguments are conceivable.The ultimate goal of the book is to educate readers regarding liberty and security issues so that they may apply critical thinking when they are confronted with such issues in life or in the media. With a more developed understanding of criminal justice and constitutional principles, the reader will have the background information to intelligently analyze the issues and to confidently provide valid and reasonable arguments for any positions that they to choose to adopt or advocate.Law enforcement officers who study this book will gain a broad-based working knowledge of criminal law and procedure and the evidentiary standards that will help them make better decisions and help them explain in court the reasons for their decisions.For students and others assessing police performance and the effectiveness of the criminal justice system, the material presented will help them apply a broader perspective to specific situations they may encounter.


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