Week 09, Criminal Justice System

Assignments for Week 9:

1.  Read Chapter 9, “Court Structure and Personnel,” in your textbook. We will have Quiz #8 on this chapter this week. 

2.  Lecture, Chapter 10, Pretrial and Trial Procedures

3.  Critical Thinking Questions for Group Discussion from Chapter 9:

a. What are the benefits and drawbacks of selecting judges through popular elections? Can a judge who considers herself or himself a Republican or a Democrat render fair and impartial justice?

b. Should more specialized courts be created and if so, for what?

c. Should all judges be trained as attorneys? If not, what other professions are suitable for consideration?

d. What is the Missouri Plan? Do you consider it an ideal way to select judges?

e. Should attorneys disclose information given them by their clients concerning participation in earlier unsolved crimes?

f. Should defense attorneys cooperate with prosecutors if it means that their clients will go to jail?

g. Should prosecutors have absolute discretion over which cases to proceed on and which to drop? Do you believe prosecutors should have a great deal of discretion? Why?

h. Should potential clients have access to their attorneys track record in court?

i. Does the assigned counsel system present an inherent conflict of interest because attorneys are hired and paid by the institution they are to oppose?

j. Which kinds of cases do you think are most likely to be handled informally?

k. Explain the following: “It is the duty of the prosecutor to seek justice, not merely a conviction.”

© Karen Donahue 2017