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  5. Criminal Courts: Structure, Process, and Issues

Criminal Courts: Structure, Process, and Issues, 4th edition

  • Richard D. Hartley
  • Gary A. Rabe
  • Dean J. Champion

Published by Pearson (March 30th 2017) - Copyright © 2018

4th edition

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A comprehensive examination of the criminal court system and the processing of defendants

From the actors in the system, including judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys, through the sentencing and appeals process, Criminal Courts provides comprehensive coverage of the United States Criminal Court systems in a succinct, readable approach. It examines issues confronting the system from historical, philosophical, sociological, and psychological perspectives, and throughout there are comparisons of court ideals with what actually happens in the courts. Comprehensive coverage of the processing of offenders from when they are arrested and charged with crimes, to when they are convicted and sentenced is presented, and throughout the text, practical, real-life applications of the topics and issues give the material meaning. Included to enhance learning are: evidence-based chapter openings that provide context to the chapter’s material, boxes that discuss relevant case law, chapter summaries to reiterate the chapter learning objectives, and policy-oriented critical thinking exercises based on current issues facing the system.

Table of contents

Table of Contents


  1. Law: The Legal Battlefield
  2. The Structure of American Courts
  3. The Prosecution  
  4. The Defense
  5. Judges  
  6. Juries  
  7. Pretrial Procedures and the Trial Process  
  8. Pretrial Procedures: Plea Bargaining  
  9. Sentencing Goals and Structures  
  10. Judicial Sentencing Options, Sentencing Disparities, and Appeals  
  11. The Juvenile Justice System: Juvenile Rights and Case Processing  
  12. Juvenile Courts: Adjudication and Disposition  
  13. Diversion, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Specialty Courts  
  14. Courts, Media, and the Litigation Explosion  



Cases Cited Index  

Name Index  

Subject Index  

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