• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The Judicial Process: Law, Courts, and Judicial Politics is an all-new, concise yet comprehensive core text that introduces students to the nature and significance of the judicial process in the United States and across the globe. It is social scientific in its approach, situating the role of the courts and their impact on public policy within a strong foundation in legal theory, or political jurisprudence, as well as legal scholarship. Authors Christopher P. Banks and David M. O’Brien do not shy away from the politics of the judicial process, and offer unique insight into cutting-edge and highly relevant issues. In its distinctive boxes, “Contemporary Controversies over Courts” and “In Comparative Perspective,” the text examines topics such as the dispute pyramid, the law and morality of same-sex marriages, the “hardball politics” of judicial selection, plea bargaining trends, the right to counsel and “pay as you go” justice, judicial decisions limiting the availability of class actions, constitutional courts in Europe, the judicial role in creating major social change, and the role lawyers, juries and alternative dispute resolution techniques play in the U.S. and throughout the world. Photos, cartoons, charts, and graphs are used throughout the text to facilitate student learning and highlight key aspects of the judicial process.

Trial Courts
Trial Courts

ANTHONY RAY HINTON WAS ARRESTED IN 1985 FOR KILLING TWO PEOPLE IN A SERIES of robberies in Birmingham, Alabama, fast-food restaurants. The prosecutor described him as “one of the most evil people” he had ever encountered, a “sociopathic jerk” who was “one of the coldest killers who ever walked a sidewalk in Jefferson County.” Critical to the case was matching six bullets to a.38 caliber pistol that belonged to Hinton’s mother and was found in her house. At trial, Hinton’s court-appointed counsel hired an expert witness, Andrew Payne, to rebut the prosecution’s forensic evidence. The jury was not convinced, and Hinton was convicted and sentenced to death row, where he remained for the next twenty-five years while his appeals were litigated.1

Hinton’s ...

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