The 20 chapters in Courts, Law, and Justice cover a wide range of sharply contested topics, including drug and gun control laws as well as the ins and outs of the criminal justice system as encountered by arrested suspects, during the trial process, and during the sentencing phase. This volume looks closely at Miranda rights and the impact of polygraphs and DNA testing; legal and procedural issues during prosecution, including exclusionary rules and double jeopardy; and sentencing and punishment for crimes, including for offenses such as DUI and sex offenses. The role of the victim during the prosecutorial process is also examined. Addressing such engaging topics as asset forfeiture, DNA evidence, double jeopardy, expert witnesses and “hired guns,” eyewitness testimony and accuracy, insanity defense, the jury system, mandatory sentencing, plea bargaining, polygraphs, three-strikes laws, and more, the authors of this volume all closely examine the development of the justice system and consider the key opinions supporting or contesting the laws and policies used during investigation, prosecution, and sentencing. The SeriesThe five brief, issues-based books in SAGE Reference’s Key Issues in Crime & Punishment Series offer examinations of controversial programs, practices, problems or issues from varied perspectives. Volumes correspond to the five central subfields in the Criminal Justice curriculum: Crime & Criminal Behavior, Policing, The Courts, Corrections, and Juvenile Justice. Each volume consists of approximately 20 chapters offering succinct pro/con examinations, and Recommended Readings conclude each chapter, highlighting different approaches to or perspectives on the issue at hand. As a set, these volumes provide perfect reference support for students writing position papers in undergraduate courses spanning the Criminal Justice curriculum. Each title is approximately 350 pages in length.

Jury System

Jury system

Since its inception, the American jury system has elicited praise while inspiring a wealth of criticism. A jury is a panel of citizens chosen by the justice system to adjudicate a criminal or civil matter in a court of law. Jurisdictions select jurors by employing a series of procedures designed to screen out biased or incompetent jurors. Often, this process takes several weeks and involves the cooperation of judges, lawyers, and prospective jurors. If a citizen survives the jury selection process, he or she will participate in trial, becoming an empanelled or seated juror responsible for considering evidence, applying law, and potentially rendering a verdict.

Social science research has reinvigorated the debate surrounding the American jury system. Citing empirical data, critics of the ...

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