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25 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
statutory law
Law that the legislature has originated and passed by a written enactment.
sanction
A penalty or punishment that is imposed on a person in order to enforce the law.
rehabilitation
A punishment philosophy based on a belief that the offender can and will change to a law-abiding citizen through treatment programs and facilities. Rehabilitation may be most likely to occur in community-based programs rather than during incarceration in penal institutions. The rehabilitative ideal" was embodied in probation
misdemeanor
A less serious offense, punishable by a fine, probation, or a short jail term, in contrast to a felony, a more serious crime.
mens rea
The guilty or criminal intent of the accused at the time the criminal act is committed.
mala prohibita
Actions that are wrong because legislation prohibits them, although there may not be general agreement that they are wrong in themselves.
mala in se
Actions that are intrinsically immoral, such as murder, forcible rape, and robbery.
just deserts
The belief that those who commit crimes should suffer for those crimes; also the amount or type of punishment a particular offender deserves to receive.
jurisdiction
The lawful exercise of authority; the area within which authority may be exercised, such as the geographical area within which a particular police force has authority. Courts may have original jurisdiction to hear the case; if more than one court has authority to hear the case, jurisdiction is concurrent. Appellate jurisdiction refers to the power of a court to hear the case on appeal. Exclusive jurisdiction means that only one court may hear the case.
inquisitory system
A system in which the defendant must prove his or her innocence, in contrast to the adversary system, which has a presumption of innocence, requiring the state to prove the defendant's guilt.
felony
A serious offense, such as murder, armed robbery, or rape. Historical punishment ranged from imprisonment in a state or federal institution to execution. Today some felons are placed on probation.
equal protection
All persons under like circumstances must receive the same treatment in the criminal justice system; they may not be discriminated against because of race, gender, minority status, or religion.
due process
The constitutional principle that a person should not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without reasonable and lawful procedures that must be made available in any criminal action, including postconviction procedures such as prison disciplinary hearings or parole revocations.
discretion
In the criminal justice system, authority to make decisions based on one's own judgment rather than on specified rules. The result may be inconsistent handling of offenders as well as positive actions tailored to individual circumstances.
deterrence
A punishment philosophy based on the assumption that the acts of potential offenders can be prevented. Individual deterrence refers to the prevention of additional criminal acts on the part of the specific individual being punished; general deterrence refers to the presumed effect that punishing one offender will have on other potential offenders.
defenses
Responses by the defendant in a criminal or civil case. They may consist only of a denial of the factual allegations of the prosecution (in a criminal case) or of the plaintiff (in a civil case). If the defense offers new factual allegations in an effort to negate the charges, there is an affirmative defense.
criminal justice system
The entire system of criminal prevention, detection, apprehension, trial, and punishment.
crime
An illegal act of omission or commission that is punishable by law.
common law
More specifically common law consists of the guidelines, customs, traditions, and judicial decisions that courts use in decision making. It is contrasted to constitutions and written laws.
civil law
Distinguished from criminal law as that law pertaining to private rights.
causation
The requirement in criminal law that the criminal act must be the cause of the harmful consequence.
case law
Legally binding court interpretations of written laws or rules made by the courts.
adversary system
One of two primary systems for settling disputes in court. The accused is presumed to be innocent. A defense attorney and a prosecuting attorney attempt to convince a judge or a jury of their versions of the case.
administrative law
Rules and regulations made by agencies to which power has been delegated by the legislature. Administrative agencies investigate and decide cases concerning potential violations of these rules.
criminal law
Statutes defining acts so offensive that they threaten the well-being of the society and require that the accused be prosecuted by the government. Criminal laws prescribe punishments that may be imposed on offenders.