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37 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
intrastate commerce
Trade among different regions in the same state
police power
The authority of the State to legislate for the protection of health, safety, and welfare of the people.
extraordinary majority
Amajority that is greater than 50% + 1.
constitutional initiative
A process that allows citizens to propose a constitutional amendment through the signing of petitions by a required number of registered voters.
initiative
A peocedure though which voters can propose a change in state or local laws by means of gathering signatures on a petition and submitting it to the legislature for approval
referendum
A form of direct democracy in which legislative or constitutional measures are first decided on by the legislature and then submitted to voters for approval
recall
A procedure that allows voters to dismiss and elected official from a state or local office befor the official's term is expired.
plurality
A situation that in which a candidate wins an election by receiving more votes than the others, but does not necessarily win a majority. Most state federal and local elections allow for plurality wins.
appropriations bill
Bills that formally set aside money for a specific purpose.
clemency proceedings
Proceedings in which a governor may grant a pardon or reprieve for those convicted of a crime.
pardon
The act of granting a prisoner release from punishment. Can be granted by the President or a governor before or after a conviction.
commute
To reduce a criminal sentence imposed by a court of law.
reprieve
A postponement of a criminal sentence imposed by a court of law. Presidents and governors have this power and usually use it for humanitarian reasons.
parole
The release of a prisoner before the completion of his or her prison sentence.
jurisdiction
The power of a court to try and decide certain cases
limited jurisdiction
The authority of a court to hear only certain kinds of cases
general jurisdiction
The authority of a court to decide all matters that come before it.
justice court
A federal court that hears minor civil and criminal cases, performs marriages, and legalizes documents.
justice of the peace (JP)
Local judicial official who presides over the the activities of the justice court.
magistrate
A local judicial official with limited jurisdiction.
magistrate court
Lower courts in a small town or city.
prosecuting attorney
The official who represents the government and intiates and carries out legal proceedings.
district attorney
An attorney who initiates and conducts legal action on behalf of the State, especially i criminal cases.
warrant
An order issued by a court authorizing a public official to proceed in a specific manner, such as a search warrant.
probable cause
Sufficient evidence to believe a crime has been committed. Reasonable grounds for issuing warrants.
indictment
A fromal finding by a grand jury that there is sufficient evidence against a particular person to warrant a criminal trial.
grand jury
A jury consisting of 6 to 23 persons, that hears criminal charges against individuals and determines whether there is enough evidence to justify holding a trial.
information
A statement issued by a prosecutor that there is enough evidence to bring the accused person to trial, without the use of a grand jury.
arraignment
A preliminary court proceeding in which the defendant hears the charges and enters his or her plea.
public defenders
The attorney appointed to represent a defendant in a criminal case should the defendant be unable to hire an attorney.
preliminary hearing
A court hearing in which evidence is submitted and evidence presented to determine whether there is reason to continue with court proceddings.
bail
Money that a prisoner may be required to deposit with a court to obtain his or her release and to guarantee that he or she will appear in court at a designated time.
bench trial
A trial before a judge without a jury.
trial jury
A group of up to 12 persons who hear the facts of a civil or criminal case in a court of law and give a verdict.
petit jury
who hear the facts of a civil or criminal case in a court of law and give a verdict.
voir dire
A French phrase meaning "to speak the truth," refers to the process by which prosecutive jurors are examined to ensure their judgement will be impartial.
plea bargain
Agreements between prosecuting and defense attorneys whereby a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a lighter sentence.