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40 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Adversarial System
A legal system of common law origin where two parties advocate opposing positions and a neutral finder of fact such as a judge or jury determines the truth in the matter.
Bench Trial

A trial without a jury, in which the judge serves as the fact-finder.

Bill of Rights

The first ten Amendments to the Constitution which guarantee many fundamental rights.

Civil Liberties
Individual rights protected by law from violation by the government.

The various methods and institutions by which society deals with criminal offenders, such as prisons, jails, probation, and parole.


Government entity authorized to resolve legal disputes.

An act or omission that is prohibited by law and has an associated punishment.
Criminal Justice System

The several sets of agencies and processes established by governments to prevent and control crime and impose penalties on those who violate laws.


In a civil case, the person or organization against whom the plaintiff brings suit; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.

Defense Counsel

A lawyer retained for and usually specializing in the defense of a person accused of a crime.


The freedom of a criminal justice agent to decide what should be done in a particular situation based on professional judgement.

Due Process

In criminal law, the constitutional guarantee that a defendant will receive a fair and impartial trial.

Due Process Clause

Both the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments contain Due Process clauses that protect people from fundamentally unfair practices by the criminal justice system.


Treating everyone the same.


Giving everyone what they deserve.

Exclusionary Rule

Doctrine that says evidence obtained in violation of a criminal defendant's constitutional or statutory rights is not admissible at trial.

Fifth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment imposes restrictions on the government's prosecution of people accused of crimes.

Finder of Fact

A person (such as a judge) or a group of people (such as a jury) who are responsible for determining the facts in a trial or other legal proceeding.

Fourteenth Amendment

An Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that prohibits states from violating people's due process rights.



Individual Rights

Rights related to an individual's freedom to pursue goals without interference from government.


A secure confinement facility that holds persons accused of crimes and persons convicted of minor crimes.


An official of the Judicial branch with authority to decide lawsuits brought before courts.


The group of people selected to hear the evidence in a trial and render a verdict on matters of fact.

Just Deserts

A deserved punishment.


A complex concept involving the ideas of fairness and conformity to the law.

Lex Talionis

A Latin legal phrase signifying the law of retaliation, whereby criminals are punished to the same degree and kind as the harm done by their crimes.


A type of early release from prison where the parolee must abide by certain specified conditions and be supervised in the community by a parole officer.


A civil (rather than military) force tasked with the prevention and detection of crime and disorder, as well as many service functions.


An institution designed for the confinement of persons found guilty of serious crimes.


Instead of sending an individual to prison, the court releases the person to the community and orders him or her to complete a period of supervision and to abide by certain conditions.

Procedural Justice

Sometimes called procedural fairness; a synonym of due process.


An attorney who conducts cases against criminal defendants in the name of the state.

Retributive Justice

A model of criminal justice based on the punishment of offenders rather than other goals such as rehabilitation.

Rule of Law

The principle of government by established law rather than the will of a group or individual.


The chief law enforcement officer of a county; the office originated in feudal England as the shire-reeve.

Sheriff's Deputies

Sworn law enforcement officers working under the direction of a county sheriff.


A law passed by a legislature.

Trial by Jury

A type of trial where a jury (usually composed of 12 citizens) decides if the prosecutor has proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

U.S. Code

A collecton of all the laws passed by the Congress of the United States, organized by subject.