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Text A. THE PIVOTAL ROLE OF THE COURTS



 

The term criminal justice system refers to the various agencies and institutions that are directly involved in the implementation of public policy concerning crime. The criminal justice system consists of three principal components: police, courts, and correction. The courts play a pivotal role within this system, because after a crime has been committed, any formal action must be funneled through the courts. Only the courts can detain a suspect prior to trial, find a person guilty, and sentence the guilty to prison. Alternatively, of course, the courts may release the suspect prior to trial, find him or her not guilty, or decide not to send a convicted person to prison. The decisions that courts make (and how they make them) have important consequences for other components of the criminal justice system. The reverse is equally true: the operations of police and corrections have major impacts on the criminal courts.

 

Text В. A FRAGMENTED CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

 

1. Although the three components of the criminal justice system are separate orga­nizations, they are also tied together. Each component must interact with the others. This process is best visualized as three overlapping circles: one representing the police, another the courts, and the last corrections . All three operate within a wider circle representing the general public.

2. Of necessity, police, courts, and corrections work together, but the criminal justice system is neither uniform nor coordinated. The major components of the law enforcement and criminal justice system do not make up a smoothly function­ing and internally consistent organization. ‘Not only is each element fragmented and lacking coherence itself, but the separate elements often are not coordinated with each other, even though the operation of each has a direct bearing on the functioning of the others (Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, 1977). Moreover, the interrelationships among police, courts, and corrections are often marked by tension, conflict, and at times even hostility. Conflict results in part from competition for limited attention and funds from outside the system. But it also results from different perspectives on the common task of processing persons accused of breaking the law (National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals, 1973).

3. The competing perspectives of police, courts, and corrections (to say nothing of differing views within the court community itself) toward processing the ac­cused have raised the question of whether America has a system of criminal justice or a nonsystem. Some argue that the process is so fragmented and decentralized that there is no overall coordination in the American justice process. Others disagree, arguing that it is still useful to view criminal justice as a system. They point out that the system has some overall purpose and an interrelationship among the various components. The term system does not necessarily mean that all actions must be rationally ordered. The criminal justice process is a living system com­posed of a number of parts that are characterized by competing goals. Tensions and conflicts among police, courts, and corrections are not necessarily undesirable. Tensions arising from competing goals provide important checks on other orga­nizations. This friction is particularly evident in the criminal justice system, where the work of each component is evaluated by others: The police make arrests, yet the decision to charge is made by the prosecutor; the judge and jury rate the prosecutor’s efforts. Indeed, the very essence of the adversary process is conflict, which ensures that multiple sources of information will be considered.

 

Text С. SYMBOLS OF JUSTICE

 

1. The importance of the courts cannot be measured solely in terms of their role within the criminal justice system. Beyond their instrumental functions, courts also play a meaningfulsymbolic role. Consider, for example, the symbols that surround the courts: the judge’s black robes and gavel; lady justice’s blindfold, sword, and scales of justice; and, of course, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. One of the hallmarks of a democratic society under the rule of law is the principle that there are limits to government authority. Public confidence rests on the perception that the process is just, fair, and decent (Walker, 1989). In particular, the public looks to the courts as forums of fairness and impartiality; every citizen accused of a crime is allowed to have his or her day in court. At the same time, the public expects the courts to punish wrongdoers. A conviction at trial is a public dramatization that those who violate society’s rules will be punished. It thus serves as a warning to potential wrongdoers. Americans believe that no one is above the law – no matter how high a position a person occupies, he or she may be convicted for criminal wrongdoing. But at the same time, some negative symbols are associated with the judicial process in the minds of Americans – for example, images of shyster lawyers and legal loopholes that allow the guilty to escape justice.

 

5. Выпишите из текстов эквиваленты следующих слов и выражений: уголовное правосудие; подозреваемый; признавать кого-либо виновным; совершать преступление; приговаривать к тюремному заключению; исправительные учреждения; обвинять в нарушении закона; обвинитель; судья; присяжные.

6. Выпишите из текста 2 предложения, содержащие сказуемое в активном залоге. Подчеркните сказуемое и определите его видовременную форму. Измените предложения таким образом, чтобы сказуемое имело все возможные грамматические формы.

7. Выпишите из текста 2 предложения, содержащие сказуемое в пассивном залоге. Подчеркните сказуемое и определите его видовременную форму. Переведите предложения на русский язык.

8. Составьте резюме, используя образец стр. 27.

.

 


КОНТРОЛЬНАЯ РАБОТА №1

 

Вариант №9

 

Выполните следующие задания:

1. Образуйте форму множественного числа следующих существительных: a scheme, a level, a violator, a right, a responsibility, a suit, a claim, a trial.

2. Поставьте все личные местоимения в объектном падеже и напишите соответствующие им формы притяжательных местоимений.

3. Образуйте степени сравнения следующих прилагательных: severe, mild, high, common, little, big, effective, national.

4. Прочтите и переведите тексты. Абзацы 2, 3 текста С переведите письменно.

 

Text A. DUAL COURT SYSTEM

 

1. America has a dual court system: two independent but interrelated judicial schemes, one at the national level and the other at the state. The end result is fifty-one separate court systems – one for the national government and fifty different ones in the states. The dual court system mirrors the federal system of government in the United States, which divides powers between the national government and the state governments, with each legally supreme in its own sphere. The two levels of government share other powers, such as taxation and penalizing violators of their respective laws. Applying the federal principle to the courts, federal courts have exclusive power over violations of federal criminal law, and state courts have the exclusive right to try those accused of breaking state laws.

2. The division of responsibilities is not as clear-cut as it looks, however, because some judicial powers are shared by both state and federal courts. Civil suits between citizens of different states may be heard by either a state or a federal court. The possession of narcotics or the interstate transportation of a kidnap victim violates both state and federal laws, which means that the accused may be tried twice – notwithstanding the prohibition on double jeopardy. In addition, de­fendants convicted in state courts may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, a federal court. Defendants convicted in state courts may also seek further review of their cases in federal courts by filing a writ ofhabeas corpus (a claim that the person is being held illegally).

Text B. TRIAL COURTS

 

Virtually all cases, whether civil or criminal, begin in a trial court. If the case is a criminal one, the trial court arraigns the defendant, sets bail, conducts a trial (or takes a guilty plea), and imposes sentence if the defendant is found guilty. If the case is a civil one, the trial court operates in much the same fashion, ensuring that each party is properly informed of the complaint, conducting a trial or accepting an out-of-court settlement, and awarding damages. Because only trial courts hear disputes over facts, it is only in trial courts that witnesses appear. Trial courts are considered finders of fact, and the decision of a judge (or jury) about a factual dispute normally cannot be appealed. (In Louisiana and Wisconsin, howev­er, trial court findings of fact in civil cases are appealable.) In theory, every trial court decision may be appealed, but most cases are settled without a trial, so appeals are rarely filed.

 

Text C. APPEALS COURTS

 

1. The losing party in the trial court generally has the right to request an appellate court to review the case. In criminal cases, however, the constitutional protection against double jeopardy prevents the prosecutor from appealing if the judge or jury has returned a verdict of not guilty.

2. The primary function of the appellate courts is to ensure that the trial court has correctly interpreted and applied the law. A second function is to devise new rules, reexamine old ones, and interpret unclear language of past court decisions or statutes (Wheeler and Whitcomb, 1977). Because their role is not the same, appellate courts operate very differently from trial courts. No trials are conducted; no witnesses are heard; and juries are never used.

3. The appellate process begins when the appellant (the losing party in the lower court) files a notice of appeal. The appellant has several months to prepare a written brief explaining why the decision of the lower court was in error. The opposing party (the appellee) also has the opportunity to prepare a brief setting forth arguments that the original decision was legally correct and should stand. The case is then set for oral argument, during which both sides are allotted a short time to present their arguments.

4. In deciding issues of law, appellate courts operate as collegial bodies -that is, decisions are made by a group of judges. There may be as few as three or as many as twenty-eight (as in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals). Appellate judges often provide written reasons justifying their decisions (trial court judges write opinions only rarely). If the case is an easy one, the opinion of the court may be very short, perhaps a sentence or two. But if the legal issues are important and/or complex, the court’s opinion may run to dozens of pages. It is through such written opinions that appellate courts shape the law. Some legal issues are so close or involve such conflicting points of law that the judges do not always agree among themselves as to the correct answer. Those who disagree with the majority can write a dissenting opinion explaining why they think that their fellow judges have reached the wrong results.

5. If the appellate court finds that a legal error was committed (for example, illegally obtained evidence was admitted at trial) the court reverses and remands (sends back) the case to the trial court. This usually means that the defendant will be tried a second time. The chances of a criminal defendant winning on appeal are not very high, however.

 

5. Выпишите из текстов А и В эквиваленты следующих слов и выражений: разделять полномочия; гражданский иск; нарушать федеральные законы; обвиняемый; осуждать; подавать апелляцию в Верховный суд; жалоба; предъявлять обвинение подсудимому; назначать залог; признавать виновным.

6. Выпишите из текста 2 предложения, содержащие сказуемое в активном залоге. Подчеркните сказуемое и определите его видовременную форму. Измените предложения таким образом, чтобы сказуемое имело все возможные грамматические формы.

7. Выпишите из текста 2 предложения, содержащие сказуемое в пассивном залоге. Подчеркните сказуемое и определите его видовременную форму. Переведите предложения на русский язык.

8. Составьте резюме, используя образец стр. 27.

.

 


КОНТРОЛЬНАЯ РАБОТА №1

 

Вариант №10

 

Выполните следующие задания:

1. Образуйте форму множественного числа следующих существительных: a circuit, a decision, an issue, a tribunal, a justice, a territory, a matter, a location.

2. Поставьте все личные местоимения в объектном падеже и напишите соответствующие им формы притяжательных местоимений.

3. Образуйте степени сравнения следующих прилагательных: low, serious, specific, common, exact, usual, big, little.

4. Прочтите и переведите тексты. Абзацы 2, 3 текста В переведите письменно.

 






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