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Flashcards in Chapter 9 Deck (30)
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The decision by a prosecutor to drop a case after a complaint has been made because of, for example, insufficient evidence, witness reluctance to testify, police error, or office policy

Nolle Prosequi


A group of citizens chosen to hear charges against persons accused of crime and to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to bring those persons to trial

Grand jury


A court to which appeals are made on points of law resulting from the judgement of a lower, court; the appellate court may be asked to evaluate the impact of new evidence but more typically decides whether the state or federal constitution was improperly interpreted during a case.

Appellate court


An appointed or elected member of the practicing bar who is responsible for bringing the state's cases against the accused.



The county prosecutor who is charged with bringing offenders to justice and enforcing the criminal laws of the state.

District Attorney


Discussions between defense counsel and prosecution in which the accused agrees to plead guilty in exchange for certain considerations such as reduced charges or a lenient sentence.

Plea negotiations/Plea bargaining


An order of a superior court requesting that a record of an inferior court (or administrative body) be brought forward for review or inspection

Writ of Certiorari


The chief legal officer and prosecutor of each state and of the United States

Attorney General


The practice by private attorneys of taking the cases of indigent offenders without fee as a service to the profession and the community

Pro Bono


A private counsel attorney appointed by the court to represent a criminal defendant who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer

Assigned counsel


A defendant who lacks the funds to hire a private attorney and is therefore entitled to free counsel

Indigent defendant


A state of federal court that has jurisdiction over felony offenses serious crimes that carry a penalty of incarceration in a state or federal prison for one year or more

Courts of general jurisdiction


An informal dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party helps disputing third parties reach an agreement



A process of dispute resolution in which a neutral third party (arbitrator) renders a decision after a hearing at which both parties agree to be heard.



A prosecutorial philosophy that emphasizes community support and cooperation with other agencies in preventing crime, as well as a less centralized and more proactive role for local prosecutors

Community Prosecution


An attorney employed by the government to represent criminal defendants who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer

Public defender


A trial court in the federal court system

U.S district court


A court that handles the final appeal on a matter-in the federal system, the U.S supreme court

Court of last resort


The highest appellate court in the United States

U.S Supreme court


A court that has jurisdiction over misdemeanors and conducts preliminary investigations of felony charges

Courts of limited Jurisdiction


The prosecutor's auhtority to decide whether to bring a case to trial or to dismiss it outright

Prosecutorial discretion


Legal counsel for the defendant in a criminal case, representing the accused person from arrest to final appeal

Defense Attorney


a simplified version of trial



The convention that four justices must agree to hear a case before a writ of certiorari is granted

Rule of four


The nations principal litigators, appointed by the president. Assistant United States attorneys are tasked with, among other duties, prosecuting criminal defendants in federal court.

United States Attorneys


Provision of legal services to indigent defendants by private attorneys under contract to the state or county

Contract System


A court that has preliminary jurisdiction over specific types of offenses and that operates differently than a traditional criminal court, such as with a concern over outcomes and extensive judicial monitoring

Specialized court


The senior officer in a court of law, who is authorized to hear and decide cases.



A means of settling disputes outside the court room

Alternative dispute resolution


An apellate court in the federal court system

U.S courts of appeals