Criminal Courts: A Contemporary Perspective

SAGE Publications
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Written by three leaders in the field, this comprehensive and accessible text for undergraduate courses explores all conventional topics (court structure, courtroom actors, and the trial and appeal process) as well as others seldom covered. The text first reviews the judicial function, the role and purpose of law, sources of law, the various types of law, and the American court system structure and operations, both state and federal. The participants in the system are discussed next, followed by the pretrial, trial, and posttrial processes. A wealth of pedagogical tools adds valuable related content, ranging from the points of view of court process participants to comparative information to hotly debated topics.
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About the author

Craig Hemmens is Department Chair and Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University. In addition to being the editor for the SAGE Text/Reader Series in Criminology/Criminal Justice, he has published several books, including Law, Justice and Society (Oxford University Press, ©2012), Legal Guide for Police (Anderson, ©2011) and An Introduction to Criminal Evidence (Oxford University Press, ©2009). He holds a J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law and a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University. He served as the President of the Association of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) from 2012 to 2013.

David C. Brody is an associate professor and the Academic Director of the Criminal Justice Program at Washington State University. He received a JD from the University of Arizona College of Law and a PhD in Criminal Justice from the State University of New York at Albany. He is the co-author of textbooks on criminal law and criminal procedure, and over twenty scholarly articles that have been published in such journals as the American Criminal Law Review, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, Hastings Women's Law Journal, Crime and Delinquency, and Judicature.

Cassia C. Spohn is a Foundation Professor and Director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University. She is the author or coauthor of six books, including Policing and Prosecuting Sexual Assault: Inside the Criminal Justice System, which was published in 2013. Her research interests include prosecutorial and judicial decision making, the intersections of race, ethnicity, crime and justice, and sexual assault case processing decisions. In 2013 she received ASU’s Award for Leading Edge Research in the Social Sciences and was selected as a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SAGE Publications
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Published on
Dec 20, 2012
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Pages
536
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ISBN
9781483317229
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Criminology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Cassia Spohn
How are sentences for federal, state, and local crimes determined?
Is this process fairly and justly applied to all concerned?
How have reforms affected the process over the last 25 years?

Offering a comprehensive overview of the sentencing process in the United States, How Do Judges Decide? The Search for Fairness and Justice in Punishment explores these questions and more. Author Cassia Spohn first discusses the overall concept of punishment and then analyzes individual aspects of it, including the sentencing process, the responsibility of the judge, and disparity and discrimination in sentencing. This Second Edition offers new information on the impact of sentencing reforms, including recent research and case law, updated statistics in tables and figures, and new boxed highlights.

Key Features Helps students understand patterns in the wide discretion and latitude given to judges when determining penalties within the framework of the U.S. judicial system Engages the reader with "Focus on an Issue" sections, which analyze key issues such as gender and sentencing (Ch.4) and the impact of race on sentencing for drug offenses (Ch.5) Examines sentencing reforms and their impact, providing students with up-to-date information on how punishment is meted out in U.S. courts. Contains boxed excerpts in each chapter from books and articles, with a variety of case studies on topics such as the O.J. Simpson murder trial, judicial surveys, and comparison of sentences in different jurisdictions by gender Offers new material on specialty courts and the prosecutor's role in sentencing Concludes each chapter with discussion questions


How Do Judges Decide? is an ideal text for upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses on the judicial system, criminal law, and law and society.

Cassia Spohn
Rolando V. del Carmen
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