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Criminal Procedure
UMKC School of Law
Lafond, John Q.

Prof. LaFond


There are 52 jurisdictions in the U.S. who can define criminal law for themselves (autonomous) BUT if it involves a constitutional issue, then the jurisdiction MUST follow the U.S. Supreme Court on the ruling on that issue.

constitution: A collection of ideas and principles that a particular culture, society or group follows to form a government, society or culture (does not have to be written).

Any society, to be a society, must have some sort of constitution.

constitutional ideas What ideas are followed in society and what practices are followed to implement those ideas (interaction between philosophical and active components).

1. Composition v. Decomposition of a Country
(200 B.C. – 2000 A.D.)

Why have a society or government at all? There is a need for authority, direction, a managerial center known as a government, then allowing it to have power (sovereignty).

2. Norman Conquest
(William of Normandy v. Harold of England (1066))

Led to the idea of a modern centralized form of government.
Recognized that both the government and the people have rights and responsibilities.
Development of English common law (law created by individual judges in the provinces).
Domesday Book (census record, cataloguing of land and possessions) indicated that land issues were now a governmental, centralized concern

3. Development of Common Law
(Manorial and Local Law v. The Common Law of the Realm)

Land law became common law (law common among peoples).
Law determined by judges on a case-by-case basis, developed based on experience in order to achieve what is believed to be right and just.
Flexible system designed to change with the beliefs of society.
Uncodified law that included procedural and substantive issues and doctrines (incl. the idea of the jury system).

4. The

. England (1776))

Polemic document (a refutation of or attach on a particular opinion, doctrine, theory) that interpreted the British method of rule as a violation of Due Process.

8. The Articles of Confederation
(The New States v. Centralization (1775-1798))

First constitution of the United States that established a central government, controlled trade, established paper money, and established English as the national language (but did not provide for executive or judicial branches).
Example of weak, decentralized government.

9. The Constitutional Convention (We the People…)
(The Federalists v. Confederalists (1775-1789))

Convention called to redraft the Articles of Confederation to provide for a stronger, more centralized government.