I. Introduction to the Criminal Justice Process
A. Sources of Law that create legal Rights for Criminal Defendants & Regulate the Procedure of the Criminal Justice System, p. 2
1. Federal Constitution
a) 4th amendment
b) 6th amendment
c) 8th amendment
d) Due process
f) Federal constitution answers a lot of questions – but most criminal prosecutions happen in states, which have their own procedures.
2. State constitutional rights → a state can interpret its own constitution to give greater protection but must prove a clear statement that that’s what it is doing.
a) May provide greater protection than federal rights, thus, the federal constitution creates a floor that establishes the minimum rights that must be recognized in all criminal prosecutions, but the state courts are free to establish their own
b) Federal constitution is preeminent and gives Δs certain rights regardless of whether a Δ is in federal or state court. States can’t give Δs fewer rights than the federal constitution.
(1) State can give more rights if it wants… but it’s rare that states will mess with a Supreme Court decision interpreting the federal constitution.
(a) Example: difference between right to counsel. Both ways are constitutional but produce a big difference in practice.
(i) In Washington DC, lawyers were appointed before the first appearance.
(ii) In NC, Δ is informed at the time of first appearance if they had a right to counsel. This practice is constitutional.
3. Case law sources
a) “supervisory authority”
4. Local sources of law—
a) City ordinances, municipal court rules
B. Prosecution Systems, p. 4
1. Multiple Jurisdictions
a) Multiple prosecutions for the same act by different sovereign governments are not prohibited by the constitution (different jurisdictions)
b) Therefore, if an act violates state and federal law it is up to prosecutors in each jurisdiction to decide how to coordinate the potential prosecution
c) 1/3 of federal prosecutions are for felonies & fewer than 1/10 are felonies in state prosecution
2. Major & Minor Crimes
3. The Gap B/w Law & Practice, p. 5
a) Criminal law is decentralized: important with respect to enforcement/exclusionary rule
b) For example: Durham and Chapel Hill police forces do not have a relationship and are not supervised by anyone.
c) Federal system is overseen by the Department of Justice (oversees U.S. Attorneys and the FBI).
d) NC is more centralized than many states due to funding issues. Here, every DA is elected, as is the sheriff.
C. The Roles of Prosecutors and Defense Counsel in Various Stages of the Criminal Prosecution
1. Pre-Arrest Investigation Stage
a) One goal: obtain evidence that will satisfy the probable cause standard required for arrest and judicial validation of any decision to charge a person with a crime
b) Second goal: obtain sufficient evidence to satisfy the beyond a reasonable doubt stand
3. Booking & Jailing Stage
a) People who undergo a full custody arrest will also undergo the booking process which usually occurs at the police station or jail
b) No connection b/w booking and formal charging
c) May not be asked questions about crimes during booking
d) After booking police may allow ppl to post bail immediately ant to be released on their own recognizance, pending the outcome of later decisions to bring a formal charge against them.
e) Major point is that there is a more intensive search when they’re putting someone in close custody.
4. 4. Post-Arrest Investigation
a) After an arrest, a prosecutor can participate in the same kinds of activities that precedes an arrest, such as witness interviews or interrogations, and the procuring of search warrants
b) A prosecutor can also participate in the interrogation of an arrested person who is now entitled to Miranda rights because of the existence of custodial interrogation;
c) While the arrestee has no right to invoke the right to counsel by asking for a lawyer and thereby preclude further interrogation in the absence of counsel.
d) Once Δ is arrested, certain rights attach… and the police have more access to the person.