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Chapter 7 Judges and the Justice in the States Multiple-Choice Questions 1. Which of the following best describes minor courts of limited jurisdiction? A. They are the courts that handle misdemeanors, traffic cases, and civil suits involving small amounts of money. B. They are the courts that administer common and criminal law. C. They are the courts that administer estates and handle matters related to wills. D. They are the courts that review decisions of trial courts. E. They are the courts that administer equity and statutory law. Answer: A Rationale: Minor courts of limited jurisdiction primarily handle cases involving minor offenses, such as misdemeanors, traffic violations, and civil suits with small claims. These courts are designed to efficiently process lower-level legal matters without burdening higher courts. 2. In most states, ________ handle misdemeanors. A. appellate courts B. trial courts of general jurisdiction C. minor courts of limited jurisdiction D. state supreme court E. federal supreme court Answer: C Rationale: Misdemeanors are typically handled by minor courts of limited jurisdiction in most states. These courts specialize in handling lower-level criminal offenses, traffic violations, and civil cases with small claims. 3. Jack has just been arrested for traffic violation, a misdemeanor. Which of the following courts is most likely to handle this type of offense? A. appellate court B. trial court of general jurisdiction C. minor court of limited jurisdiction D. state supreme court E. federal supreme court Answer: C Rationale: A traffic violation, classified as a misdemeanor, is usually handled by a minor court of limited jurisdiction. These courts are specifically designed to handle minor offenses efficiently and effectively. 4. James, a 16-year-old boy from California, has just committed a minor offense and is expected to appear before a magistrate. In which of the following courts is he most likely to appear? A. supreme court B. criminal court C. juvenile court D. small claims court E. court of appeal Answer: C Rationale: Juvenile courts typically handle cases involving minors, including those who commit minor offenses. These courts are specialized to address the unique needs and circumstances of juvenile offenders. 5. Which of the following courts is most likely to have original jurisdiction over a felony? A. appellate courts B. trial courts of general jurisdiction C. minor courts of limited jurisdiction D. small claims court E. federal supreme court Answer: B Rationale: Trial courts of general jurisdiction typically have original jurisdiction over felony cases, which are more serious offenses. These courts have the authority to conduct trials and render initial judgments in felony cases. 6. ________ refers to a serious crime, the penalty for which can range from imprisonment in a penitentiary for more than a year to death. A. A misdemeanor B. Tort C. A felony D. Conspiracy E. Attempted larceny Answer: C Rationale: A felony is a serious crime that carries significant penalties, including imprisonment for more than a year or even the death penalty in some cases. Felonies are distinguished from misdemeanors by the severity of the offense. 7. Original jurisdiction is defined as ________. A. the power of a court to determine whether a law or government regulation is consistent with the state constitution or U.S. Constitution B. the authority of a court to annul a death sentence C. the authority of a court to hear a case “in the first instance” D. the power of an appellate court to review the decision made by a superior court E. the authority of an appellate court to overturn the decision of the superior court Answer: C Rationale: Original jurisdiction refers to the authority of a court to hear a case "in the first instance," meaning the court has the power to conduct trials, receive evidence, and render initial judgments on legal matters. 8. Judicial review is defined as ________. A. the power of a court to determine whether a law or government regulation is consistent with the state constitution or U.S. Constitution B. an opinion unrelated to a particular case that gives a court‘s view about a constitutional or legal issue C. the authority of a court to hear a case “in the first instance” D. the power of an appellate court to review the decision made by a superior court E. the authority of an appellate court to overturn the decision of the superior court Answer: A Rationale: Judicial review refers to the power of a court to determine whether a law or government regulation is consistent with the state constitution or U.S. Constitution. This authority allows courts to invalidate laws that are found to be unconstitutional. 9. All states have a court of last resort, usually called the ________. A. juvenile court B. trial court of general jurisdiction C. minor court of limited jurisdiction D. supreme court E. claims court Answer: D Rationale: The court of last resort in most states is known as the supreme court. This court is the highest judicial authority within the state and typically has the final say on legal matters, including the interpretation of state laws and the state constitution. 10. Advisory opinion is defined as ________. A. the power of a court to determine whether a law or government regulation is consistent with the state constitution or U.S. Constitution B. a view unrelated to a particular case that gives a court‘s view about a constitutional or legal issue C. the authority of a court to hear a case “in the first instance” D. the power of an appellate court to review the decision made by a superior court E. the authority of an appellate court to overturn the decision of the superior court Answer: B Rationale: An advisory opinion is a view unrelated to a particular case that provides a court's perspective on a constitutional or legal issue. Unlike judgments rendered in specific cases, advisory opinions do not have binding legal effect but may serve as guidance for future interpretations of the law. 11. Which of the following is true with regard to state courts in the light of the recession that began in 2008? A. Several state judges had suspended trying criminal cases to clear backlogs. B. The constitutional right to a speedy trial was suspended in most states. C. Funding cuts to state courts resulted in slowing down the justice system, especially regarding criminal cases. D. Funding cuts to state courts resulted in slowing down the justice system, especially regarding civil cases. E. Overall, only five states have actually reduced funding for their state court systems in 2011. Answer: D Rationale: During the recession, funding cuts to state courts slowed down the justice system, particularly regarding civil cases. This reduction in resources impacted the efficiency of civil court proceedings, leading to delays and backlogs. 12. When choosing judges for state courts in a federal system, there is a great tension between the goals of ________. A. criminal judges and civil judges B. rationality and ethics C. the government and judiciary D. an executive branch and judiciary E. accountability and independence Answer: E Rationale: The tension in selecting judges for state courts often revolves around the balance between accountability and independence. While there is a desire for judges to be accountable to the public, there is also a need to ensure their independence from political influence to uphold the rule of law. 13. Which of the following is the most common method of selecting state and local judges in the United States? A. appointment by senate B. election C. appointment by legislature D. appointment by governor E. Missouri plan or a variation of it Answer: B Rationale: The most common method of selecting state and local judges in the United States is through elections. This process allows voters to directly choose their judges, although methods may vary between states. 14. Which of the following is true for nonpartisan judicial elections? A. Nonpartisan judicial elections tend to show lower levels of roll-off than do partisan elections. B. Nonpartisan elections are not held for appellate court judges. C. In at least half of the states with nonpartisan judicial elections, parties actively campaign on behalf of candidates. D. In nonpartisan judicial elections, parties are actively barred from being involved in the election at any stage. E. Selection of judges through nonpartisan judicial elections is extremely rare in the U.S. Answer: C Rationale: In nonpartisan judicial elections, parties can actively campaign on behalf of candidates in at least half of the states. While the elections are nonpartisan in nature, party involvement is still common in supporting judicial candidates. 15. Which of the following cases was instrumental in allowing judges to freely take stances on several controversial political issues? A. Republican Party of Minnesota v. White B. Citizens United v. FEC C. Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC, et al. v. Bennett D. Brown v. Plata E. North Carolina Right to Life v. Leake Answer: A Rationale: The case of Republican Party of Minnesota v. White was instrumental in allowing judges to freely take stances on controversial political issues. The Supreme Court decision in this case struck down restrictions on judicial candidates' ability to express their views on legal or political issues. 16. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in ________ allowed interest groups to become much more active in judicial elections. A. Republican Party of Minnesota v. White B. Citizens United v. FEC C. Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC, et al. v. Bennett D. Brown v. Plata E. North Carolina Right to Life v. Leake Answer: B Rationale: The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC allowed interest groups to become much more active in judicial elections by removing restrictions on independent political spending by corporations and unions. 17. Much of the rising cost of judicial campaigns stems from ________. A. the increased reliance on international lobbyists B. the sharp decline in the number of independent donors C. frequent overseas travel undertaken by party members D. the increased reliance on televised campaign advertising E. the increased public funding from state governments to combat influence of PACs Answer: D Rationale: The rising cost of judicial campaigns is primarily attributed to the increased reliance on televised campaign advertising. Television ads are a significant expense in modern campaigns and contribute to the overall cost. 18. Which of the following refers to a system for selecting judges that combines features of the appointive and elective methods? A. the Missouri Plan B. the New Deal C. the Marshall Plan D. The Virginia Plan E. The Randolph Plan Answer: A Rationale: The Missouri Plan refers to a system for selecting judges that combines features of both appointive and elective methods. This plan involves judicial nominations by a commission, followed by appointment by the governor and periodic retention elections. 19. John Thatcher has recently been selected as a judge by the governor of Missouri, which follows the Missouri Plan for selecting judges. At the next general election, John Thatcher can be expected to ________. A. continue as a judge B. be removed from office C. take part in a nonpartisan election for the position D. run in a noncompetitive retention election E. be elected as a judge in the state supreme court Answer: D Rationale: In the Missouri Plan, judges like John Thatcher, once selected, typically face a retention election at the next general election. In this type of election, voters decide whether to retain the judge for another term rather than choosing between multiple candidates. 20. What is a retention election? A. an electoral system in which voters have no say on whether a judge should be allowed to serve a full new term B. an electoral system in which the voters are asked to vote yes or no on whether a judge should be allowed to stay in office C. an electoral system in which the public select the judicial candidate from a list of proposed candidates D. an electoral system in which the legislature votes to select a judicial candidate based on a list of proposed candidates E. an electoral system in which the governor appoints the judicial candidate based on his/her personal preference Answer: B Rationale: A retention election is an electoral system in which voters are asked to vote yes or no on whether a judge should be allowed to stay in office for another term. This system allows for judicial retention based on voter approval rather than competitive elections. 21. In the context of judicial selection systems, judges and attorneys tend to prefer ________. A. merit selection plans B. appointment by the governor C. appointment by the senate D. election E. nomination Answer: A Rationale: Judges and attorneys often prefer merit selection plans for judicial selection because these plans typically involve the appointment of judges based on their qualifications and merit, rather than through political processes or elections. 22. Which of the following is true of judicial elections? A. Nonpartisan judicial elections tend to show lower levels of roll-off than do partisan elections. B. Judges and attorneys tend to like judicial elections over merit selection. C. Judicial elections are low stimulus in nature with significant roll-off in those voting. D. Judicial elections have no supporters in the U.S. E. A Harris Poll conducted in 2008 showed that a majority of individual voters opposed choosing state judges through judicial elections. Answer: C Rationale: Judicial elections are typically characterized by low voter turnout and significant roll-off, meaning that many voters do not cast ballots in judicial races. This phenomenon contrasts with more high-profile partisan elections where voter participation is typically higher. 23. Which of the following is the only state where state judges have life appointments? A. Massachusetts B. New York C. Rhode Island D. North Dakota E. Oregon Answer: C Rationale: Rhode Island is the only state where state judges have life appointments. In most other states, judges are subject to periodic retention elections or reappointment processes. 24. Which of the following consists of eligible adult citizens from outside the legal profession that decides on the outcome of a case? A. prosecutors B. defense counsels C. public defenders D. juries E. judges Answer: D Rationale: Juries consist of eligible adult citizens from outside the legal profession who are responsible for deciding on the outcome of a case by evaluating evidence and reaching a verdict. 25. Which of the following is true of jury trials? A. All states in the U.S. use juries of more than 12 people for criminal trials. B. Jury service is restricted to only prosecutors and defense counsels. C. Most busy citizens are interested in serving as a member of a jury. D. In jury trials, verdicts are not permitted by less than a unanimous vote. E. Only a small fraction of criminal cases are actually disposed of by a trial before a jury. Answer: E Rationale: Only a small fraction of criminal cases are actually disposed of by a trial before a jury. Many criminal cases are resolved through plea bargains or other means before reaching trial. 26. The ________ in the United States (often called county attorneys or district attorneys) are usually county officials; most are locally elected and subject to little supervision by state authorities. A. defense counsels B. chief prosecutors C. public defenders D. prison officials E. judges Answer: B Rationale: The chief prosecutors in the United States, often called county attorneys or district attorneys, are usually county officials who are locally elected and have considerable autonomy in their prosecutorial decisions. 27. Which of the following best describes an information affidavit? A. It is a certification by a public prosecutor that there is evidence to justify bringing named individuals to trial. B. It is a formal written statement from a grand jury charging an individual with an offense. C. It is an arrangement whereby attorneys are provided for people accused of crimes who are unable to hire their own attorneys. D. It is an arrangement whereby public officials are hired to provide legal assistance to people accused of crimes who are unable to hire their own attorneys. E. It is a term used to describe work that lawyers do for which they receive no fees. Answer: A Rationale: An information affidavit is a certification by a public prosecutor that there is evidence to justify bringing named individuals to trial. This document initiates the legal process against the accused individual. 28. An indictment is ________. A. a certification by a public prosecutor that there is evidence to justify bringing named individuals to trial B. a formal written statement from a grand jury charging an individual with an offense C. an arrangement whereby attorneys are provided for people accused of crimes that are unable to hire their own attorneys D. an arrangement whereby public officials are hired to provide legal assistance to people accused of crimes that are unable to hire their own attorneys E. a term used to describe work that lawyers do for which they receive no fees Answer: B Rationale: An indictment is a formal written statement from a grand jury charging an individual with an offense. It is a formal accusation that initiates criminal proceedings. 29. Which of the following best describes an assigned counsel system? A. It is a certification by a public prosecutor that there is evidence to justify bringing named individuals to trial. B. It is a formal written statement from a grand jury charging an individual with an offense. C. It is an arrangement whereby attorneys are provided for people accused of crimes who are unable to hire their own attorneys. D. It is an arrangement whereby public officials are hired to provide legal assistance to people accused of crimes who are unable to hire their own attorneys. E. It is a term used to describe work that lawyers do for which they receive no fees. Answer: C Rationale: An assigned counsel system is an arrangement whereby attorneys are provided for people accused of crimes who are unable to hire their own attorneys. This system ensures legal representation for individuals who cannot afford private counsel. 30. Which of the following refers to a term used to describe work that lawyers (or other professionals) do for which they receive no fees? A. true bill B. information affidavit C. tort D. indictment E. pro bono Answer: E Rationale: Pro bono refers to work that lawyers or other professionals do for which they receive no fees. This term encompasses legal services provided voluntarily and without compensation to individuals or organizations in need. 31. Which of the following best describes the public defender system? A. It is a certification by a public prosecutor that there is evidence to justify bringing named individuals to trial. B. It is a formal written statement from a grand jury charging an individual with an offense. C. It is an arrangement whereby attorneys are provided for people accused of crimes who are unable to hire their own attorneys. D. It is an arrangement whereby public officials are hired to provide legal assistance to people accused of crimes who are unable to hire their own attorneys. E. It is a term used to describe work that lawyers do for which they receive no fees. Answer: D Rationale: The public defender system is an arrangement whereby public officials, such as public defenders, are hired to provide legal assistance to people accused of crimes who are unable to hire their own attorneys. Public defenders are appointed or employed by the government to represent individuals who cannot afford private legal counsel. 32. A defendant refers to ________. A. a member of the grand jury B. a person accused of committing a crime C. an offender who has been placed in community supervision rather than in prison D. a habitual offender E. a person released after serving a prison term and subject to being returned to prison for rule violations or other offenses Answer: B Rationale: A defendant refers to a person accused of committing a crime. In legal proceedings, the defendant is the individual who is being charged with an offense and must defend themselves against those accusations. 33. In general terms, defendants in the U.S. are likely to be ________. A. predominantly male B. predominantly female C. disproportionately white D. typically married E. highly educated Answer: A Rationale: In the U.S., defendants are generally more likely to be predominantly male. Men are statistically more likely to be involved in criminal activities and subsequently become defendants in legal proceedings. 34. In general terms, victims in the U.S. tend to be ________. A. disproportionately white B. predominantly white Christian males C. black or another minority D. old E. highly educated Answer: C Rationale: In the U.S., victims of crimes tend to be disproportionately black or another minority. Certain demographic groups may be more vulnerable to victimization due to socioeconomic factors, geographic location, and other social dynamics. 35. The U.S. justice system puts the responsibility for prosecuting criminals on the ________. A. public B. clergy C. government D. social workers E. victims Answer: C Rationale: The U.S. justice system puts the responsibility for prosecuting criminals on the government. Prosecution is typically carried out by government agencies, such as district attorney's offices or the Department of Justice, rather than private individuals or organizations. 36. In the 1984 ________, Congress authorized federal funds to support state programs compensating victims. A.Racial Justice Act B. Crime Victims' Rights Act C. Criminal Law Amendment Act D. Victims of Crime Act E. Glass-Steagall Act Answer: D Rationale: In 1984, Congress authorized federal funds to support state programs compensating victims through the Victims of Crime Act. This legislation aimed to provide financial assistance and support services to victims of crime across the United States. 37. Which of the following best describes plea bargain? A. It is a common practice in which the prosecution offers to reduce the seriousness of the charge and/or sentence if the defendant affirms that he/she has committed a lesser crime. B. It is the principle of upholding the rights of all those involved when making a judgment or ruling, including those of the accused or convicted. C. It refers to the ultimate sentence for a crime in the United States. D. It refers to the practice in which a group of adult citizens is selected to arrive at a verdict in a criminal case. E. It refers to the practice of being assigned an attorney when a defendant is unable to afford one. Answer: A Rationale: Plea bargain is a common practice in which the prosecution offers to reduce the seriousness of the charge and/or sentence if the defendant affirms that he/she has committed a lesser crime. This negotiation between the prosecution and the defendant aims to expedite the legal process and avoid a trial. 38. Robert was arrested for committing a serious crime. The prosecution offered to reduce the seriousness of the charge provided Robert conceded to a lesser crime. This practice is known as ________. A. judicial review B. due process C. plea bargain D. indictment E. advisory opinion Answer: C Rationale: The practice described, where the prosecution offers to reduce the seriousness of the charge in exchange for the defendant pleading guilty to a lesser offense, is known as a plea bargain. This negotiation often occurs to resolve criminal cases without going to trial. 39. Maria Price, a prosecutor, is an advocate of plea bargaining. Which of the following views is she most likely to endorse? A. Plea bargaining is effective mainly because it forces defenders to give up their rights. B. Plea bargaining is ineffective because it consists of the most undesirable aspects of a trial. C. Although plea bargaining is popular with many people, it significantly increases the risk of losing. D. Since plea bargaining reduces the possibility of every case being tried, it denies justice to the less privileged. E. Plea bargaining is effective because it helps avoid long and drawn-out trials. Answer: E Rationale: Maria Price, as a prosecutor advocating for plea bargaining, is most likely to endorse the view that plea bargaining is effective because it helps avoid long and drawn-out trials. Plea bargaining can expedite the legal process, reduce court congestion, and save resources for both the prosecution and the defense. 40. Plea bargaining allows prosecutors to ________. A. prolong trials pertaining to civil disputes B. avoid the dilemma of either incurring the expense of going to trial with a losing case or appearing to provide no service whatsoever to their clients C. avoid long and drawn-out trials D. effect harsh punishments for crimes E. prolong criminal trials Answer: C Rationale: Plea bargaining allows prosecutors to avoid long and drawn-out trials. By negotiating plea deals with defendants, prosecutors can resolve cases more efficiently and effectively, saving time and resources for both the prosecution and the court system. 41. Plea bargaining allows the accused to ________. A. avoid the danger of being sentenced for more serious charges B. eliminate the chance of losing C. prove his/her innocence beyond reasonable doubt D. obtain the services of an attorney free of cost if he/she is unable to afford one E. enjoy immunity from law Answer: A Rationale: Plea bargaining allows the accused to avoid the danger of being sentenced for more serious charges by negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution. By pleading guilty to a lesser offense, the accused can potentially receive a lighter sentence than if they were convicted of the original, more serious charges. 42. Which of the following is an advantage that plea bargaining offers to defense attorneys? A. It enables defense attorneys to clear their clients of blame completely. B. It helps reduce conviction rates. C. It allows defense attorneys to prolong criminal trials. D. It enables defense attorneys to serve less-privileged clients better. E. It provides defense attorneys with an opportunity to make more money. Answer: E Rationale: One advantage that plea bargaining offers to defense attorneys is that it provides them with an opportunity to make more money. Plea bargaining often involves negotiations between defense attorneys and prosecutors, and successful plea deals can result in reduced workloads for defense attorneys, allowing them to handle more cases and potentially earn higher fees. 43. Which of the following is an advantage that plea bargaining offers to judges? A. It allows judges to handle cases without precedents more efficiently. B. It allows judges more time to issue verdict on criminal cases. C. It allows judges more time to issue verdict on civil disputes. D. It enables judges to dispose of cases on their dockets more rapidly. E. It enables judges to fare well in retention elections. Answer: D Rationale: An advantage that plea bargaining offers to judges is that it enables them to dispose of cases on their dockets more rapidly. By resolving cases through plea bargains, judges can avoid lengthy trials and reduce court congestion, allowing them to focus on other cases and improve the efficiency of the judicial system. 44. Which of the following best describes due process? A. It is a common practice in which the prosecution offers to reduce the seriousness of the charge and/or sentence if the defendant pleads guilty. B. It is the principle of upholding the rights of all those involved when making a judgment or ruling, including those of the accused or convicted. C. It is the ultimate sentence for a crime in the United States. D. It is the practice in which a group of adult citizens from various backgrounds decide the outcome in a criminal case. E. It is the practice of being assigned an attorney when a defendant is unable to afford one. Answer: B Rationale: Due process is the principle of upholding the rights of all those involved when making a judgment or ruling, including those of the accused or convicted. It ensures that individuals receive fair treatment and protection of their rights throughout the legal process. 45. Which of the following is NOT a part of the due process for sentencing? A. It takes place in closed court. B. The prisoner must be present. C. The prisoner must be represented by counsel. D. The sentence must be set within the limits prescribed by the state. E. The judge receives recommendations from the prosecution. Answer: A Rationale: Part of the due process for sentencing includes the prisoner being present, represented by counsel, and the judge receiving recommendations from the prosecution. However, sentencing typically does not take place in closed court; it is usually conducted in open court where the judge, defendant, defense counsel, and prosecution are present. 46. Which of the following is the major purpose of sentencing in contemporary times? A. retribution B. protection of society from the “ill” C. vengeance D. disciplining E. rehabilitation Answer: E Rationale: In contemporary times, the major purpose of sentencing is rehabilitation. Sentencing aims to reform offenders, address the underlying causes of criminal behavior, and reintegrate individuals back into society as law-abiding citizens. 47. What is true of sentencing? A. Indeterminate sentencing is considerably rare in the United States with only two states actually using it. B. Habitual offender laws prescribe a mandatory life sentence after two felony convictions. C. Typically, judges do not set sentences. D. Judges enjoy considerable discretion in sentencing, and they frequently give different sentences to defendants convicted of the same crime. E. Retribution is the primary goal of contemporary sentencing. Answer: D Rationale: True: Judges enjoy considerable discretion in sentencing, and they frequently give different sentences to defendants convicted of the same crime. This discretion allows judges to consider various factors, such as the nature of the offense, the defendant's criminal history, and mitigating or aggravating circumstances, when determining an appropriate sentence. 48. Which of the following is the ultimate sentence for any crime in the United States? A. life imprisonment with a possibility of parole B. life imprisonment with no possibility of parole C. capital punishment D. institutionalization E. 25 years in prison with no possibility of parole Answer: C Rationale: The ultimate sentence for any crime in the United States is capital punishment, also known as the death penalty. Capital punishment involves the imposition of death as a penalty for certain serious crimes, such as murder, depending on the laws of the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the case. 49. Several state legislatures are reconsidering the death penalty in the light of ________. A. the increased use of DNA evidence that has exonerated a number of individuals convicted of crimes B. the increased activism surrounding the rights of the underprivileged C. the rapid development in technology D. higher literacy rates among the poor E. the increased activism surrounding the rights of minority communities Answer: A Rationale: Several state legislatures are reconsidering the death penalty in the light of the increased use of DNA evidence that has exonerated a number of individuals convicted of crimes. Advances in forensic science and DNA technology have led to the identification of wrongful convictions, prompting reevaluations of capital punishment laws and practices. 50. Which of the following countries has the highest prison population in the world? A. The United Kingdom B. The United States C. China D. Brazil E. South Africa Answer: B Rationale: The United States has the highest prison population in the world. Despite having a smaller population compared to countries like China and India, the U.S. has a disproportionately large number of individuals incarcerated, leading to its status as the country with the highest prison population. 51. Which of the following countries has the highest incarceration rate in the world? A. Russia B. The United Kingdom C. China D. The United States E. South Africa Answer: D Rationale: The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with a significant portion of its population under some form of correctional supervision, including incarceration in prisons and jails. 52. Probationers are ________. A. individuals who have been accused of committing a crime B. individuals on trial in a courtroom for a crime C. offenders the courts have placed in community supervision rather than in prison D. offenders that have been convicted of a crime and have been incarcerated E. people released after serving a prison term who are under supervision and subject to being returned to prison for rule violations or other offenses Answer: C Rationale: Probationers are offenders whom the courts have placed in community supervision rather than in prison. They are allowed to remain in the community under specific conditions, such as reporting to a probation officer, attending counseling, or maintaining employment. 53. Parolees are ________. A. individuals who have been accused of committing a crime B. individuals on trial in a courtroom for a crime C. offenders the courts have placed in community supervision rather than in prison D. habitual offenders who have been sentenced to life imprisonment E. people released after serving a prison term who are under supervision and subject to being returned to prison for rule violations or other offenses Answer: E Rationale: Parolees are individuals who have been released from prison before completing their full sentence and are under supervision in the community. They are subject to certain conditions and may be returned to prison for violating those conditions or committing new offenses. 54. Jonathan has been convicted of his third felony in a state with “three-strikes-and-you‘reout” laws. He is most likely to be sentenced to ________. A. 10 to 15 years in prison with parole B. five years in prison without parole C. capital punishment D. life imprisonment E. rigorous imprisonment for three years Answer: D Rationale: Under "three-strikes-and-you’re-out" laws, individuals convicted of a third felony offense face mandatory life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. These laws are aimed at habitual offenders and impose harsh penalties for repeat criminal behavior. 55. Concerned by the overcrowding in prisons, federal judges issued orders in the 1990s calling for either immediate improvement or the release of people being held in conditions that violate the ________ Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. A. Fifth B. Eighth C. Second D. Sixth E. First Answer: B Rationale: Federal judges issued orders in the 1990s calling for improvements or releases of individuals held in overcrowded prisons that violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Overcrowding can lead to inadequate healthcare, unsanitary conditions, and increased violence, all of which can be considered unconstitutional. 56. In Brown v. Plata, the Court upheld a lower federal court holding that ________. A. most of the prisoners incarcerated in California prisons were innocent B. the prisons in the state of Florida were overcrowded C. overcrowding in the California prison system violated prisoners‘ rights to adequate health care D. the “three-strikes-and you‘re-out” law is unconstitutional E. the death penalty was unconstitutional Answer: C Rationale: In Brown v. Plata, the Supreme Court upheld a lower federal court holding that overcrowding in the California prison system violated prisoners' rights to adequate healthcare under the Eighth Amendment. The Court mandated the reduction of the prison population to address the unconstitutional conditions. 57. In an attempt to reduce costs, some states have been using ________, turning over the responsibility for operating prisons to nongovernmental firms on a contractual basis. A. due process B. privatization C. plea bargaining D. the assigned counsel system E. pro bono Answer: B Rationale: Some states have been using privatization as a cost-saving measure, turning over the responsibility for operating prisons to nongovernmental firms on a contractual basis. Privatization aims to reduce the financial burden on the government while still maintaining prison operations. 58. ________ refers to the tendency for an offender to repeat criminal behavior. A. Pro bono B. Indictment C. Retribution D. Misdemeanor E. Recidivism Answer: E Rationale: Recidivism refers to the tendency for an offender to repeat criminal behavior after being convicted and punished for a previous offense. It is a significant concern within the criminal justice system as it reflects the effectiveness of rehabilitation efforts and the likelihood of future criminal activity. True-False Questions 1. A misdemeanor is a serious crime, the penalty for which can range from imprisonment in a penitentiary for more than a year to death. Answer: False Rationale: A misdemeanor is actually a less serious offense compared to a felony. The penalties for misdemeanors typically involve fines, probation, community service, or imprisonment for less than a year in a local jail, rather than imprisonment in a penitentiary for more than a year or death. 2. A felony is a minor crime; the penalty is a fine or imprisonment for a short time, usually less than a year, in a local jail. Answer: False Rationale: A felony is a serious crime, typically punishable by imprisonment for more than a year in a state or federal prison, or by death in some cases. It is the most serious category of criminal offenses, contrasting with misdemeanors, which are less serious crimes. 3. Most decisions of trial judges are reviewed by appellate courts and are hence, not considered final. Answer: False Rationale: Trial court decisions are considered final unless appealed. Appellate courts review trial court decisions for legal errors or procedural irregularities, but they do not review every decision. Only cases that meet specific criteria for appeal are reviewed by appellate courts. 4. Campaign spending in judicial elections has sharply declined in recent times; between 2000 and 2009, candidate fundraising reduced significantly compared with the previous decade. Answer: False Rationale: Campaign spending in judicial elections has not sharply declined; in fact, it has increased significantly in recent years. There has been a trend of rising campaign spending in judicial elections, fueled by interest groups and special interests investing in these races. 5. When judges are elected at large for a city or a state, minority candidates are elected in larger numbers. Answer: False Rationale: The election of judges at large does not necessarily lead to the election of more minority candidates. In fact, at-large elections can sometimes disadvantage minority candidates because they may face challenges in gaining widespread support in large, diverse jurisdictions. 6. Retention elections typically generate lesser interest and lower voter turnout than contested judicial elections. Answer: True Rationale: Retention elections, where voters decide whether to retain incumbent judges, typically generate less interest and lower voter turnout compared to contested judicial elections where multiple candidates compete for a judicial position. 7. Judges and attorneys tend to like elections or appointments better than they do merit selection plans. Answer: False Rationale: Judges and attorneys often prefer merit selection plans over elections or appointments because merit selection plans involve the appointment of judges based on qualifications and merit rather than political considerations or popular vote. 8. The selection of citizens as jurors is limited to professionals working in the justice department. Answer: False Rationale: The selection of citizens as jurors is not limited to professionals working in the justice department. Jury selection involves random selection from a pool of eligible citizens within the jurisdiction of the court. 9. Since jury trials take more time than bench trials and also cost more, some states use juries of fewer than the standard 12 people for some criminal trials. Answer: True Rationale: Some states use juries of fewer than the standard 12 people for some criminal trials to save time and reduce costs. These smaller juries are known as petit juries and typically consist of 6 or 8 jurors. 10. Chief prosecutors are subject to strict supervision by state authorities and are accountable to them. Answer: False Rationale: Chief prosecutors, also known as district attorneys or state's attorneys, are typically elected officials and are not subject to strict supervision by state authorities. They have considerable discretion in prosecuting cases and are accountable to the electorate rather than state authorities. 11. A prosecutor is less likely to be criticized for dropping a case because of insufficient evidence than for filing a charge and failing to get a conviction. Answer: True Rationale: Prosecutors are less likely to face criticism for dropping a case due to insufficient evidence because it demonstrates discretion and responsible decision-making. Filing charges and failing to secure a conviction may be seen as a waste of resources and an error in judgment. 12. Critics of the public defender system opine that since public defenders are paid employees of the state, they are not likely to work diligently on behalf of their clients. Answer: True Rationale: Critics of the public defender system argue that public defenders, as paid employees of the state, may have conflicts of interest and may not work as diligently on behalf of their clients compared to private defense attorneys who are paid by their clients. 13. According to critics of plea bargaining, the practice forces defendants to give up their rights. Answer: True Rationale: Critics of plea bargaining argue that the practice can coerce defendants into giving up their rights, such as the right to a trial by jury and the right to confront witnesses, in exchange for a more lenient sentence or the dropping of charges. 14. Plea bargaining is less attractive to defense attorneys as it does not allow them to make more money. Answer: False Rationale: Plea bargaining can be attractive to defense attorneys because it allows them to resolve cases more quickly and efficiently, potentially freeing up time to take on more clients and generate more income. Additionally, successful plea bargains can enhance the reputation of defense attorneys. 15. In a plea bargain, the prosecution offers to reduce the seriousness of the charge and/or sentence if the defendant will enter a plea of guilty to a lesser crime. Answer: True Rationale: In a plea bargain, the prosecution offers to reduce the seriousness of the charge and/or sentence if the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser offense. Plea bargains are a common practice in criminal cases and are used to resolve cases without going to trial. 16. Sentencing a convicted offender without him being present in the court is part of the due process of sentencing. Answer: False Rationale: Sentencing a convicted offender without their presence in court would violate the principles of due process, which include the right to be present and heard during sentencing proceedings. Due process requires that defendants have an opportunity to address the court and present mitigating factors before a sentence is imposed. 17. Judges enjoy considerable discretion in sentencing, and they frequently give different sentences to defendants convicted of the same crime. Answer: True Rationale: Judicial discretion in sentencing allows judges to consider various factors, such as the nature of the crime, the defendant's criminal history, and mitigating circumstances, when determining an appropriate sentence. As a result, sentences for defendants convicted of the same crime can vary based on individual circumstances and judicial interpretation. 18. Growing concerns about crime and mounting criticism have fueled legislative action for enhancing the existing judicial discretion of judges. Answer: False Rationale: In response to concerns about inconsistency in sentencing and criticism of judicial discretion, legislative efforts have often focused on limiting or reducing judicial discretion in sentencing. Mandatory minimum sentences and sentencing guidelines are examples of legislative measures aimed at standardizing sentencing outcomes. 19. The ultimate sentence available for a crime in the United States is life without the possibility of parole. Answer: False Rationale: The ultimate sentence available for certain crimes in the United States is capital punishment, also known as the death penalty. Life without the possibility of parole is another severe sentence but does not constitute the ultimate penalty in all cases. 20. Even though most states allow capital punishment, its use varies widely. Answer: True Rationale: While most states in the United States allow capital punishment, the use of the death penalty varies widely across jurisdictions. Some states use it frequently, while others rarely or never impose capital punishment, reflecting differences in legal frameworks, public opinion, and other factors. 21. Several state legislatures are reconsidering the death penalty in light of the increased use of DNA evidence that has exonerated a number of individuals convicted of crimes. Answer: True Rationale: The increased use of DNA evidence and advancements in forensic science have led to the exoneration of numerous individuals who were wrongfully convicted of crimes, including some who were sentenced to death. These cases have prompted several state legislatures to reevaluate the death penalty and consider reforms or moratoriums. 22. More people are imprisoned in the United States than in any other country. Answer: True Rationale: The United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, with more people imprisoned per capita than any other country. This trend is attributed to various factors, including tough sentencing laws, mandatory minimum sentences, and high rates of incarceration for nonviolent offenses. 23. Parolees are offenders the courts have placed in community supervision rather than in prison. Answer: False Rationale: Parolees are individuals who have been released from prison before serving their full sentence, under specific conditions and supervision. They are not typically offenders placed in community supervision instead of prison; rather, they are individuals who have served part of their sentence in prison and are released early, subject to parole supervision. 24. Mandatory life sentences and “three-strikes-and-you‘re-out” laws in many states have resulted in an increased number of inmates serving life sentences. Answer: True Rationale: Mandatory life sentences and "three-strikes" laws, which mandate lengthy prison terms for repeat offenders, have contributed to an increase in the number of inmates serving life sentences in many states. These laws have led to longer prison sentences and reduced opportunities for parole or early release for certain offenders. 25. An analysis conducted in 2011 on Florida prisons found that privately run prisons were not necessarily lower cost than those run by the state. Answer: True Rationale: Despite the belief that privately run prisons might be more cost-effective, an analysis conducted in 2011 on Florida prisons found that privately operated facilities were not necessarily lower cost than those run by the state. This finding challenges assumptions about the cost-effectiveness of prison privatization. Short Answer Questions 1. Briefly describe minor courts. Answer: An ideal response would be: In most states, minor courts handle misdemeanors—relatively minor violations of state and local laws—as well as traffic cases and civil suits involving small amounts of money. In some places, they also hold preliminary hearings and set bail for more serious charges. 2. List a few important characteristics of state judges. Answer: An ideal response would be: State courts differ from federal courts in several important ways. State judges are more likely to decide cases involving their legislative and executive branches than the U.S. Supreme Court is to engage in congressional and presidential matters. In addition, because of Dillon‘s Rule, (local governments are creatures of the state), state judges are not constrained by the doctrine of federalism when dealing with local units of government. Furthermore, in nine states, the state Supreme Court can give advisory opinions at the request of the governor or state legislature. 3. What are some of the informal processes that play a role in identifying good candidates for judgeships? Answer: An ideal response would be: In addition to formal process of nomination and selection, several informal processes play a role in identifying good candidates for judgeships. Lawyers interested in becoming judges may make their interest known to party officials. Leaders of the local bar associations may promote favored members, and various members of the bar may seek out candidates and recruit them. Political leaders and interest groups also participate. Following such suggestions, the candidates go through the formal appointment process. 4. Briefly explain how the U.S. Supreme Court‘s ruling on Republican Party of Minnesota v. White changed judicial elections. Answer: An ideal response would be: In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Republican Party of Minnesota v. Whitethat “announce clauses” violated judicial candidates‘ rights under the First Amendment. As a result, judges have felt freer to take stances on controversial political issues like the death penalty, same-sex marriage, or funding for education. This, in turn, has increased turnout in judicial elections. 5. Explain briefly the reasons for the low level of representation of minority judges. Answer: An ideal response would be: When judges are elected for a city or a state, African American and Hispanic candidates sometimes find it difficult to get elected. African American and Hispanic voters tend to be concentrated in the inner cities or in certain geographical areas; thus, their impact is diluted in citywide or statewide elections. For example, in a state in which the population consists of 20 percent African American voters, 20 percent Hispanic voters, and 60 percent white voters, with five judges to be elected on a statewide basis, few if any African American judges or Hispanic judges will be elected. 6. Briefly explain the Missouri plan and the role played by retention election in it. Answer: An ideal response would be: One of the oldest merit plans is the Missouri Plan. As used in most states, the Missouri Plan provides that when a judicial vacancy occurs, a special nominating commission nominates several candidates. The governor selects one, who then serves as a judge for at least a year. At the next general election, the judge runs in a noncompetitive retention election where the voters are asked to vote yes or no on whether the judge should be retained in office. If a majority of the voters agree, the judge serves a new full term (typically 6 to 12 years); if not, another person is selected by the same procedure. Some retention elections require a supermajority vote. States now use all kinds of variations on this original plan. 7. Briefly explain how some states help voters by providing them with a more balanced picture during retention elections for judges? Answer: An ideal response would be: To provide a more balanced picture, a few states—Alaska, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Tennessee—have tried to supply more neutral information about judicial performance. In Colorado, an evaluation committee in each judicial district—jointly appointed by the chief justice, governor, president of the senate, and speaker of the house—disseminates information through newspaper supplements, including a final recommendation of “retain” or “do not retain.” 8. What are some of the policies adopted by various states to overcome the problem of juries being filled only with the unemployed, older people, single people, and others that were unable to be excused? Answer: An ideal response would be: Most states have reacted to these problems by making it more difficult to be excused. In addition, many states have adopted a “one-day, one-trial” policy, which makes jury service less frequent and less onerous. Because jury trials take more time than bench trials (trials before judges) and cost more, some states use juries of fewer than the standard 12 people for some criminal trials. A few states also permit verdicts by less than a unanimous vote. The U.S. Supreme Court has approved these practices, provided the juries consist of at least six people. 9. What actions should a prosecutor take when presented with a case by the police? Answer: An ideal response would be: When presented with a case by the police, the prosecutor must decide first whether to file formal charges. He or she may (1) divert the matter out of the criminal justice system and turn it over to a social welfare agency; (2) dismiss the charges; (3) take the matter before a grand jury, which usually follows the prosecutor‘s recommendation; or (4) in most jurisdictions, file an information affidavit, which serves the same function as a grand jury indictment. 10. What are some of the measures that states are considering in order to reduce the prison inmate population? Answer: An ideal response would be: The high cost of corrections is leading some states to rethink the wisdom of mandatory sentencing. Because half the people in prison and half the trials held are about victimless crimes such as using marijuana, decriminalization could substantially reduce the load on the courts and rates of incarceration. Six states, for example, have already repealed statutes on public drunkenness and now consider alcoholism a disease rather than a crime. Medical marijuana laws have passed in 16 states and several states have considered effectively legalizing marijuana. States are also considering alternatives for nonviolent offenders such as halfway houses, mental health and drug treatment centers, intensive probation, work release programs, and other community corrections facilities. Essay Questions 1. What are the three types of state courts and what are their primary responsibilities? Answer: An ideal response would be: The state courts are categorized as (1) minor courts of limited jurisdiction, (2) trial courts of general jurisdiction, and (3) appellate courts. In most states, minor courts handle misdemeanors—relatively minor violations of state and local laws—as well as traffic cases and civil suits involving small amounts of money. In some places, they also hold preliminary hearings and set bail for more serious charges. Major trial courts of original jurisdiction, where cases first appear, are called county courts, circuit courts, superior courts, district courts, and common pleas courts. They administer common, criminal, equity, and statutory law. In most states, felonies are tried in these major trial courts; felonies are serious crimes, and the penalty can range from imprisonment in a penitentiary for more than a year to death. Some states maintain separate courts for criminal and civil matters. In a few states with relatively smaller caseloads, trial court decisions are appealed directly to the state supreme court. Most states, however, have intermediate appeals courts that fit into the system in much the same way that the U.S. Courts of Appeals fit into the federal structure. 2. Compare and contrast the different methods of selecting judges. Answer: An ideal response would be: Judges and attorneys tend to like merit selection plans better than they do elections or appointments. Merit plans may actually reward merit—a study of judges in nine states found that judges chosen by merit selection plans showed a lower rate of state judicial conduct commission disciplinary actions than judges chosen through elections. Judicial elections also have their supporters. A Harris Poll conducted in 2008 showed that a majority of individual voters supported choosing state judges through the electoral process. Judicial elections are, however, low stimulus in nature with significant roll-off in those voting (reduction from those voting in races at the top of the ballot from those at the bottom). Nonpartisan judicial elections tend to show even higher levels of roll-off than do partisan elections since partisan elections provide the party cue to voters who are looking for a short-hand way of evaluating judicial candidates. Last, gubernatorial appointment also has its supporters. Supporters of this method cite two differences between appointed and elected judges. First, awards against outof-state businesses tend to be higher in states with elected judges than in states with appointed judges. And second, tort reform—particularly limiting the financial awards in liability cases— seems to be somewhat easier to accomplish in states with appointed judges than with elected judges. 3. Explain how often trial by jury is used in civil disputes and the problems facing states that use it. Answer: An ideal response would be: Trial by jury in civil disputes is used less often these days; people make settlements before a trial, elect to have their cases decided by a judge alone, or refer their cases to a mediator or arbitrator. Furthermore, only a small fraction of criminal cases are actually disposed of by a trial before a jury. Still, jury trials, or their possibility, remain a key feature of the U.S. justice system. Because jury service may be time-consuming and burdensome, many busy people do their best to avoid serving, and today, more time and energy are spent trying to persuade (or coerce) people to serve than in excluding them. In the past, judges were often willing to excuse doctors, nurses, teachers, executives, and other highly skilled people who pleaded that their services were essential outside the jury room. As a result, juries were often selected from panels consisting in large part of older people, those who were unemployed or employed in relatively low-paying jobs, single people, and others who were unable to be excused. Most states have reacted to these problems by making it more difficult to be excused. 4. Briefly describe the assigned counsel system. What role does it play in the U.S. criminal justice system? Answer: An ideal response would be: Many defendants cannot afford the legal counsel to which they are constitutionally entitled. The assigned counsel system is the oldest system to provide such defendants with an attorney, and it continues to be used, especially in rural areas. Judges appoint attorneys to represent defendants who cannot afford them. Most such attorneys are paid by the court that appoints them, but sometimes they are expected to do the work pro bono—for the public good. Seldom are they given funds to do any investigatory work on behalf of their clients. Some less scrupulous lawyers make their living as assigned counsel; because it is often to their financial advantage to do so, they are quick to plead their clients guilty. 5. What are some of the measures that states are considering to reduce overcrowding in prisons and the increased costs caused by it? Answer: An ideal response would be: In an attempt to reduce costs, some states have been using privatization, turning over the responsibility for operating prisons to private firms on a contractual basis. Overall nearly 7 percent of all those convicted of state crimes are serving their sentences in private prisons. The high cost of corrections is also leading some states to rethink the wisdom of mandatory sentencing. Because half the people in prison and half the trials held are about victimless crimes such as using marijuana, decriminalization could substantially reduce the load on the courts and rates of incarceration. States are also considering alternatives for nonviolent offenders such as halfway houses, mental health and drug treatment centers, intensive probation, work release programs, and other community corrections facilities. Finally, states are exploring ways to reduce recidivism (the tendency for released convicts to recommit crimes). Reentry programs offer offenders services, such as employment and training programs and substance abuse and mental health treatment, to better prepare them for life outside prison. Test Bank for State and Local Government by the People David B. Magleby Paul C. Light, Christine L. Nemacheck 9780205966530, 9780205828401

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