Criminal Court Words or Judicial Terms +

(judicial or legal words that may apply to trial processes that determine the guilt or innocence of people which is ascertained by either judges or juries)

bail reform act
An original act passed in 1966 to assure that bail practices would be revised to ensure that everyone, regardless of his/her financial status, will not needlessly be detained to answer criminal charges.

It gave judges and magistrates greater autonomy to decide conditions under which bail would be granted or denied; however, it does not mean that every one is entitled to bail regardless of the alleged offense.

bail revocation
A judicial decision to deny a previously granted bail for a defendant.
bail system
The practice of releasing defendants after they place a financial guarantee with the court to ensure their subsequent trial appearance.

Usually defendants may place the entire amount with the court or pay a premium to a bondsman.

A court officer who maintains order in the court while it is in session.

A bailiff oversees the jury during a trial procedure and, sometimes, has custody of prisoners while they are in the courtroom.

An aggregate denoting all attorneys admitted to practice law in every jurisdiction.
bench trial
A tribunal where the guilt or innocence of a defendant is determined by the judge rather than by a jury.
blaming the victim
The stereotypical practice of charging the socially and psychologically handicapped with the lack of motivation.

An attitude or belief that the adverse conditions and negative characteristics of a group, often of minorities, are the group's own fault.

blended sentencing
Any type of sentencing procedure where either a criminal or juvenile court judge can impose both juvenile and/or adult incarcerative (imprisoning or confining) penalties.
blue-ribbon jury
A jury considered by either side, prosecution or defense, to be ideal because of its perceived likelihood of rendering a verdict favorable to that side.

Jurors often are selected because of their higher educational level and intellectual skills.

bona fide
"In good faith", without an attempt to defraud or to deceive.
A written document indicating that defendants or sureties assure the presence of these defendants at a criminal proceeding; if not, then the bond will be forfeited.
The process of making a written report of an arrest, including name and address of arrested people, the alleged crimes, arresting officers, place and time of arrest, physical description of the suspect, photographs (sometimes called "mug shots"), and fingerprints.
bounties, bounty hunters
Monetary rewards offered for capture of people who escape prosecution from a given jurisdiction.

Often, some people have posted a bond with a bonding company and the bonding company hires a bounty hunter (a person who earns a living by apprehending such people) to track them down so that the money deposited with the courts by the bonding company can be recovered.

Brady materials
Exculpatory (free from guilt or blame) materials must be disclosed through discovery to the defense counsel by the prosecution when the defendant is to be tried for a crime.

From Brady versus Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), in which the Supreme Court ruled that suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to a defendant who has requested it violates due process.

Brady violation
Violation of discovery rules when prosecutor fails to turn over exculpatory materials acquired during a criminal investigation to defense counsel.

    Violation occurs whenever three conditions are met:

  1. The evidence at issue must be favorable to the accused, either because it is exculpatory, or because it is impeaching.
  2. The evidence must have been suppressed by the state, either willfully or inadvertently.
  3. Prejudice must have ensued.

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