Unit 3 vocabulary the judicial system

Inferior Courts: the lower federal courts, beneath the Supreme Courts

Precedent: court decision that stands as an example to be followed in future similar cases

Grand Jury: the formal device by which a person can be accused of a serious crime

Jurisdiction: the authority of a court to hear your case

Concurring Opinion: written explanation of the views of one or more judges who support a decision reached by a majority of the court, but wish to add or emphasize a point that was not made in the majority desicion

Dissenting Opinion: written explanation of the view of one or more judges who disagree with a decision reached by a majority of the courts

Indictment: a formal complaint before a grand jury which charges the accused with one or more crimes

Plaintiff: in civil law, the party who brings a suit or some other legal action against another in court

Defendant: in a civil suit, the person against whom a court action is brought by the plaintiff; in a criminal case, the person who is being charged with the crime

Double Jeopardy: part of the 5th Amendment which says that no person can be out in jeopardy of life or limb twice

Majority Opinion: officially called the Opinion of the Court; announces the Court's decision in a case and sets out the reasoning for which it is based

Miranda Rule: the constitutional rights which police must read to a subject before questioning can occur

Exclusive Jurisdiction: power of the federal courts alone to hear certain cases

Redress: satisfaction of a claim payment

Bail: a sum of money that the accused may be required to post as a guarantee that he or she will appear in court at the proper time

Original Jurisdiction: the power of a court to hear a case first

Capital Punishment: the death penalty

Appellate Jurisdiction: the authority of a court to review decisions of inferior courts

Concurrent Jurisdiction: power shared by federal and State courts to hear certain cases

Civil Liberties: the guarantees of the safety of persons, opinions, and property from the arbitrary acts of government

Exclusionary Rule: evidence gained as the result of an illegal act by police cannot be used against the person from whom it was seized

Segregation: the separation of one group from another

Civil Rights: a term used for those positive acts of government that seek to make constitutional guarantees a reality for all people

Jim Crow Law: a law that separates people on the basis of race, aimed primarily at African Americans

Separate-But-Equal Doctrine: a constitutional basis for laws that separate one group from another on the basis of race

Writ of Certiorari: an order of higher court directing a lower court to send up the record in a given case for review

Writ of Habeas Corpus: a court order which presents unjust arrests and impprisonments

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