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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78653 Find in a Library
Title: Getting Justice - The Rights of the People
Author(s): S Gillers
Date Published: 1971
Page Count: 236
Sponsoring Agency: Basic Books
New York, NY 10022
Sale Source: Basic Books
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This legal guide for laymen describes the rules of criminal procedures and explains how they are determined by the Constitution and Supreme Court decisions.
Abstract: An overview of the legal and political environment in which the criminal process operates first enumerates the rules of criminal procedure contained in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. A summary of the nature and function of the Supreme Court is followed by a discussion of how the rules and the Court actually operate in the everyday criminal system. Court decisions regarding due process rights guaranteed in the 1st, 8th, and the 14th amendments are reviewed. Arrest, search, and seizure protections provided by the fourth amendment are examined, with particular attention to warrantless searches. The consequences of an unlawful search, the concept of probable cause as a prerequisite for arrests, and stop and frisk police tactics are also considered. A history of judicial decisions on eavesdropping, wiretapping, and undercover agents begins with the 1928 Olmstead v. United States decision and then focuses on laws passed since 1966 which placed substantial restrictions on the use of mechanical devices. Provisions of the 1968 Crime Control Act regulating the use of wiretaps by law enforcement officials are analyzed. Other procedural areas discussed include the right of any person charged with a crime to have legal counsel, Federal judicial decisions and constitutional requirements pertaining to confessions, and eyewitness identification. The juvenile justice system and the landmark In re Gault decision are surveyed. Finally, ways that police circumvent constitutional guarantees through overcriminalization and lawlessness are explored, as are emerging trends in the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Burger. The appendixes contain a list of the Supreme Court justices, texts of selected constitutional amendments, and a chart depicting the criminal justice system. An index is provided.
Index Term(s): Citizen legal problems; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Court structure; Electronic surveillance; Judicial decisions; Police legal limitations; Right against self incrimination; Right to counsel; Right to Due Process; Search and seizure laws; US Supreme Court
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