Criminal law

1.  In the public’s mind, at least, appeals drag on endlessly and result in a lack of finality in the process. Do you think this is a significant problem, or is it merely one of appearance?

2.  Why are most findings of guilt at the trial level not appealed? In what ways are appellate cases unrepresentative of trial court cases?

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How does the appeal-and-review process in a capital murder case differ from the appeal and-review process in a serious felony?

1.  In what ways do sentencing guidelines reflect normal penalties? In what ways do they differ?

2.   How have public demands to “get tough on crimes” changed the sentencing process in the past few decades?

Why do courtroom work groups resist such efforts and often subvert them?

Define the concept of normal crimes and indicate the two most important factors in determining normal penalties.

Public criticism of lenient sentencing tends to occur in a select number of violent crimes or highly unusual circumstances. In what ways do such discussions deflect attention from the question of what the appropriate sentence should be for the bulk of defendants convicted of nonviolent crimes (burglary and theft, for example) and drug-related crimes?

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