Constitutional principles are the foundation upon which substantive criminal law, criminal procedure law, and evidence laws rely. The concepts of due process, legality, specificity, notice, equality, and fairness are intrinsic to these three disciplines, and a firm understanding of their implications is necessary for a thorough comprehension of the topic. Criminal Law, Procedure, and Evidence examines the tensions produced by balancing the ideals of individual liberty embodied in the Constitution against society’s need to enforce criminal laws as a means of achieving social control, order, and safety.
Relying on his first-hand experience as a law enforcement official and criminal defense attorney, the author presents issues that highlight the difficulties in applying constitutional principles to specific criminal justice situations. Each chapter of the text contains a realistic problem in the form of a fact pattern that focuses on one or more of the classic criminal justice issues to which readers can relate. These problems are presented from both the point of view of citizens caught up in a police investigation and from the perspective of police officers attempting to enforce the law within the framework of constitutional protections.
Concepts discussed include
- Probable cause
- Search and seizure, stop and frisk, and the exclusionary rule
- Confessions and Miranda warnings
- The right to counsel
- Standards of proof
- Proportionate sentencing
- The right to confront accusers
Providing a complete view of American legal principles, the book addresses distinct issues as well as the overlays and connections between the issues. It presents as a cohesive whole the interrelationships between constitutional principles, statutory criminal laws, procedural law, and common law evidentiary doctrines.