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Introduction to Criminal Justice Vocabulary

Acquittal-n. what an accused criminal defendant receives if he/she is found not guilty. It is a verdict (a judgment in a criminal case) of not guilty. Action-n. a lawsuit in which one party (or parties) sues another. Adjudication-n. the act of giving a judicial ruling such as a judgment or decree. The term is used particularly in bankruptcy proceedings, in which the order declaring a debtor bankrupt is called an Adversary Proceeding amicus curiae- Anyone who assist the court out and around ( friend of the court in other words) Arraignment- One of the first opportunity you get (of 2) Bailiff- Sits in the courtroom armed ( responsible to protect the judge, lawyers, prosecutor and defendant) to maintain order. Bench Warrant- Judge issues when you dont show up for court. Burden of ProofCulpable- deserving of moral blame. Decriminalization- reduce a penalty, prison term Ect. Defendant- Person of interest; suspect; defendant ( if looses court) Convicted. Delinquent Conduct- Crimes committed by children, but do not get convicted unless disposition. Disposition- A child being certified- no longer concerned about Rehab but now concerned on punishment. Due Process LawExclusionary RuleExculpatory- discovery Habeas Corpus- (hay-bee-us core-puss) n. Latin for "you have the body," it is a writ (court order) which directs the law enforcement officials (prison administrators, police or sheriff) who have custody of a prisoner to appear in court with the prisoner to help the judge determine whether the prisoner is lawfully in prison or jail. Indictment- 1st formal alert to the defendant of what the district attorney is going to charge you with.

Mitigating Circumstances- n. in criminal law, conditions or happenings which do not excuse or justify criminal conduct, but are considered out of mercy or fairness in deciding the degree of the offense the prosecutor charges or influencing reduction of the penalty upon conviction. Example: a young man shoots his father after years of being beaten, belittled, sworn at and treated without love. "Heat of passion" or "diminished capacity" are forms of such mitigating circumstances ( Excuses) Extenuating circumstances- Beyond your control. Example: Driver tries to AVOID another car. The car next to him tries to avoid him..Thus creating a chain reaction. And it keeps going until the last car trying to avoid the others crashes unto a bus stop killing a person waiting there. Beyond their control.