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chapter 15

common law a system of law based on precedent and customs
precedent a ruling that is used as the basis for a judicial decision in a later, similar case
statutes a law written by a legislative branch
plaintiff a person or party filing a lawsuit
defendant an individual or group being sued or charged with a crime
felonies a serious crime such as murder,rape,kidnapping,or robbery
misdemeanors a relatively minor offense such as vandalism or stealing inexpensive items.
larceny the unlawful taking away of another persons property with the intent never to return it.
robbery the taking of property from a persons possession by using force or threats
burglary unlawful entry into any dwelling or structure.
lawsuit a legal action in which a person or group sues to collect damages for some harm that is done.
tortes wrongful acts for which an injured party has the right to sue.
libel written untruths that are harmful to someones reputation.
constitutional law branch of law dealing with formation,construction,and interpretation of constitutions.
stare decisis the practice of using earlier judicial rulings as a basis for deciding cases.
writ of habeas corpus a court order that requires police to bring a prisoner to court to explain why they are holding the person.
bill of attainder a law that punishes a person accused of a crime without a trial or fair hearing in court.
ex post facto laws a law that would allow a person to be punished for an action that was not against the law when it was committed.
due process law procedures established by law and guaranteed by the constitution.
search warrant a court order allowing law enforcement officers to search a suspects home or business and take specific items as evidence.
double jeopardy putting someone on trial for a crime that he or she was previously acquitted.
grand jury a group of citizens that decides whether there is sufficient evidence to accuse someone of a crime.
plea bargaining negotiation between the defense attorney and the prosecutor.
bail a sum of money used as a security deposit to ensure that an accused person returns for his or her trial.
Created by: ashlyndowler