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chapter 15

common law a law system based on precedent and customs
precedent a geographic area that contains a specific number of voters
statute law written by judicial branch
plaintiff a person or party filing a lawsuit
defendant an individual or group being sued or charged with a crime
felony a serious crime such as murder, rape, kidnapping, or robery
misdemeanor a minor offence such as vandalism
larceny the unlawful taking away of another persons property with intent to never return it
robbery the taking of property from a person's possession by using force or threats
burglary unlawful entry into any dwelling or structure
lawsuit a legal action in which person or group sues to collect damages for some harm that is done
tort wrongful acts for which an injured party has the right to sue
libel written untruths that are harmful to a persons 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 a case
writ of habeas corpus a court order that requires the police to bring back the person for there trial
bill of attainder law that punishes a person with out a trial or fair hearing
ex post facto law a law that allows a person to be punished for an action that would allow a person to be charged with a crime that's not against the law when it was committed
due process of law procedures established by law and guaranteed by the constitution
search warrant a court order allowing law enforcement officers to search you and your possessions for a specific item
double jeopardy putting someone on trial for a previous acquitted crime
grand jury group of people that decides weather or not there is sufficient evidence to convict a person
plea bargaining negotiation between the defense attorney and the proecutor
bail sum of money used as a security deposit to ensure that an accused person comes back for there trial