A collective overview of contemporary developments affecting court organization and judicial procedures. From Perry Mason to Judge Lance Ito courts are among the least understood institutions in American society. They are shrouded in myth; they fascinate us with the special atmosphere, the complicated rules, the legal rituals, and the confrontations. That's the mystique, here's the reality: an authoritative and comprehensive survey and a critique of the American court system. America has a long history of sensationalized trials and infamous lawyers and judges, but what is the truth about how our system of jurisprudence really works? Courts and Trials: A Reference Handbook makes the subject accessible by presenting an overview of the organization of courts and the procedures used in criminal and civil cases, with special emphasis on contemporary developments. The book analyzes specific issues: methods of selecting judges, the capacity of citizen-jurors to make appropriate decisions, cameras in the courtroom, "three strikes" laws, and the prosecution of juveniles as adults.
The discussions illuminate competing perspectives on controversies that influence new initiatives and reforms affecting courts and their operations.