to the Street Law Cases and Resources pages. Using the buttons
above, you can navigate between the chapters of this unit, as well as chapters
of other units. All links within these pages are just a mouse click away
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Nature Of Crimes
View crime statistics on the Bureau of Justice Statistics Web site. Explore the statistics of property
crimes. For more specific statistics on violent crime and
property crime trends, view these
Graphs and Charts. Need help preparing a report? Download
size color charts discussed above for overheads or handouts.
crime is the use of legitimate businesses to cover for illegal activities. Read about organized crime today and what the FBI is doing to combat it.
be a victim of any type of crime can leave a person feeling violated and
angry or afraid. There are organizations that offer help and assistance
to victims of crime - read about some of these groups
at the Department of Justice's website.
learn even more about gangs, and gang research, read through a series
of articles and information available on-line from the Office
of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
And The Law
the statistics of firearms
and crime. Examine the highlights from an in-depth report
Firearm Offenders. Why has there been a decline in firearm prosecutions?
sides of the debate regarding the right to bear arms remain powerful and
vocal groups. Browse through Time
Magazine's collection of essays and photo essays about the
role of guns in America over recent history.
Washington Post maintains a comprehensive
site about the issues and new stories about gun-control,
as well as links to major organizations that lobby for or against gun-control
laws. Use this site to learn about the gun laws in your state.
Abuse And Crime
relatively new weapon used in the effort to deter and punish drug dealers
is the federal mandatory
minimum sentence that must be imposed on offenders. This
means that if you are caught participating in a drug trade, a federal
judge is forced by Congress to give you a specific sentence, regardless
of the circumstances. Some people, including members of Congress, believe
this works as a serious
punishment for drug dealers, and other groups feel this is
Samaritan laws bring moral responsibility into the legal field. These
laws either encourage bystanders to help the victim of a crime or a dangerous
situation, (as in Utah),
or require bystanders to come to a victim's assistance (as in Minnesota).
There are few cases that have brought about the highlighted Good Samaritan
laws, like the deaths of young Sherrice
Iverson and Princess
Diana. Read viewpoints that support or oppose
these laws. Do you think Good Samaritan laws are a good idea?
An attempt to commit a crime can be a crime if the attempt is serious enough. Read the story of the assassination attempt of former President Ronald Reagan in 1980.
about one of the most famous conspiracy cases of the 1990s. Explore the
trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nicols, charged with conspiracy to
commit murder in the Oklahoma
City bombing. More recently, an alleged conspirator in the
September 11th terrorism, Zacarias
Moussaoui, faces many conspiracy charges in the attacks.
and Federal Crimes
happens when a criminal violates both state and federal criminal laws?
How do prosecutors choose in which court to try the defendant? Read an
interview with Congressman
Ehrlich (R-Md) who advocates prosecuting criminals who use
guns in federal courts, rather than state courts, because the punishment
is tougher in federal courts.
Explore the suicide fact sheet from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
Learn more about stalking laws and the behaviors associated with this crime. The internet has brought on a new type of stalking, called cyberstalking. Scroll to page 10 to read a report on cyberstalking. Some people think whole new laws should be created to protect computer-users from cyberstalkers.
Explore the statistics of property crimes.
Read about juvenile vandalism. How much does juvenile vandalism account for of the total amount? Is juvenile vandalism on the rise or decline?
yourself by learning what you should do during and after
burglaries can be prevented. Learn how to protect
your home from burglars.
Use of a Vehicle
You can read the summary of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Crime Has Been Committed
Did Not Commit The Crime
defense that someone else committed the crime other than the defendant
is often used. The evidence to prove may be an alibi, and some defendant's
are also using DNA
to prove whether they were physically present at the crime scene.
Committed a Criminal Act, But The Act Was Excusable or Justified
Some cases where this type of defense is used are widely publicized in the media, such as when women who are abused kill their abusers. The defense many of these women use is called "battered women's syndrome". Read the story of a California woman.
defense of infancy is becoming more controversial as criminals start at
younger ages, and the crimes become increasingly violent. At what age do you think a child
understands what is criminal?, Examine this opinion in a New York Court of Appeals case involving the age of criminal responsibility. Read a news article about child
You can read the full text of Tennessee v. Garner, the case involving use of deadly force mentioned on page 130.
The police can stop and frisk a person who appears suspicious or dangerous. Learn more about why police can do this and what they can do when they stop somebody.
who arrest or search a person unlawfully usually cannot use evidence they
find from these actions to prosecute a person in court. This is called
of the poisonous tree doctrine". The poisonous tree
is the unlawful arrest, and the fruit is the evidence. The fruit is tainted
because it comes from something unconstitutional.
You can read the short form of California v. Greenwood, the case concerning no reasonable expectation of privacy in garbage left for pick up on one's curb described on page 134. You may also examine the full text of the case or hear the oral arguments.
learn more about "no-knock" entries mentioned on page 135, read
Richards v. Wisconsin, either in short
form or full
text, or hear the oral
The rules for search and seizure vary with the different circumstances of each situation. For example, the search and seizure policies while driving or riding in an automobile are different than if you are at home or even walking down the street. Read about the exceptions to the normal rules of search and seizure.
the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, security in the U.S. has
changed many minds on when it is appropriate to search bags and people.
Read how security
concerns have affected our policies of what is needed, such
as baggage inspection before traveling.
v. Arizona, covered on pages 143-145, is available in either a short
form or full
text. You may wish to hear the oral
And Initial Appearance
Jury Information to learn about federal and state grand
juries; read frequently asked questions about grand juries or the Ken
Starr grand jury. Do you have a question? You can also post your question
on this site for the author to answer.
You can read the case of New Jersey v. T.L.O, described in the
feature on page 153, either in short
form or the full
text. You may wish to hear the oral
While the constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury, there is still some debate over Jury or Judge Trial: Which Is Better?. The process by which a jury is chosen
is called voir
dire. Read about how
a lawyer chooses a jury. Does this influence how you feel
can read Barker
v. Wingo, the Supreme Court case about a defendant's
right to a speedy trial.
To Compulsory Process and to Confront Witnesses
understand the defendant's right to confront a child abuse victim, read
government often grants
immunity to witnesses to get valuable information so they
can prosecute people that commit worse or greater crimes.
Read about some of the issues faced by lawyers for indigent, or poor, clients at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Brennan Center for Justice. Explore the statistics
on the defendants who have court
many types of crimes, especially drug-related crimes, Congress has decided
what the punishment should be. Mandatory
minimums are the minimum punishment that a judge must give
to a defendant found guilty of a specific crime in federal courts.
can read the Violent
Offender Incarceration and Truth in Sentencing Act,
discussed on page 167, either in full
text or the summary.
the statistics on defendants who are on probation
2002, the U.S.
Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty for the mentally
retarded was unconstitutional. Read the transcripts of the oral
arguments in this case. In addition, several states have
halted executions in order to evaluate if the system is fair. Pro-death
penalty advocates disagree with this decision. What do you
programs are designed to prevent youth from entering the court system.
These programs are called juvenile
diversion programs. The rates of juvenile
crime are still a concern, and the government is turning
its attention to fighting this problem, as well as adult crime.
You can also read the full
text of the current federal law on juvenile crime, the Juvenile
Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.
Examine the statistics involved with each stage of the juvenile justice procedure system below the online chart. What surprises you? What did you expect?
Copyright © 2001, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.
All Rights Reserved.
Last Modified: February 28, 2001