Criminal Procedures Chapter 1 Provides Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

These may include dismissals and mistrials, as well as appeals. The chapter details some of the notional elements around double jeopardy, including the situations in which same offense can be defined as such.


Gilbert Law Summaries on Criminal Procedure is another excellent book from the Gilbert Law Summaries series. The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that this book comes as close as possible to being an overly comprehensive and exhaustive review of criminal procedure. Although more reduced in size if compared to some of the other books in the series, this manages to encompass notions ranging from competency to stand trial to the right to confront witnesses and from preliminary hearings to the applicable elements in case of a juvenile offender. Nothing seems to be left out, including some of the more thorny issues, such as the government's obligation to disclose information, which is also keenly analyzed.

As always, the book is cleanly organized into chapters pertaining to larger categories of subjects for discussion. At the same time, the book logically starts with the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments, as the fundamental basis for the rest of the book. The Bill of Rights contains most of the limitations placed on the potential actions of the Federal Government. In terms of criminal procedure, they include essential issues, such as the right to a speedy, public trial and an impartial jury. This is what motivates this to be part of the first chapter on for the Summary on Criminal Procedure.

At the same time, some of the amendments in the Bill of Rights are essential towards defining the notion and practice of Criminal Procedure and, as a consequence, these are further detailed in the second and third chapters (both the Fourth and Fifth Amendment). This is very important and useful in the book, with essential things such as arrests and detention procedures and how confessions can be made and used in the course of the entire investigative procedure.

As the other summaries, the Summary on Criminal Procedure benefits from several instruments designed to make the reader more accustomed with navigating the different parts of the book in a manner that is both efficient and logical. The most important of these is perhaps the text correlation chart, which allows the reader (either a law student or not) to immediately recognize a subject or specific reading assignment in the book and go directly to that page of the Summary.

The fact that the Summary on Criminal Procedure was clearly written having in mind the end-user (either the reader that goes through the book in order to consolidate his knowledge on criminal procedure or the student who studies the book for an exam or for general knowledge) is clear with the numerous instruments and learning tools that the book has. The previous paragraph has been discussing the text correlation chart, available at the beginning of the book.

However, one should point out that charts are part of each chapter and, usually, a very helpful way of going through the information. The reader can actually start with these learning instruments and move from these towards the more complicated parts of the chapter, through which a keen reading and analysis is necessary.

Just to exemplify, some of these charts include references to Valid Warrantless Searches, the Approach to Admissibility of Defendant's Confession or the Summary of Preliminary Hearings. All such charts are in fact a readable summary of the given element for discussion and something that comes in very handy when you are dealing with a big amount of difficult information that needs to be understood and processed by the reader. Some of these summaries are also very graphically intuitive, such as the chart with the components of the confrontation right.

In the same category of learning instruments, one could also include the capsule summary, which is, in fact, a more detailed summary of each of the chapters' content. This is important, because it helps the user better understand the type of information that is included in each place in the book and also determine whether the respective information, in detail, is what is required for his or her particular moment of study.

It is also a reasonably well detailed informational capsule: for example, the capsule summary for the chapter with constitutional principles and the bill of rights starts with a definition and brief description of the amendments that are important for criminal procedure. This is helpful as a summary of the summary, a way to have a very synthetic presentation of the information in the book at a very introductory stage.

An additional point should be made on the organizational structure of the book and the way each chapter seems to flow from the precedent one in a very logical and useful manner. This is especially relevant in some of the chapters in the middle of the book that detail the pretrial, trial and post-trial (punishment) proceedings.

All this is really helpful both in terms of providing assistance for the reader in identifying the relevant parts that he or she may want to skip right through to, as well as simply allowing the information to be logically structured and contained in a manner that is much easier to understand and to take in by the reader.

As an overall assessment, this is perhaps one of the best books in the series and one that lacks almost any of the problems that exist in some of the other summaries. The information here is organized really well and the logic behind the structure is so obvious that the reader can immediately detect the part of the book that he or she will need to go to in order to drill into the information and understand it.

The explanations are also very thorough and done to a level that pertains both to law specialists and to law students, whose knowledge may be in an incipient stage. The book also fits nicely into the portfolio of other similar summaries that have been written and compiled under the Gilbert Law status and are simply great informational support instruments for law students and for anybody else who…

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