criminal law and procedure

release

To cease to be bound by an obligation or to concede a right. A release usually takes the form of a voluntary private contract between parties to cease the obligation or concede the right. California Civil Code § 1541 upholds...

release on one's own recognizance

A “release on one’s one recognizance” is a court's decision to allow a person charged with a crime to remain at liberty pending the trial, without having to post bail. Also sometimes referred to as “O.R.,” “R.O.R.,” or judicial public bail...

res gestae

Res gestae is a Latin term meaning “things done” or “things transacted.” It refers to the events or circumstances at issue, as well as other events that are contemporaneous with or related to them. Courts previously employed this term in...

retributivism

Retributivism is a theory of criminal punishment which states that wrongdoers should be punished to cause suffering for the wrongdoer proportionate to the severity of their crime rather than to deter future crime or to rehabilitate them. In...

RICO

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a federal law (codified at 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-68) targeting organized criminal activity and racketeering. RICO enhances existing criminal punishments and creates new causes of...

right to confront witness

Overview

The Sixth Amendment provides that a person accused of a crime has the right to confront a witness against him or her in a criminal action. This includes the right to be present at the trial (which is guaranteed by the Federal Rules of...

right to jury trial

Overview:

The right to a jury trial refers to the right provided by the Sixth and Seventh Amendments. The Sixth Amendment states that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused criminal has the right to a trial by an impartial jury of the...

riot

A riot is a public disturbance where three or more people behave in a violent and uncontrolled manner. A riot usually has the following characteristics:

made in furtherance of an express common purpose; through the use or threat of...

rout

A rout is a crime that is the stage before a riot, but after an unlawful assembly. According to Follis et al. v. the State, unlawful assemblies, routs and riots are all "allied disturbances of the public peace." A rout is described as three...

rule of lenity

The rule of lenity is a principle used in criminal law, also called rule of strict construction, stating that when a law is unclear or ambiguous, the court should apply it in the way that is most favorable to the defendant, or to construe the...

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