Criminal Justice | Learning Resources | Section 5.2

Criminal Justice: An Overview of the System by Adam J. McKee

Section 5.2: Prosecution and Defense

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Learning Resources

Learning Objectives
5.2(a) Describe the role of the defense attorney in a criminal trial.
5.2(b) Trace the history of indigent defense in the United States.
5.2(c) Describe the role of the prosecutor in a criminal trial in the United States.
5.2(d) Describe important areas in the criminal justice process where prosecutors have nearly unlimited discretion.
5.2(e) Trace the philosophical underpinnings of the juvenile justice system in the United States.

Slide Presentations

For the Classroom:  INTRO-Section-5-2-presentation

For Printing: INTRO-Section-5-2-print

Present from the web:

Key Terms

  • Argersinger v. Hamlin (1972)
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney
  • City Attorney
  • District Attorney (D.A.)
  • Docket
  • Faretta v. California (1975)
  • Independent Counsel
  • Indigent Defendant
  • Nolle Prosequi
  • State’s Attorney
  • United States Attorney

Download a Printable Vocabulary Study Guide [PDF]: Intro_Section_5.2

In your more advanced courses and in your future career, your understanding of many technical and legal terms will be taken for granted.  It is vital that you take the time to really understand the terms presented at the end of each section of this course.  We’ve gone to great lengths to provide you with assistance in mastering this vocabulary.  Don’t forget that there is an extensive glossary that defines all of the bold terms that you will encounter in your reading.  In addition, the vocabulary for each section has been made available on a very useful website called  This site has a wide selection of flashcards for you to study, memorize, test yourself on, and more.  Cram also has a large app store so you can find other mobile flashcards for your Android, iPhone, or Windows device, allowing you to take your flashcards on the go. There are even games that add some fun to learning important terms.

Study Flashcards for this vocabulary on

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Last Updated:  04/21/2021

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