Fundamentals of Criminal Courts

Fundamentals of Criminal Courts by Adam J. McKee and Jennifer M. Miller.



THIS IS A DRAFT VERSION.  Feel free to review and comment, but please do not distribute this textbook until this draft notice is removed!

The Table of Contents

The textbook is divided into eight chapters. Each chapter covers a different topic in Criminal Courts. The Sections are as follows:

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Section 1: Introduction to American Courts

Section 2: The Federal Court System

Section 3: State Court Systems

Section 4: Specialized Courts

Section 5: The Role of the Jury

Section 6: Legal Professionals

  • Section 6.1: Attorneys at Work     [Learning Resources]
  • Section 6.2: Judges and Their Staff     [Learning Resources]
  • Section 6.3: Court Reporters and Interpreters     [Learning Resources]
  • Section 6.4: Legal Ethics     [Learning Resources]
  • Section 6.5: Continuing Education in Law     [Learning Resources]

Section 7: Courtroom Procedures

  • Section 7.1: Stages of a Criminal Trial     [Learning Resources]
  • Section 7.2: Courtroom Protocols     [Learning Resources]
  • Section 7.3: Trial Preparation     [Learning Resources]
  • Section 7.4: Evidence Presentation     [Learning Resources]
  • Section 7.5: Technology in the Courtroom     [Learning Resources]

Section 8: Current Issues in the Courts

  • Section 8.1: Digital Innovations in Courts     [Learning Resources]
  • Section 8.2: Judicial Reform Debates     [Learning Resources]
  • Section 8.3: Alternative Dispute Resolution     [Learning Resources]
  • Section 8.4: High-Profile Case Studies     [Learning Resources]
  • Section 8.5: Future of American Courts     [Learning Resources]
Course Level SLOs
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Statement of Purpose

Welcome to Fundamentals of Criminal Courts, an open educational resource (OER) textbook designed to provide a comprehensive and engaging learning experience for students. This freely available online textbook represents modern educational principles and best practices in textbook creation while also offering the unique advantage of immediate reader feedback to continually enhance the content.

Our goal is to deliver a clear and accessible resource that furnishes students with a solid understanding of American criminal courts. By making this textbook freely available online, we ensure that learners from varied backgrounds have access to high-quality educational materials without financial barriers. This OER version also enables readers to actively participate in the improvement of the textbook by providing immediate feedback on the content, thereby fostering a collaborative and iterative learning process.

Through the incorporation of real-life examples, diverse perspectives, and current research, we aim to make the study of American criminal courts relevant and meaningful to students’ lives. This open textbook encourages active learning, featuring numerous opportunities for students to engage with the material through thought-provoking exercises, reflective activities, and application-based scenarios.

The benefits of the free online OER version are manifold. Firstly, it removes financial barriers, making quality education accessible to all students. Secondly, the digital format allows readers to access the textbook anytime, anywhere, which fosters flexibility and convenience.

As authors, we are committed to continuous improvement, actively seeking and incorporating reader feedback to enhance the textbook’s content and pedagogical effectiveness. By providing an open platform for engagement and dialogue, we foster a community of learners who actively contribute to the ongoing development of “Fundamentals of American Criminal Courts.”

Modification History

File Created:  05/06/2024

Last Modified:  06/12/2024


Print for Personal Use

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This work is licensed under an Open Educational Resource-Quality Master Source (OER-QMS) License.


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