Class Manual

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2009-2010 Class Manual

KYC Instructors

Trevor Stephens

Superior Court Judge

415 Main Street

Fourth Floor

Ketchikan, AK 99901

Phone: 907-225-3195

Diane Thoben, Esquire

Public Defender Agency

415 Main Street

Second Floor

Ketchikan, AK 99901

Phone: 907 228-8950

James Scott, Esquire

District Attorney’s Office

415 Main Street

Third Floor

Ketchikan, AK 99901

Phone: 907 225-6128

Other Guest Lecturers appear periodically.

Online References

Alaska State Statutes

Ketchikan Municipal Code (Ordinances)

Glenn J. Brown, Esq.

Executive Director

Work: 907-225-2293

Mobile: 267 303-4630


Austin Otos

Youth Assistant

Work: 907-225-2293


Week One 7

The Court System 8

Where Laws Come From 9

Adult Court 9

Juvenile System 10

Case Referrals 12

Figure: Criminal Procedure 13

Figure: Alaska Adult Trial Court System 14

Figure: KYC Court Process 15

Week Two 16

Roles of Prosecutor, Defense, and Judge 17

Juvenile Constitutional Rights 18

KYC Constitution 19

Ethics 21

Week Three 26

Prosecution Preparation 27

What is a Crime? 28

Elements of a Crime 29

Special Considerations 31

Preparing a Probable Cause Statement 32

What is Evidence? 32

Week Four 36

What/Who is a Defense Attorney? 37

Defense Preparation 37

Preparing the Defendant for Sentencing 39

How to Interview Your Client 41

The Fifth Amendment 44

Week Five 46

Diversity 47

Victim Impact 49

Interviewing and Preparing Witnesses 51

Putting a Witness on the Stand 52

Objections 57

Exercises 58

Week Six 61

Overview of the Sentencing Hearing 62

Sentencing Options 62

How to Determine Community Work Service Hours 63

Aggravating and Mitigating Factors 66

How to Deliver a Sentencing Recommendation 68

Exercises 71

Week Seven 76

KYC Mock Arraignment and Sentencing 77

Ketchikan Youth Court Rules of Conduct 78

Code of Judicial Conduct 87

Example Documents 90

Glossary 110

The Court System

Where Laws Come From

Adult Court

Juvenile System

Case Referrals

The Court System

The United States CONSTITUTION1 established three branches of government.

The first branch of government is the LEGISLATIVE BRANCH. The legislature, or Congress, is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. This branch of the government makes the laws.

The second branch of government is the EXECUTIVE BRANCH, which includes the President (or on a state level, the Governor), his cabinet and many government agencies. The executive branch of government enforces the laws through the federal marshals, the FBI, officers and park rangers, the ATF and other such entities. In Alaska, the executive branch enforces the laws through the state troopers, the city and borough police forces, the village public safety officers, the university campus police and the state fish and game officers.

The JUDICIAL BRANCH of government is the third branch. The U.S. Constitution established a national court system called the federal court. There are three main levels of courts in the federal court system: the District Court or trial court, the COURT OF APPEALS, and the U.S. SUPREME COURT. There are other federal courts, but they are not important for Youth Court.

Each level of court has a specific function. The trial courts hear the cases, with the JURY deciding the questions of fact and the JUDGE deciding questions of law (how the law is to be applied).

If one side in a case does not agree with a judge’s interpretation of the law, that side can APPEAL to the Court of Appeals at the end of the case (or in the middle under some special circumstances.) The Court of Appeals, which is usually a panel of three judges, will decide whether the trial court judge properly ruled on a question of law.

If one of the case participants is still not satisfied, s/he can appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the U.S. Supreme Court does not have to take every case appealed. It generally chooses to take only those cases in which the ruling will affect a large number of people or will settle new or important legal questions.

Federal courts deal with federal cases. A federal court will deal with CRIMINAL LAW and accept criminal cases in which the defendant broke a federal law. For example, criminal cases which the federal court would hear are bank robbery, counterfeiting, or mail bombing. The federal court also hears CIVIL LAW cases which deal with federal laws, a violation of the U.S. Constitution, or in which two people have a dispute and are from different states.

Federal judges are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Once a federal judge has been confirmed, s/he holds that position until s/he retires or is impeached. Federal judges are not elected.

1. Words which are in all capital letters and in bold print can be found in the glossary in the back.

n addition to the national court system, each state has its own court system to hear state cases. The two court systems usually operate independently of each other. The Alaska court system is made up of two different types of trial courts: the District Court, which hears minor cases and the Superior Court, which hears more serious cases. The appeal goes to either the Alaska Court of Appeals or directly to the Alaska SUPREME COURT, depending on whether the case is civil or criminal. Criminal cases first go to the Court of Appeals and then, just like the federal system, may be accepted by the Alaska Supreme Court. Civil cases are appealed directly to the Supreme Court.

The Alaska Constitution sets the guidelines for selecting judges in Alaska. Alaska’s state court judges are appointed by the Governor of Alaska. However, after the judge has been in office a period of time, the judge must be “retained” by a vote of the people. Thereafter, judges on the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Superior Court or District Court are voted on every few years.

The Alaska state courts deal with both civil and criminal cases. Civil cases include lawsuits over money. It is possible for one set of facts to result in both a criminal case and a civil case. For example: If D drinks alcohol and then drives his car, ending up crashing into P’s parked car, the State can prosecute D for driving while intoxicated. Also, P can sue D for the money to fix P’s car. Criminal cases include any violation of a law, whether it is a small crime, like shoplifting, or a major crime, like murder.

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