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State and Local Gov't

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1. T. „Dub" Wise was robbed and killed on April 18, 1983 in his house in Houston, Texas. Burdine and Wise had a homosexual relationship and lived together for three months. Calvin Burdine admitted that he was there when W.T. Wise was killed and he also said that he had known that a robbery was planned. But evidence point to accomplice Douglas McCreight as the one who did the murder. Interesting is that Douglas McCreight pleaded guilty of murder. Calvin Burdine pleaded not guilty, but in trial the jury found him guilty. Calvin Burdine was sentenced to death, Douglas McCreight was released on parole after 8 years in prison

The U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites) on Monday rejected an

appeal by Texas, which wanted to execute a death row inmate even though his lawyer slept repeatedly during his 1984 murder trial in Houston.

The justices let stand a U.S. appeals court ruling that Calvin Burdine deserved a new trial because his lawyer dozed off frequently enough and for long enough stretches to deprive him of his constitutional right to effective legal assistance. Texas wanted to carry out the execution. Even though the court-appointed lawyer was "repeatedly unconscious" during the trial, Texas argued it did not affect the outcome, which ended with Burdine being found guilty and sentenced to die for fatally stabbing his gay lover.

2. This case clearly has nothing to do with homosexuality, more so than equality and justice. This case goes to show that justice is not always served through the legal system. It illustrates that every one is not always offered a fair trial. I believe they did the right thing in letting Burdine be retried because his lawyer kept falling asleep. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty but this case reveals that once society has formed their own opinion about you, or his lawyer in this case, there's is nothing anyone can do to help in the legal system. That's sad because if Burdine is innocent, he had no voice to speak up for him and this could be another case of an innocent man being executed.

3. Public policy is any type of actual or proposed government action to address social problems. There are three branches of our government: legislative, executive, and judicial. The actions that are taken by members of these three branches are public policies. In elementary school, you learned that the legislative branch makes the laws, the executive enforces them, and the judicial interprets them.

4. Criminal Law- the body of law dealing with crimes and their punishments

Civil Law- the body of laws established by a state or nation for its own regulation

Misdemeanor- crime less serious than a felony

Felony- a serious crime such as murder or arson

Judicial Review- review by a court of law of actions of a government official or entity or of some other legally appointed person or body or the review by an appellate court of the decision of a trial court

Judicial Activism- an interpretation of the U.S. constitution holding that the spirit of the times and the needs of the nation can legitimately influence judicial decisions (particularly decisions of the Supreme Court)

Injunction case and desist order- a judicial remedy issued in order to prohibit a party from doing or continuing to do a certain activity; "injunction were formerly obtained by writ but now by a judicial order

5. Redistributive policy is probably the most contentious of the domestic policies. This policy involves the public the most. Bureaucracies are instrumental here because they are the one who do the redistributing. Presidents will pass the buck to bureaucrats, who will be responsible for the promulgating the rules and regulations to implement these policies. Examples of this type of policy include social security, welfare, but don't forget corporations benefit as well! Distributive Policy involves some decisions by gov. without regaurd to limited resources. This type of policy is very individual in its impact. An example of this policy would be pork-barrel legislation by congress.

6. The position of the United States courts in the nation's system of

government is not difficult to understand when that system is viewed as a




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