Inside the Criminal Courts

Third Edition

by David R. Lynch

Tags: Courts, Legal Issues

Table of Contents (PDF)

Teacher's Manual available

390 pp  $48.00

ISBN 978-1-61163-823-3
eISBN 978-1-5310-0062-2

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Inside the Criminal Courts is an innovative textbook that combines elements of nonfiction with fictional stories based in large part on author David Lynch's experiences as a full-time prosecutor and full-time public defender. Lynch, who holds both a law degree and a PhD in criminal justice, has published numerous articles on the criminal courts in such leading journals as Law & Social Inquiry, Criminal Justice and Behavior, and the Journal of Criminal Justice. He currently teaches in the criminal justice program at Weber State University where he also serves as chairperson of the department.

Inside the Criminal Courts covers all of the usual topics generally associated with a course on the criminal courts, but does so by integrating the essentials into compelling and realistic stories that are enjoyable to read. Students learn important concepts and terms which are embedded in instructive case studies featuring prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, witnesses, defendants, and others. Far from being merely a book on the law, this text takes the reader behind the scenes on a journey into the real world dynamics of criminal courthouse justice. An instructor's manual (including a test bank) is available.

Topics explored in this book are presented in sixteen chapters as follows: (1) The Education of Lawyers and Judges; (2) A Day in Juvenile Court; (3) Justice Delayed; (4) The Criminal Defense Attorney; (5) The Prosecuting Attorney; (6) The Judge; (7) The Witness; (8) The Steps of Due Process; (9) The Plea Bargain; (10) The Trial, Part I; (11) The Trial, Part II; (12) The Jury Deliberates; (13) Sentencing; (14) The Appeal; (15) Problem-Solving Courts; (16) Proposed Reforms.

In this third edition, the author has added, among other things, an "Extra Insights: What Does the Law Say?" component to the end of each chapter in which interesting appellate decisions on point for the particular chapter topic are briefed and presented.

The Teacher's Manual is available electronically on a CD or via email. Please contact Beth Hall at to request a copy.

Praise for earlier editions:

Inside the Criminal Courtsis a pinnacle in the annals of textbooks. Lynch's engaging writing style takes students on a captivating journey through the criminal courts and gives voice to a system that is seemingly cold and confusing. The characters offer insider views of the legal system in a manner that will have students eagerly awaiting the next chapter. Students and instructors in criminology, criminal justice, pre-law, and sociology will find this an intriguing book that facilitates the learning experience with a bold, fresh approach."

— Mary Dodge, Director of Criminal Justice Programs, University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs
As a former criminal defense attorney and Illinois Appellate Court law clerk, I often find criminal court textbooks inadequate because they explain how the legal system should theoretically operate, but do not expose students to the realities of the criminal court system. Inside the Criminal Courts captures how criminal courts function through narratives that explain the various stages of the judical process. Students often express how much they enjoy reading the book."
— Jo-Ann Della Giustina, Graduate Program Coordinator, Bridgewater State College
Inside the Criminal Courts could stand alone or as a supplement to a more general text on the criminal justice system. Lynch has produced an easy-to-read, enjoyable, and informative book on the criminal courts that will serve students well. I recommend the adoption of this book by anyone teaching in this area."
— Criminal Justice Review

Comp Copy If you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy.