For undergraduate legal studies, paralegal and criminal justice courses. Today, criminal law and procedures is at the forefront of public. The public debates, on a daily basis, the death penalty, the insanity defense, the release of death row prisoners, and the treatment of individuals suspected of engaging in terrorist activities against the U.S. This text guides students through three basic criteria to ground them in a thorough understanding of criminal law: History of the American Criminal Law System, Criminal Procedure, and coverage of specific crimes and common defenses to those crimes. By addressing the fundamentals of criminal law history, the Constitution, and even how media coverage affects criminal proceedings, student can begin to explore the law in their jurisdiction and build upon the fundamental knowledge this book delivers.