Book Review: Significant Cases in Criminal Procedure

DOI10.1177/0734016805284331
Date01 September 2005
Published date01 September 2005
Subject MatterArticles
Significant Cases in Criminal Procedure, by Craig Hemmens, John L. Worrall, and Alan
Thompson. Los Angeles: Roxbury, 2004.
DOI: 10.1177/0734016805284331
Criminal procedure encompasses the rules governing the manner in which the state may
go about depriving an individual of life and limb, liberty, and property. Criminal procedure
comprises when and in what manner law enforcement personnel may detain, arrest, or search
a person. In addition, criminal procedure includes when and how police may interrogate
criminal suspects and conduct identification procedures. Criminal procedure is an area in
which all law enforcement personnel should have a workable knowledge. Criminal proce-
dure lays the foundation on how the law is to be executed.
Craig Hemmens (Boise State University), John Worrall (California State University, San
Bernardino), and Alan Thompson (University of Southern Mississippi) have composed a
helpful study guide for criminal justice students. Significant Cases in Criminal Procedure is
a handbook that is similar to a criminal procedure textbook required by a university. A stu-
dent who chooses to major or minor in the field of criminal justice is required to enroll in a
criminal procedure class. As one who speaks from experience, the normal textbook required
in criminal procedure is rather large and foreboding. A student who is asked to brief a case
can become confused and overwhelmed by the rather obscure language contained in the text.
With the basic homework load in college, a student can become pressed for time trying to
interpret the unfathomable case law.
Significant Cases in Criminal Procedureis a handbook that simplifies case law.This book
is brilliantly worded and easily understood. The book is a helpful source for students who are
trying to read original case opinions and need a more detailed description than that contained
in a standard textbook. This book is an excellent source for learning, in-depth, the areas of
search and seizure and interrogations.
The book comprises 23 well-written and informative chapters. Each chapter contains a
summary of the most significant landmark cases as related to the topic being discussed.
These cases set the precedent for law enforcement on how their duties are to be performed.
Each chapter follows the same similar format. The relevantcases are briefed and set up as
follows: facts, issue, holding, rationale, and case significance. Facts, the first part of the brief,
includes all the pertinent facts of the case that led to the concluding Supreme Court decision
in addition to a brief explanation of the decisions made by the lower courts. Issue, the second
part of the brief, is the primary question presented to the Supreme Court for its ruling. The
holding is the result, the ultimate decision of the Supreme Court. The fourth part of the case
brief is the rationale. This section contains an analysis of the Supreme Court’s decision. The
final part of the case brief is the case significance.This section consists of a discussion of why
the case is significant in the criminal justice field.
The opening of the book contains a table of cases, which identifies the page number in
which a specific case can be located. Each chapter contains a thorough summary of the topic
to be discussed. Case briefs then follow.The book closes with a glossary of key terms, which
is a very beneficial tool for understanding key concepts and terminology.
Of the 23 chapters contained in the book, chapter 2 is perhaps one of the most important.
“What Constitutes Probable Cause” is an educational tool for those learning the importance
of officers making probable cause determinations. The authors first examine the Supreme
240 Criminal Justice Review

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