Distinguishing Features of the Major Court Systems Essay

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Distinguishing Features of the Major Court Systems
Criminal procedure can be complex, not only because of many factual questions that arise in day-day-police/citizen encounters but also because of the two-tiered structure of the United States court system. This two-tiered structure reflects the idea of dual sovereignty. The United States Legal system has been designed allow all citizens to receive a fair criminal trial regardless of social status, gender, race, and ethnic background. The system is composed by many confounding and complicated elements and processes. In the United States there are two parallel systems of courts: federal and state. Each is divided into trial courts and appellate courts. There are more than 200 statewide
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As in federal system the state intermediate appellate courts hear appeals from both criminal and civil trial courts within their geographic regions.
Every state has a final appellate court. In most states these are called supreme courts. Some states have two, one for criminal and other for civil appeals. The state supreme courts hear appeals mostly form intermediate appeals courts. Most supreme courts may choose which cases to review, and all have the final word on matters of state law, that is, common law, statutes, and the state constitution (Abadinsky, 2008).
As outline in appendix B, at the federal level, three types of courts are relevant: District courts, circuit courts of appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. The district courts try cases involving violations of federal laws. District court decisions are appealed to the circuit courts of appeals, and then to the U.S. Supreme Court (Worrall, 2007). The highest court in the federal jurisdiction is the United State Supreme Court, which does not only hear federal appeals. United States Supreme Court is the ultimate court of last resort. The cases heard by lower level trial courts and appellate courts can be appealed to state supreme courts and federal appellate courts, no other court looks over the shoulder of the U.S. Supreme Court. When it comes to interpreting the federal law and applying both the federal and state law the Supreme Court of the