American Criminal Court system was constituted by the US Constitution and consists of a network of distinct parts that are coordinated with the main goal to achieve law enforcement that makes offenders pay for their crimes while ensuring that those affected are compensated appropriately. According to Neubauer and Fradella, law enforcement, adjudication, and corrections are the distinct components that explain the system (2).
Law enforcement entails arresting suspected offenders while ensuring that the rights of the offender are upheld while conducting all procedures as prescribed in the law. Law enforcement at the federal and local level depends on the jurisdiction and type of crime, but the overall goal is to provide security and peace. In all cases, judicial officers preside over the courts while the Supreme Court is presided over by judicial officers who are known as justices.
Reiman and Leighton note that adjudication is a court process for ensuring justice for parties that are concerned in court cases under the law enforcement components at the federal, state, and local levels (3). The process is defined by pretrial services, arraignment, trial, and sentencing, and in some cases, a death sentence. This defines the American Criminal Court system that is structured into the local, state, and federal court systems. If a person who is involved in a suit does not get satisfied with the decision rendered at the lower courts, one is entitled to take the case through the remaining level of the criminal justice system by appealing for additional reviews and if errors are detected, they can be corrected to ensure uniformity of decisions.
According to Bennett and Feldman, state courts are uniquely defined by their own laws and court systems (4). What is regarded as legal in one state may not be legal in another state. The general nature of jurisprudence of a state court restricts it to interpreting state laws and in hearing cases that are not specifically selected for federal courts while federal courts are designed to interpret federal laws.
It is the State courts that function in such a way to make States retain and maintain their powers and independence from the federal government. State courts are structured into the State Supreme Court that hears appeals for lower courts, the superior court has the jurisprudence to hear serious cases, and special courts hear special cases that deal with family, juvenile, and housing. Other courts that are within the jurisdiction of the State court system and designed to hear minor cases and arraignments include the county, magistrate, municipal and traffic courts.
Calvi and Coleman note that cases in state courts begin in trial courts as pretrial cases that are often expensive and sometimes lead to default judgment (3). It is possible that territory “outside of any state in the United States, such as the District of Columbia or American Samoa, often have courts established under federal or territorial law which substitutes for a state court system, distinct from the ordinary federal court system” (Vago 2). It is often the case that courthouse host the state trial courts even if the trials include more than one county in a judicial district.
According to Cole, Smith and DeJong, Local courts are defined within the city and county levels that incorporate various components that deal with minor crimes such as community sentences that are processed by local officials who include the police, attorneys, and trial judges who are attached to the local values (2). It is within the jurisdiction of the local courts to supervise grand juries, probation departments, mediation programs, and conduct pretrial hearings and trials.
On the other hand, the federal court systems were established under the U.S. Constitution embodied in article III of the constitution which requires that the judicial power of the United State reside in “one supreme Court”. It has the jurisdiction of hearing cases provided by congress that involve violation of the constitution, patent disputes, maritime law cases, bankruptcy, and copyright disputes. Federal courts are classified into the US Supreme Court which has the power to review decisions made by the state and appellate courts.
Corrections form the last component of the criminal justice system that covers reform and “rehabilitation for all sentenced offenders including those on death row” (Vago 3). Corrections include a network of state and private institutions that involves parole and probation officers who ensure that convicts serve their sentences according to the advice of the court. Probation officers are responsible for supervising juveniles and adults under surveillance of the courts. It is within the jurisdiction of the probation officers to conduct pre-sentence investigations and provide information to the judge that can be used to determine sentencing of offenders. Parole officers supervise those who have been released from prison by submitting regular reports about the offenders to the respective officers.
In conclusion, the structure of the American Criminal Court system is divided into various distinct parts that include adjudication, law enforcement, and corrections for enforcing justice.
Bennett, W. Lance, and Martha S. Feldman. Reconstructing reality in the courtroom: Justice and judgment in American culture. Quid Pro Books, 2014.Print.
Calvi, James V., and Susan Coleman. American law and legal systems. Routledge, 2015. Print.
Cole, George F., Christopher E. Smith, and Christina DeJong. Criminal justice in America. Cengage Learning, 2015.Print.
Neubauer, David W., and Henry F. Fradella. America’s courts and the criminal justice system. Cengage Learning, 2015.Print.
Reiman, Jeffrey, and Paul Leighton. The rich get richer and the poor get prison: Ideology, class, and criminal justice. Routledge, 2015.Print.
Vago, Steven. Law and society. Routledge, 2015.Print.