The United States criminal justice system has a court system that is modulated in different parts. The Supreme Court is the highest authoritative court in the United States, and for cases to arrive at this court, they must pass through a variety of courts and have a legitimate consequence toward the nation.
You also have state, appellate, and local courts that serve jurisdictions where criminal cases are initially held and decided by a jury or a judge. It is vital to understand that certain crimes like fraud can be tried in the criminal sections of the criminal justice system, but there is also a civil justice system where parties seek civil relief for injustices that may or may not result from criminal activities. The civil courts, another set of courts, provide judgments over the civil cases. Judges decide if the plaintiffs claim of harm by the defendant is justified.
Criminal cases are heard in criminal courts where, at the conclusion of the trial, the defendant may receive sentences of incarceration or fines as a result of being convicted at the criminal trial.
In a civil court, a person (plaintiff) pursues a civil action against another person (defendant), which may result from damages resulting from a criminal action of the defendant, an accidental action by the defendant, or a disagreement between the plaintiff and the defendant.
Please answer the following questions.
- What is the dual-court system?
- Why does America have a dual-court system?
- Could the drive toward court unification eventually lead to a monolithic court system?
- Would such a system be effective?
Judges have specific philosophical rationales and sentencing guidelines when providing a judgment over presented facts.
- If you were a judge, what would be your sentencing goals and philosophical rationales? Why?
- Can you envision any circumstances that might make your guidelines or sentencing goals change? Why?
- Provide an example of a situation that might be extremely difficult to judge that could put you as a judge in a situation to change your sentencing goals or philosophical rationales.
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