Criminal Justice      


Previously in Chapter 2 of the textbook, you learned about the doctrine of Selective Incorporation of the Bill of Rights, which outlines the rights contained in the Bill of Rights that pertain to the state governments via the Fourteenth amendment.

When a trial is occurring, the defendant can exercise his or her rights and also argue the violation of his or her rights during due process and prior to his or her arrest. Explain how these rights and due process can be the basis for an appeal of a criminal trial, as shown in your reading assignment for this lesson.

To which court can the verdict from a state trial be appealed? (Use your state as an example.)  Illinois:

To which court can the verdict from a federal trial court be appealed? (Again, use your state as an example.) (25%)

Which court in the nation is the highest and its decisions cannot be appealed to any other court? Does this court have original jurisdiction over any criminal actions? (25%)

Sample paper

Criminal Justice

The law is one of the fundamental in a country or a state to ensure there is a peaceful existence among all people across all levels in the society. The police force is usually given the mandate to enforce the law, rules and regulations that are made by the state organs. Whoever breaks the law is taken to court to answer for his violation. Without the social control, a country can be chaos all through. Criminal justice provides systems of practices and governmental institutions that have the sole duty and responsibility of upholding social control, deterring and mitigating any form of crime. Moreover, the court systems have the power to sanction those who violate laws with penalties and rehabilitation efforts (LoPucki, 2008). However, the court cannot implement laws that have not be put in place and thus the laws of a country have to comprise of the system of rules that can be enforced through social institutions to govern the behavior of individuals in a country.

Question 1

Not all the rules of the court that goes in our way or the way we wanted and at times the accused may feel that he was judged unfairly. As provided in the Constitution, the accused has the right to appeal. The party that loses in a verdict by a trial court in state court has the right to appellate court. The Illinois courts are divided into three levels beginning with Circuit Court Level. This court has the responsibilities of listening to civil lawsuits and criminal complaints. The role of the appellate court in the state of Illinois is keen to examine the records of the lower court proceedings to establish whether there was any irregularity. However, the appellate court does not conduct any new trial but instead it listens to oral arguments from both parties to arrive at a verdict.

Question 2

Usually, the federal and the state courts of Illinois work hand in hand to settle legal disputes among the citizens in this region. The federal courts have the power, duty, and responsibility to listen to both criminal and civil cases. The federal court system has three levels of the court system: a trial court level and two appellate court level.  The losing bench in this system has the right to file an appeal to the next level court usually referred to as the court of appeals.  The court of appeal examines the evidence presented at the trial stage to determine whether there are any reversible errors (Schmalleger, 2009). Just like in the case of the state courts, the court of appeal in the federal court decision does not conduct new trials but rather listens to oral arguments from the attorneys of both benches to give their final verdict.

Question 3

The supreme court of the United States of America is regarded as one of the powerful courts in the world, and it is the highest court in the nation. Moreover, the verdict given by the court is final and cannot be appealed in another court in the nation. Usually, the court has the duty to lead the judicial arm of the federal government. It consists of nine justices, and the chief justice is the leader of these justices.  The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is provided by article III, section II of the Constitution. In addition, the court has its original jurisdiction over certain cases and administers justice to all citizens in America (Schmalleger, 2009).


LoPucki, L. M. (2008). Court system transparency. Iowa Law Review, , 07-28.

Schmalleger, F. (2009). Criminal justice today: An introductory text for the 21st century. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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