Court History and Purpose


Courts are defined as institutions that are constitutionally provided to enforce the law. Usually, those who have committed crime are convicted and judged based on the law and rules of the country. American criminal courts have different roles. Their main administrative function is ensuring that all people follow the laws and rules. Secondly, they are aimed at sentencing criminals to imprisonment. Moreover, they elaborate various criminal laws in order to ensure justice for all Americans. The courts offer liquidated damages to the aggrieved parties. As a result, all conflicting individuals get a fair adjudication. American courts are headed by highly competent personnel who provide justice for all partiers without favor. In this paper, American criminal court system is adequately analyzed. In the process, an in-depth analysis of the courts, their functions, roles of legal codes, common laws, and precedence is provided.

Description of a Court and its Purpose

American courts are described as constitutionally set facilities that listen to various criminal cases presented by various parties. Moreover, the courts are used by the aggrieved parties to get law interpretation. It occurs when the parties feel that they have not been receive the necessary justice as stated in the Constitution. The criminal courts deal with various cases ranging from murder, terrorism, rape, fight, etc. In other instances, the courts are used to preside various election petitions, especially those that have tackled criminal based injustices. The courts hear all petitions of both Americans and non-Americans. Since their main aim is ensuring justice for all, the judges make final decision based on the seriousness of the crime.

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Definition of the Dual Court System

In American-based law, a dual court system refers to a court system that is both federal and separate state-based. On the one hand, federal-based court system hears and determines all civil and criminal cases that concerns federal constitution. On the other hand, state courts deal with all criminal issues that affect state welfare. Some of the federal-based crimes concerns money fraudulence, election-based crimes, etc., The state-based crimes involve careless driving and accidents, murders, rape cases, etc. Recently, the US government has decided to integrate terrorism within the state crimes given that it endangers the security of all Americans. Since both courts systems are independent, the government concentrates on state welfare. Any decision made by the two systems can only be challenged in the supreme courts. Lately, there have been claims that some of the criminal and civil cases relate to both court systems and hence, they can be preceded in either of the two courts. However, the courts have amended the Constitution severally to avoid ambiguity that can eventually lead to conflicts within the judicial system (Jeffery &Clarence, 2007).

The Role that Early Legal Codes, Common Law, and Precedent Played in the Development of Courts

Law does not develop at once but rather systematically until a state becomes fully centralized with good policies and authorities to use it. For this reason, American court system relies on legal codes for developing more rules and law. However, the codes have been used only in serving the literate societies. American legal codes have borrowed ideas from the laws of Manu, codes from Babylonia, and the mosaic codes used in drafting the Ten Commandments in the Bible. The codes have revealed that there has been a universal tendency of both ethical and religious systems to follow and produce common laws that could adequately help in solving conflicts within the society and hence, ensure peace. It should be noted that the codes are meant to facilitate quick legal interpretation and hence, help the judges make decisions in easier ways. However, there were some confusion, and they have had to be redeveloped to provide more comprehensive rules and laws.

The common laws popularly known as the laws of precedents are some of the civil and criminal laws that have been developed by the judges through various decisions made within the courts and tribunals. They are different from other laws because the later are synthesized within the parliaments or even executive dockets. They are based on the various cases preceded and hence, are subject to change on regular occasions. In addition, the common laws are erroneous given that they capture different opinions of various judges. Moreover, the judges may use them to favor their close people. However, they help in development of the courts as they try to eliminate law gaps that may exist in various cases. They facilitate substantiation of the parliament-based rule of laws and hence, they are vital in making court decisions. Nevertheless, the common laws are complicated and hence, they are applied in the cases when the judges do not have any other options to rely on. The decision made is precedent and it may be used for the future court decisions. In most cases, the lower courts are found to rely on them. The common laws have also been stretched to tribunals, and in American court systems, the law of precedence helps to save time and costs. It facilitates comparisons of various criminal cases and hence, judges rely on it in making final decisions (Lammi et al, 2004).

Identifying the Role of Courts in Criminal Justice Today

American criminal court systems play various roles in modern justice. Currently, the aggrieved parties can demand justice from courts. They can see the criminals and eventually, be awarded the necessary justice. Usually, the court listens to all sides before making a certain decision on who should be sentenced to imprisonment or compensated.


To sum up, the criminal court systems play a vital role in the process of ensuring justice for all. It has considerably helped most of the aggrieved Americans get reformed or compensated for injuries.

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