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1. Discuss the different levels of the courts such as State and Federal Courts and their purpose in the judicial process.Minimum word count 250 cited and referenced in APA format. cite 2 scholarly sources.



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Chapter Outline
to the Legal
­System of the
United States S
Separation of Powers
The Structure of the Court System
Duties and Powers of the Judicial Branch
Comparing Civil Law and Criminal Law
The Authority of Government to Regulate
The Purposes of Punishing Criminal Law
Specific and General Deterrence
Ethical Considerations: Basics on Ethics
in Criminal Law
Chapter Objectives
After completing this chapter you should
be able to:
• describe the basic constitutional
structure of state and federal
governments with an emphasis on
how structure affects criminal law
and criminal justice administration.
• compare and contrast federal and state
authorities in criminal law.
• describe both civil and criminal law with
an emphasis on their differing objectives
and procedures.
• describe the third branch of
government, the judiciary, including
the structure of U.S. courts and the
authorities and duties of courts in
criminal justice.
9781305686120, Criminal Law and Procedure, Seventh Edition, Hall – © Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization.
4   Part I Criminal Law
■ A system of political
organization with
several different levels of
government (for example,
city, state, and national)
coexisting in the same
area, with the lower levels
having some independent
Before one can undertake learning criminal law or criminal procedure, a basic understanding of the legal system of the United States is necessary. This can be a complex
task, as criminal law and procedure are significantly influenced by federal and state
constitutional law, the common law, and statutory law at both the federal and state
levels. It will be easier to understand how these areas of law affect criminal law if we
first explore the basic structure of American government.
The United States is divided into two sovereign forms of government—the
­government of the federalism. It is also common to refer to this division as the vertical
division of power, as the national government rests above the state governments in
hierarchy in those areas where the constitution grants supremacy to the federal government. The Framers of the Constitution of the United States established these two levels
of government in an attempt to prevent the centralization of power, that is, too much
power being vested inM
one group. The belief that “absolute power corrupts absolutely”
was the catalyst for theI division of governmental power.
In theory, the national government, commonly referred to as the federal government,
T each possess authority over citizens, as well as over particular
and the state governments
policy areas, free fromH
the interference of the other government (dual sovereignty). Most
crimes fall into the jurisdiction of a state court alone, but there are small zones of author,
ity that are exclusively federal as well. In many instances, when the authorities of both a
state and the federal government are implicated, the two coordinate their investigations
and prosecution. ThisJ
process, commonly known as cooperative federalism, is discussed
more fully later in this chapter.
O powers belong to the national government, as opposed to
Determining what
the states, is not always
S an easy task. The Framers of the Constitution intended
to establish a limited federal government. That is, most governmental powers were
to reside in the states, with the federal government being limited to the powers
­expressly delegated toUit by the U.S. Constitution. This principle is found in the
Tenth Amendment, which
A reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States
by the Constitution, nor prohibited to it by the States, are reserved to the States
­respectively, or the people.”
At trial, a sidebar is a meeting between the judge and the attorneys, at the
judge’s bench, outside the hearing of the jury. Sidebars are used to discuss
U is not permitted to hear. In this text, the sidebars will
issues that the jury
­ ppear periodically. This periodic feature contains information relevant to
the legal subject being studied.
9781305686120, Criminal Law and Procedure, Seventh Edition, Hall – © Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization.
Chapter 1: Introduction to the Legal ­System of the United States    5
What powers are delegated to the United States by the Constitution? There are
several, including, but not limited to, the power to take the following actions:
1. Coin money, punish counterfeiters, and fix standards of weights and measures.
2. Establish a post office and post roads.
3. Promote the progress of science and useful arts by providing artists and scientists
exclusive rights to their discoveries and writings.
Punish piracy and other crimes on the high seas.
Declare war and raise armies.
Conduct diplomacy and foreign affairs.
Regulate interstate and foreign commerce.
Make laws necessary and proper for carryingSinto execution other powers
expressly granted in the Constitution.
The last two of these powers—the regulation
I of interstate commerce and the
­making of all necessary and proper laws—have proven to be significant sources of federal
T of Article VI, which provides that
authority. Also important is the Supremacy Clause
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursu, be made, under the Authority of the
ance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall
United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall
be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary
The Supremacy Clause declares federal law, if valid, to be a higher form of law than
S to regulate an area belonging to
state law. Of course, if the federal government attempts
the states, its law is invalid and the state law is controlling.
But if the federal government
possesses jurisdiction or concurrent state and federal jurisdiction exists, federal law
trumps state law. This is true when federal and state laws are in conflict and when the
federal government has taken over the area to theAexclusion of the states (preemption).
This is not a common issue in criminal law, because state and federal laws rarely conflict;
rather, they are more likely to be parallel or complementary. In such cases, a state gov6 jurisdiction (see Exhibit 1–1).
ernment and the federal government have concurrent
Keep in mind that the U.S. Constitution is8the highest form of law in the land.
It is the federal constitution that establishes the structure of our government. You will
learn later the various duties of the judicial branch of government. One duty is the
0 of statutes and constitutions. The
interpretation (determining what written law means)
highest court in the United States is the UnitedBStates Supreme Court. (In this text,
all references to the Court are to the Supreme Court of the United States unless stated
otherwise.) As such, that Court is the final word U
on what powers are exclusively federal
or state, or concurrently held. However, once the Supreme Court decides that an issue
is exclusively under the control of state governments, each state, through its judiciaries,
has the final word on that issue.
■ The geographical area
within which a court (or a
public official) has the right
and power to operate. Or
the persons about whom
and the subject matters
about which a court has the
right and power to make
decisions that are legally
concurrent jurisdiction
■ Two or more
jurisdictions or courts
possessing authority over
the same matter.
9781305686120, Criminal Law and Procedure, Seventh Edition, Hall – © Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization.
6   Part I Criminal Law
Exhibit 1–1 Federal and State Criminal Jurisdiction
1. States may regulate
for the health, safety,
and morals of their
1. Those acts that fall
into both federal and
state jurisdictions
1. Crimes that are
interstate in character
Examples: Murder;S
rape; theft; driving
­under the influence
of a drug; gambling
2. Crimes involving
the government of the
United States, including
its officials and property
Examples: Murder
of a federal official
or murder on federal land; interstate
­transportation of
illegal item; interstate
flight of a felon
During the past 200 years, the Supreme Court has differed in its approach to
federalism. Two general models can be identified, though. Dual federalism refers to
J the states and federal government are viewed as coequals.
an approach under which
Under this approach, O
the Tenth Amendment is interpreted broadly and the Commerce
Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause are read narrowly. The Tenth Amendment
source of state powers, staking out policy areas upon
is ­interpreted as an independent
which the national government
Another model, hierarchical federalism, positions the national government as supeU
rior to the state governments. Under this approach, the Commerce and Necessary and
Proper Clauses are construed
broadly. The Tenth Amendment becomes a truism; that
is, it reserves to the states only those powers the national government does not possess.
Accordingly, state jurisdiction decreases as federal jurisdiction expands.
Cooperative federalism,
which is not a third jurisdictional model, but instead,
a relational descriptor,
by significant interaction between the states
and federal government (and local forms of government) in an effort to effectively
regulate and administer laws and programs. Cooperative federalism is a product of
0 the executive and legislative, not legal (federalism) mandate.
the political branches,
The increased cooperation
B between state and federal law enforcement agencies to
fight the war against drugs in the 1980s and 1990s and the war against terrorism
in the 2000s are goodUexamples of cooperative federalism. The Court has vacillated
between the two jurisdictional models. The dominant approach in recent decades has
been hierarchical federalism. This is not to say that the states are powerless. In fact,
one policy area over which the states have maintained considerable control is criminal
law. More than 90 percent of all crimes fall within the jurisdiction of the states, not
9781305686120, Criminal Law and Procedure, Seventh Edition, Hall – © Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization.
Copyright © Cengage Learning®.
2. Those acts that
involve a state
government, its
officials and property
Examples: Bank
robbery of a federally
insured institution;
an act of terrorism
against the United
States that harms
an individual, state
­property, or individual
Chapter 1: Introduction to the Legal ­System of the United States    7
the federal government. However, the sphere of federal government power in criminal
law is increasing. This is because more acts are committed in, or are committed using
an item that has traveled in, interstate commerce. Acts that have traditionally been
state-law crimes may today be federal crimes as well, if there is an interstate component to the act. For example, if carjacking, which is the state crime of robbery, is committed with a gun that has traveled in interstate commerce, it is also a federal crime.
An act that harms an individual or property invokes state jurisdiction. If the same act
can be characterized as terroristic, as defined by federal law, then federal jurisdiction
and separate federal criminal liability may exist as well. Drug trafficking, if interstate,
is a violation of federal law and possibly multiple state laws. Certain violations of civil
liberties also invoke concurrent federal and state jurisdiction. Which government will
bring charges in these situations is more a political question than a legal one. It is not a
violation of double jeopardy for an individual to S
be tried and punished by both federal
and state governments, even for the same act because the constitutional prohibition
of double jeopardy was intended to preclude two trials or punishments by the same
jurisdiction, not by multiple jurisdictions.
Regardless of the expansion of federal jurisdiction,
most crimes continue to fall
within the exclusive jurisdiction of the states. This is because one of the responsibilities
H of its citizens. This is known as the
of the states is to regulate for the health and safety
police power. Most murders, rapes, and thefts are
, state-law crimes. A few policy areas
belong exclusively to the federal government. Punishing counterfeiters is an example.
Although the expansion of federal authority is likely to continue to increase as people
J in character, the Supreme Court
and goods become more national and international
has reaffirmed the central role of states in protecting
O people (police power) and it has
conversely made it clear that a genuine connection to interstate commerce or other
federal authorities must exist for the federal government
to criminalize behavior.
For example, the Supreme Court invalidated
Zone Act of 1990
­because it found no genuine connection between guns around schools and interstate
commerce. Similarly, the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act was invalidated
A officials to conduct background
in Printz v. United States2 because it required state
checks on gun purchasers. The Court held that Congress was without the authority to
­direct local enforcement officers in this way. In yet another case favoring state authority
6 down part of the Violence Against
United States v. Morrison3 the Supreme Court struck
Women Act because it held that it was a state, not
8 federal, authority to provide victims
of sex crimes with civil remedies against their attackers. In another 2000 case, Jones v.
United States4, the Court invalidated the application of a federal arson statute to the
prosecution of a man for firebombing his cousin’s0home. The Court rejected the United
States’ theory that it had jurisdiction because theBhome’s mortgage, its insurance, and
its natural gas were all purchased in interstate commerce. The Court penned that if
U a building in the land would fall
it were to accept the government’s position, “hardly
outside the federal statute’s domain.”
However, a connection was found in the 2005 case Gonzales v. Raich.5 In that
case, the federal government’s prohibition of the possession of marijuana was upheld,
although state law allowed its possession and use for medical purposes. The interstate
■ The definition of
terrorism is the subject to
ongoing debate. However,
one federal statute defines
it as activities that involve
violence or acts dangerous
to human life that are
violations of law and
appear to be intended to
intimate or coerce a civilian
population, to influence a
policy of government by
intimidation or coercion,
or to affect the conduct of
government through mass
destruction, assassination,
or kidnapping.1 18 U.S.C.
police power
■ The government’s right
and power to set up and
enforce laws to provide
for the safety, health, and
general welfare of the
9781305686120, Criminal Law and Procedure, Seventh Edition, Hall – © Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization.
8   Part I Criminal Law
nature of marijuana production and sales made for an easy case of federal jurisdiction.
In fact, the plaintiffs conceded this point. Their theory that California’s law permitting
limited use of marijuana should trump federal law failed, largely because the federal
government had a “rational basis” to believe that the state law would undermine the
intention of the federal law by providing a stream through which interstate drug trafficking could occur.
In 2010, the Court affirmed a federal statute that delegated the authority to seek
civil commitment of federal sex offenders after their sentences were served to federal
prosecutors. Similar state laws were previously upheld, but in the 2010 case United
States v. Comstock,6 the defendant complained that civil commitment was a traditional
state authority and accordingly, the federal law was invalid. Relying on the Necessary
and Proper Clause, the Court rejected the argument. That the statute required the
federal government toSgive the appropriate state officials the first opportunity to file
for commitment in state court also reduced the Court’s concerns that state autonomy
was threatened.
I have not been mentioned so far. This is because the ConstituLocal governments
tion does not recognize
Tthe existence of local governments. However, state constitutions
and laws establish local forms of government, such as counties, cities, and districts.
Hoften empowered by state law with limited authority to create
These local entities are
criminal law. These laws,
, usually in the form of ordinances, are discussed in Chapter 2.
The result of this division of power is that the states (as well as other jurisdictions,
such as the District of Columbia), the federal government, and local governments each
have a separate set of Jcriminal laws. For this reason, you must keep in mind that the
principles you will learn
O from this book are general in nature. It is both impossible
and pointless to teach the specific laws of every jurisdiction of the United States in this
separation of powers
■ Division of the federal
government (and state
governments) into
legislative (lawmaking),
judicial (law interpreting),
and executive (law carrying
out) branches.
■ A law passed by
a legislature.
Separation of Powers
Another division of governmental power is known as separation of powers. This is
the division of governmental power into three branches—the executive, legislative, and
­judicial—making a horizontal
division of power, just as federalism is the vertical division (see Exhibit 1–2).
8 Each branch is delegated certain functions that the other two
may not encroach upon. The executive branch consists of the president of the United
States, the president’s9staff, and the various administrative agencies that the president
oversees. Generally, it0is the duty of the executive branch to enforce the laws of the
federal government. In criminal law, the executive branch investigates alleged violaB
tions of the law, gathers the evidence necessary to prove that a violation has occurred,
U the judicial branch for disposition. The president does this
and brings violators before
through the various federal law enforcement and administrative agencies.
The legislative branch consists of the United States Congress, which creates the
laws of the United States. Congressionally created laws are known as statutes. Finally,
the judicial branch comprises the various federal courts of the land. That branch is
9781305686120, Criminal Law and Procedure, Seventh Edition, Hall – © Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization.
Chapter 1: Introduction to the Legal ­System of the United States    9
The Government
of the United States
(Federal Government)
United States
President of the
United States
State Governments
State Legislatures
State Courts
Copyright © Cengage Learning®.
Exhibit 1–2 Division of Governmental Power
charged with the administration of justice. A more comprehensive discussion …
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