Court History and Purpose Paper Essay Sample

Court History and Purpose Paper Pages
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A court is a place where justice is administered. It is a tribunal duly constituted for the hearing and determination of cases, and a session of a judicial assembly. The courts are here to settle disputes between parties. The purpose for the courts is to hear the defendant’s cases and either rule to dismiss or sentence the defendant to some type of punishment. The defendant is given a chance to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty during their arraignment the judge may sentence them at that time or schedule them for sentencing. If they plead not guilty than their case is scheduled for a trial, depending on what charges are filed by the Prosecuting Attorney or District Attorney. During a trial officers, medical specialist, forensic experts, and witnesses may be subpoenaed. At this time the judge will hear both sides of the opposing counsel. The judge and jury are the fact finders. The jury will deliberate and come back to court with a decision. At this time the judge will read their decision and is the one who determines the law.

At the sentencing the judge will make the final decision. If a defendant pleas no contest than they leave it up to the judge to choose what punishment or sentencing is given for that person. No matter what that defendant pleas during the arraignment they do give the option to come clean or fight their case in a trial. The judicial system in the United States is made up of two different court systems: the federal court system and the state court systems. Each court system is responsible for hearing certain types of cases, neither is completely independent of the other. The systems often interact with one another. Solving legal disputes and vindicating legal rights are key goals of both court systems. The main purpose of the dual court system refers to a sharing of powers between the national government and the state government. The Constitution gives certain powers to the federal government and reserves the rest for the states. Both the federal and state governments need their own court systems to apply and interpret their laws.

The federal court system deals with the issues of law relating to those powers granted to the U.S. Constitution, while the state court system deal with issues of law relating to those matters that the U.S. Constitution did not give to the federal government or explicitly deny to the states. Article Three of the United States Constitution stated that “the judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” (Kelly, 2013) At this time the Judiciary Act of 1789 was newly created by Congress. This act stated that it would consist of a Chief Justice, and five Associate Justices, and they would all meet in the nation’s capital. The justices who would serve on this Supreme Court would be appointed by the president of the United States. The Judiciary Act of 1789 stated that jurisdiction of the Supreme Court would include the appellate jurisdiction in larger civil cases and cases in which state courts ruled on federal statue. At this time, the Supreme Court justices were required to serve on the United States circuit courts up until 1891, they did away the right of automatic appeal.

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. As the United States grew, the number of circuit courts and the number of Supreme Courts justices grew to ensure that there was one justice for each circuit court. As the new states arose, new district courts were created in them and in some cases additional district courts were added in larger states. Also judges were required to live in their district, most of them spent their time on their circuit court duties than their district court duties. The president also created a district attorney in each district as well. The roles of our criminal justice system in the U.S. serves three primary purposes. “The criminal justice system exists to investigate, prosecute and punish crimes.” (Broemmel, 1999) In the federal system, and each state two codes are abided by. One is the code of criminal law and two is the code of the criminal justice system.

They both are codes of criminal law and procedure. A code of criminal law establishes what constitutes crimes in certain jurisdictions. A code of criminal procedure establishes the manner in which an alleged criminal offender is prosecuted for a crime and sentenced to a punishment if convicted. In conclusion there are many channels that the criminal justice system goes through. These channels are basically called the checks and balances system for the courts. Over the years they have grown and as of today they are still continuing to grow, and are coming up with new laws and procedures every day. This is a never ending challenge to today’s society and the criminal justice courts.


Broemmel, M. (1999-2013). The role of the Criminal Justice System. Retrieved from Kelly, M. (2013). Early Development of the United States Court System. Retrieved from Schmalleger, S. L., & Worrall, F. J. (2011). Courts and criminal justice in America (1st edition). : Pearson.

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