Each state is served by the separate court
system, state and federal
What courts do?
They apply the law to an actual situation
They resolve 2 types of legal conflicts:
A court determines whether the person
accused of breaking the law guilty or
If the person is found guilty the court decides the
Criminal cases are always brought to court by
the Prosecution or government body
A court settles a large disagreement
Disagreements can be over many issues:
Violation of constitutional rights
Civil cases are brought to court by plaintiff(s),
or people that issue complaints against
•Apply the law to the conflict between the
•Direct the courts proceedings but must
All federal judges are chosen by the
President and approved by the Senate
•Decides the facts of the case, what
happened and who is responsible
Common pleas courts
( jurisdiction in probate,
Review cases appealed
from trial courts to
determine if the law
Consists of a chief
justice & 8 associate
Decides whether the
law passed by the
Congress agree with
To hear cases about :
• cases involving disputes between 2
•cases between citizens of 2 states
• between state governments and a
• when ambassadors have legal
problems with a foreign government;
To guarantee the appeals process
To decide disputes
To settle special problems about
federal taxes, customs
To decide cases concerning
Settle routine cases where no constitutional
question is at stake;
Handle both civil and criminal cases
can send a drunk to jail-for
fine a motorist for
receive a man accused of
murder and decide whether
to hold him for trial in a
receive a man accused of murder and decide whether to hold him for trial in a higher court.
Crime- an act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or
commanding it and for which punishment is imposed upon conviction.
Pretrial motions- before a criminal case goes to trial, the prosecution and
defense engage in all kinds of maneuvering, submitting.
Indictment- is the formal accusation by a grand jury that a person has
committed a crime.
Arrest- the act of taking a person into custody, esp under lawful authority.
Arraignment- the procedure that brings the accused before a judge to hear
the state’s charges.
Sentencing- when the jury returns with the verdict there is the act of
pronouncing a judicial sentence on a defendant.
Imprisonment - putting someone in prison or in jail as lawful punishment.
Parole- is a system that rewards imprisoned convicts for good behavior and
releases them from custody before they have completed their sentence.
The O. J. Simpson murder case (officially called the People v.
Simpson) was a criminal trial held in Los Angeles County,
California, Superior Court in which former American football star
and actor O. J. Simpson was charged with two counts of murder
following the deaths of his ex wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her
friend Ronald Goldman in June 1994. The case has been described
as the most publicized criminal trial in American history. Simpson
was acquitted after a lengthy trial that lasted over nine months—
the longest jury trial in California history.