Court History and Purpose

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November 27, 2012


Court History and Purpose

People in the United States attend court every day for different many reasons. Those reasons could be for traffic violations, civil law suits, or for unlawful criminal acts. No matter what they are all handled and disputed in a court of law. Courts are empowered to make fair and binding decisions upon the facts that are received. There are two types of courts; civil court and criminal court. It is very important that people understand and know the differences between civil and criminal courts. Civil courts handle resolutions between private parties and usually consist of one party suing the other for some type of monetary damages. Criminal courts on the other hand, try alleged offenders for suspected crimes committed, whereas the end result is either freedom for the offender or a prison cell.

A court is part of the judicial branch of government which defendants go before a judge and their peers to defend their innocence of a crime or accusation they allegedly committed. The general purpose of a court is to settle disputes in a civilized manner. The basis of the court system consists of four major components which are to uphold the law, protect individuals, resolve disputes, and reinforce social norms. In the United States, our court system is operated by a dual court system. The two types that make up the dual court system are federal and state. The dual court system is advantageous and desirable because it parallels federalism, a system of government where power is constitutionally divided between a central governing body and various constituent units (Siegel, Schmalleger, & Worrall, p. 5, 2011). The federal courts deal with cases of a broader degree, while the states courts deal with cases involving crimes within their own state borders. Even though England was the original founders, our nation was in desperate need of changes within the criminal justice...
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