CJ Chapter 7 Textbook Notes
• Two types of courts function within theAmerican criminal justice system, state courts and
• It is within state courts that the majority of criminal cases originate.
• By 1776, all of theAmerican colonies had established fully functioning court systems.
• States that followed the federal model developed a three tiered structure:
◦ Trial courts of limited jurisdiction
◦ Trial courts of general jurisdiction
◦ Appellate courts
• Amovement began in the early twentieth century to simplify the state court structures that was
led by theAmerican Bar Association and theAmerican Judicature Society. The suggested a
uniform model for states that would build on:
◦ Acentralized court structure composed of a clear hierarchy of trial and appellate courts
◦ The consolidation of numerous lower-level courts with overlapping jurisdictions
◦ Acentralized state court authority that would be responsible for budgeting, financing, and
managing all courts within a state
• Trial courts start criminal cases and conducts arraignments, sets bail, takes pleas, and conducts
• All states have supreme courts, although only 39 have intermediate appellate courts.
• For an appeal to have any chance of being hear, it must be based on claimed violations of the
defendants rights, as guaranteed under federal law or the Constitution.
• Keeney v Tamayo-Reyes: a respondent is entitled to a federal evidentiary hearing only if he can
show cause for his failure to develop the facts in the state-court proceedings and actual
prejudice resulting from that failure, or if he can show that a fundamental miscarriage of justice
would result from failure to hold such a hearing.
• Herrera v Collins: the court ruled that new evidence of innocence is no reason for a federal
court to order a new state trial if constitutional grounds are lacking.
• Federal courts settle disputes between states and have jurisdiction in cases where one of the
parties is a state.
• The Federal Judiciary consists of three levels:
◦ US District courts
◦ US courts of appeals
◦ US supreme court
• There are 94 federal judicial districts, including at least one district in each state. The 94 federal
judicial districts are organized into 12 regional circuits, each of which has a US court of
appeals. (Michigan is grouped with Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee)
• Federal district courts have original jurisdiction over all cases involving alleged violations of
• Magistrate judges have the power to conduct arraignments and may set bails, issue warrants,
and try minor offenders.
• Circuit court judges are appointed for life by the president.
• Federal appellate courts have appellate jurisdiction over the decisions of district courts within
• Appeals generally fall into one of three categories:
◦ Frivolous appeals, which have little subs