Criminal Trial Process

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Criminal Trial Process

Criminal Trial Process

In the United States of America, both the federal government and the States have the power to prosecute criminal offenses (Doyle 2005). Both governments have their own criminal statutes, prosecutors, police agencies and court system which have the power to address criminal issues and give resolutions on the particular issue. This paper will discuss various processes in relation to trial and after trial in consideration to courts in United States of America. The states have a broad authority where they prosecute many types of crimes after investigating but do this to criminal acts committed to their boundaries.

A criminal trial is designed to resolve imputations brought against a person accused of a crime. In the United States this process derives from several sources of law after which a verdict is given towards the issue (Dalman 2013) after which one has options through which he can respond to the verdict according to the law. The prosecutions from throughout the states may also be handled by the chief of Justice in Washington D.C. Therefore a criminal trial either under the Chief of Justice in Washington D.C or under the 93 U.S prosecutors a verdict must be given in consideration the law and ensure that the accused and the victim get justice.

A sentence can be served in various ways where it can be through paying a fine to the government, a certain period in prison or restitution to be payed to the crime victims. The court’s probation officers have the mandate of ensuring that the conditions set by the court in regards to the sentence are met. Probation officers use various techniques in the Supervision of offenders which may involve services such as substance abuse, testing and treatment programs and many other programs of monitoring and restoring the right code of conduct. (Disand, 2011).The court probation officers are responsible for the discipline of the criminal proved guilty and they must ensure that he serves his sentence accordingly.

If the verdict is guilty, the judge determines the defendant’s sentence. During sentencing, the court may consider U. S. Supervision of offenders may involve services such as substance abuse testing and treatment programs, job counseling, and alternative detention options, such as home confinement or electronic monitoring. Sentencing Commission guidelines, evidence produced at trial, and also relevant information provided by the pretrial services officer, the U.S. attorney, and the defense attorney.

If one is convicted of crimes they have the right to appeal to the Circuit court having the jurisdiction. The Court will generally defend the evidentiary findings at trial and will probably not conduct a broad view of the evidence.

A panel consisting of three judges hears the appeals in the Circuit Courts. In some special occasions, all judges of the Circuit may review the judgement passed by the three-judge panel to ascertain its authenticity. At the appellate level, documents from both sides of the prosecution and the defense are presented for review. The documents specify the applicable laws pertaining to the facts of the case and the reasons for each side’s stance. After going through the facts, the court hears the arguments from each side through oral presentations from the attorneys followed by questions (Kuwler, 2010). The questions help the court to weigh the facts and scrutinize them against the evidence presented. After careful evaluation of evidence, the court renders an informed decision without bias to either side.

In normal operating circumstances, the Supreme Court consists of nine judges.  The court acts as an appellate court which reviews the rulings pronounced y the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Courts. Since the Supreme Court is the highest court of the land, its decisions are final and cannot be subjected to further appeals. Criminal cases handles in lower courts should not be appealed to the supreme court of the United States. People wishing to have the Supreme Court review their cases must file applications specifying why their legal issues are important enough for the Supreme Court hearing. Failure to give convincing reasons may lead to dismissal of cases from the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court accepts petitions, which cannot be handled anywhere else, for review. In more than five decades, the Supreme Court of the United States has not reviewed an extradition case (Ambos, 2013).

The process of filling and hearing Supreme Court cases is not always straightforward. When a person wishes to present a petition before the Supreme Court, the files may pass through the Court of Appeal after which they are moved to the Supreme Court for examination. The Supreme Court goes through the case to ascertain whether it is fit for review.  They may or may not grant the review depending on its strength. In case the Supreme Court decides to dismiss the case, the last decision made from the lower court is upheld. If the Supreme Court reviews the case from a lower U.S. court, they may give a fresh judgement that is contrary to the decision made by the lower court or they may uphold the judgement (Kobor, 2008). When reviewing the case, they take time in studying all records, questions and parts of the law involved before arriving at the final conclusion. The Supreme Court also hears oral submissions from attorneys involved in the case.

In most cases, the court will hear oral arguments from the attorneys involved in the appeal.
During oral submissions in the Supreme Court, the appellant highlights and gives clarifications why they are not satisfied with the decision of the lower court. The appellant’s attorney also clarifies the client’s case. On the other hand, the respondents or their attorneys provide a rebuttal to refute the claims made. The judges ask questions and give each side enough time to make their case. The justices question each party on all issues pertaining to their claims and the law supporting their positions. After the hearing, the judges often meet privately to further scrutinize the facts before delivering the judgement. In case they do not agree, they may vote to resolve complex issues. The majority vote wins after which the Chief Justice assigns one justice to write the Supreme Court’s majority opinion.

In conclusion, the judge makes the decision on a case in the absence of the jury but in their presence the evidence is presented and the judge explains the law in relation to the case.  The jurors decide the facts in the case and render a verdict which should be fair and just with respect to the law. Trials in criminal and civil cases have almost the same procedures before the verdict is rendered. The Supreme Court serves as the court of last resort.



Cunningham, D. (2013). Klansville, U.S.A: The rise and fall of the civil rights-era Ku Klux Klan. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Ambos, K. (2013). Treatise on international criminal law.

Ewing, A. B., & Doyle, C. (2005).The USA Patriot Act Reader. New York: Novinka Books.

Broyles, D. S. (2011). Criminal law in the USA. Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.

Kobor, S. (2008). Bargaining in the criminal justice systems of the United States and Germany: A matter of justice and administrative efficiency within legal, cultural context. Frankfurt am Main u.a.: Lang.

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