Courts in Criminal Justice


Courtsin Criminal Justice

Courtsin Criminal Justice

Thedoctrine of Selective Incorporation of the Bill of Rights argues thatthe due process clause of the United States constitution, under thefourteenth amendment applies the protection of human rights andliberties to the states and local governments. While fillincorporation refers to the rights contained in the first amendment,selective incorporation applies to all rights in the bill of rights.The supreme courts in the United States have since adopted fullincorporation doctrines. According to the due process clause of thefourteenth amendment, “nor shall any state deprive any person oflife, liberty or property without due process of law…” Thus, thedoctrine requires that all the incorporated clauses in the bill ofrights should be considered by state and local authorities in courtproceeding. Thus, during due process of the law or before arrest, therights of the defendant in a criminal case are protected. The rightsand due process can be used as the basis of appeals in cases wherethe state violated the doctrine of selective incorporation. Forexample, if a defendant is denied the right to speedy trial, wherethe state does not conclude a case within a reasonable time, it canform basis for appeal of the criminal case. This was the case in theKlopfer v. North Carolina case where the Supreme Court ruled thesixth amendment rights were incorporated by the fourteenth amendment.Another example is the failure of the state government ensures thatthe defendant has the right to council. The habeas corpus petitionin the case of Gideon v. Wainwright was based on the fact that thedefendant was not provided with a witness (Samaha, 2014).

Theverdict of a state circuit court can be appealed at the state courtof appeal. The decision of the state court of appeal is final,although the verdict can be reviewed the state supreme court. On theother hand, the verdict of a district court (a federal court) can beappealed in the US court of appeal. The framers of the United Statesconstitution foresaw a situation where the federal justice systemwould threaten the independence of the state. This led to limitedjurisdiction of the federal courts where they are required to hearcases related to specific circumstances. On the other hand, the statecourts have a general jurisdiction where they are requires hearingcases that are not selected for federal court systems. This limitsthe power of the federal government and enhances the independence ofstates systems. This means that the verdict of a state court cannotbe appealed in a federal court. However, the verdicts of all courtsin the United States can be reviewed by the United States SupremeCourt (Farnsworth &amp Sheppard, 2010).

TheUS Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States. The courtwas established by Article III of the constitution of United States.The Supreme Court is the ultimate appellate court in the UnitedStates, with its jurisdiction covering both federal and state courtsjurisdiction. It jurisdiction includes federal laws as well asoriginal jurisdiction. Therefore, the Supreme Court gives the finalinterpretation of the provisions of the United States constitutionand the federal laws. However, when acting as an appellate court, theSupreme Court is required to make a determination within the contextof the original jurisdiction. This mean the Supreme Court can haveoriginal jurisdiction in specific cases such as disputes betweenstates parties. In other cases, the court has original jurisdictionconcurrently with state or federal courts (McCloskey, 2005).


Farnsworth,E. &amp Sheppard, S. (2010). Anintroduction to the legal system of the United States,New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

McCloskey,R. G. (2005). TheAmerican Supreme Court.4th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Samaha,J. (2014). CriminalProcedure.Stanford, CT. Cengage Learning.