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The Structure of Criminal Justice

The Structure of Criminal Justice - boundaries of state law...

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The Structure of Criminal Justice The phrase  criminal justice system  refers to a collection of federal, state, and local public agencies  that deal with the crime problem. These agencies process suspects, defendants, and convicted  offenders and are interdependent insofar as the decisions of one agency affect other agencies. The  basic framework of the system is provided by the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of  government.  The legislature Legislatures, both state and federal, define crimes, fix sentences, and provide funding for criminal  justice agencies. The judiciary Trial courts  adjudicate  (make judgments on and pronounce) the guilt of persons charged with  crimes, and appellate courts interpret the law according to constitutional principles. Both state and  federal appellate courts review legislative decisions and decide whether they fall within the 
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Unformatted text preview: boundaries of state law, federal law, and ultimately, the United States Constitution. Judicial review gives the courts the power to evaluate legislative acts in terms of whether they conform to the Constitution. If a law is in conflict with the Constitution, an appellate court may strike it down. The executive branch Executive power is given to the president, governors, and mayors. On criminal justice matters, they have the power to appoint judges and heads of agencies, such as police chiefs and directors of departments of corrections. In addition, elected officials can lead efforts to improve criminal justice by putting forth legislative agendas and mobilizing public opinion....
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