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Unformatted text preview: crimes as mail fraud, counterfeiting, smuggling, and bank robbery. Federal civil cases may involve water rights, interstate commerce, and environmental controversies. About half of the cases tried in district courts are decided by juries. District courts also serve as the first federal courts to hear state cases involving constitutional questions. The case of Gideon v. Wainright (1963), in which the Supreme Court ruled that even a poor defendant has the right to an attorney, began when Clarence Gideon appealed his conviction in a superior court trial....
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- Spring '08