Criminal Justice | Learning Resources | Section 5.1

Criminal Justice

An Overview of the System


Section 5.1: State and Federal Courts

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Learning Resources

Learning Objectives
5.1(a) Describe the structure of the federal court system.
5.1(a) Compare and contrast the roles of the state and federal court systems.
5.1(a) Describe the various names and functions of the lower courts.
5.1(a) Compare and contrast courts of general jurisdiction with courts of appellate jurisdiction.
5.1(a) Compare and contrast the role of juvenile court judges with trial judges in the adult criminal justice system.
5.1(a) Discuss the important problems faced by the courts today referencing proposed solutions to those problems.

Slide Presentations

For the Classroom:  INTRO-Section-5-1-presentation

For Printing: INTRO-Section-5-1-print

Present from the web:

Key Terms

  • Affirmed
  • Assembly Line Justice
  • Certiorari Power
  • Courts of General Jurisdiction
  • Doe v. Renfrow (1981)
  • Judicial Independence
  • Judicial Misconduct
  • Kent v. United States (1966)
  • Lower Courts
  • Municipal Courts
  • New Jersey v. TLO (1985)
  • Police Courts
  • Qutb v. Strauss (1993)
  • Reversed, Speedy Trial Act of 1974
  • Traffic Courts
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal
  • U.S. District Courts

Download a Printable Vocabulary Study Guide [PDF]: Intro_Section_5.1

In your more advanced courses and in your future career, your understanding of many technical and legal terms will be taken for granted.  It is vital that you take the time to really understand the terms presented at the end of each section of this course.  We’ve gone to great lengths to provide you with assistance in mastering this vocabulary.  Don’t forget that there is an extensive glossary that defines all of the bold terms that you will encounter in your reading.  In addition, the vocabulary for each section has been made available on a very useful website called  This site has a wide selection of flashcards for you to study, memorize, test yourself on, and more.  Cram also has a large app store so you can find other mobile flashcards for your Android, iPhone or Windows device, allowing you to take your flashcards on the go. There are even games that add some fun to learning important terms.

Study Flashcards for this vocabulary on

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Last Updated:  6/14/2018