The U.S. judicial system uses courts –state and federal –to administer justice through hearing of cases and prosecution of law breakers. The powers, jurisdiction, and mandate of these courts differ. Notably, some cases are determined by federal courts while other are strictly handled by state courts. While federal courts prosecute cases concerning “laws and treaties of the U.S. ambassadors and public ministers, disputes between two or more states, admiralty/maritime law, and bankruptcy cases”, state courts “deal with family cases, contact cases, tort cases, and probate cases” (FindLaw, 2019).
Notably, both courts have broad authority to investigate and prosecute relevant jurisdictions. However, it is vital to note that federal courts are not restricted to prosecuting cases involving a specific state –meaning that they handle cases from the whole of United States. On the other hand, the power of state courts is limited to prosecution of “criminal acts committed within their boundaries” (ABA, 2019). In the scenario of bank robbery presented in this case, the three criminals –Jane, Herman, and Jed –will be prosecuted by the federal court under Federal Bank Robbery Act.
Considerably, there are a number of federal courts with which operate at different levels. The bank robbery involving the three suspects will be prosecuted at District Court. In this case, the issue of venue comes into place, that is, place where the lawsuit will be tried. The robbery incident took place in Washington and since district courts have a trail court in each state, this case will be tried in Washington. Once the ruling has been made, the defendants will have a room for file an appeal at one of the 13 appellate courts (U.S. Courts, 2019). However, it is important to understand that criminal law and practice apply equally to both federal and state prosecutions and constitution must be upheld.
ABA. (2019). How Courts Work. Retrieved from: < https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_related_education_network/how_courts_work/jurisdiction/> [Accessed November 24 2019].
FindLaw. (2019). Federal vs. State Courts – Key Differences. Retrieved from: < https://litigation.findlaw.com/legal-system/federal-vs-state-courts-key-differences.html> [Accessed November 24 2019].
U.S. Courts. (2019). Court Role and Structure. Retrieved from: < https://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/court-role-and-structure> [Accessed November 24 2019].