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Federal vs. State Policy Comparison Essay

The Federal and state government play essential roles in moving the United States of America forward. They both have written laws on the books that the citizens must follow or consequences will be met in court. First, I will discuss the similarities of the Federal and state government. Second, I will discuss the differences of the Federal and state governments. Last, I will discuss what roles the Federal and state play in the implementation of the criminal justice policy. When you compare the similarities of the Federal and state governments, they have powers that they both share.

One of the most common powers that the Federal and state government have is setting up court systems. There are currently 208 Federal courts established in the United States of America. There are over 90 U.S. District Courts/ Trial Courts, and over 90 Bankruptcy Courts. If any company or citizen does not feel that they had a fair day in court they are allowed by law to put in an appeal, which in return may take several years to reach the highest court in our country known as Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court of United States normally deals with cases interpreting the Constitution and disputes between the states. Each state has a number of judicial district court and an appellate court. Each state also has only one State Supreme Court. Both of these court systems try criminal cases.

The only difference is that the Federal government issue many years if convicted with no parole. The state government issues a lot of time for criminal acts, but the criminal can get out on parole after completion of half or less of a sentence. Both the Federal and state government make and enforce laws, create and collect taxes, borrow money, seize private property, and spend money for the betterment of the general welfare. The Federal government has exclusive powers that the states do not have. First, the Federal government makes laws necessary to enforce the Constitution. Second, they print money that we use as a currency in our country. Third, the Federal government controls the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guards for defense purposes of our national interest.

The Federal government has the power to declare war on other nations. They also enter into treaties with foreign governments. They also regulate commerce between states and international trade, establish post offices and issue postage. The state government’s exclusive powers establish local governments, regulate intrastate commerce, and add amendments to the U.S. Constitution to protect their citizens.

The states also can provide public health and safety, and issue driving licenses, and every state has its own Constitution. Overall they can add but they cannot remove any laws set in stone by the Federal government. For example, they can set smoking and drinking ages. The Federal and state governments are similar and also have different duties in order to run the country and states. The Federal and state play in the implementation of the criminal justice policy.

The only criminal justice policy similarities that the Federal and state governments share are police policies, rules and regulations, how money is allocated to fund employees and buildings. One of the biggest differences between the Federal and state criminal justice policies is when it comes down to sentencing and the death penalty. The Federal government abolished parole in 1987. The states still have the option to offer parole to decrease the swelling in state prisons. The Federal prison has increased their numbers due to the abolishment of parole in 1987. This was due to being stricter on sentences and trying to deter future crimes. As you can see it did not work because people will continue to be involved in murder, drugs, and illicit trade and human trafficking.

The states also have laws for these crimes with strict penalties. Only way the Federal government gets involved in any state affairs is if Federal law was violated or the Federal government feels that if the state runs a risk of not convicting and individual and losing they will take up the case because they have more resources. Many states have the death penalty on the books, and other abolished it calling it inhumane. The federal government has no problem with putting an individual to death when certain crimes are committed. Also, the Federal government has 12 juries in court cases whereas it varies in state courts. The Federal government has many similarities and differences as the state governments.

They both have their own exclusive powers and shared powers. Overall the citizens have to follow state and Federal laws or suffer severe consequences. When it comes to criminal justice policies the Federal government and the state governments share many similarities. The differences vary when it comes down parole and the death penalty. I believe that they work together to reach a common goal.

References
Longley, R. (2013). Federalism: National vs. State Government the powers of national and state governments. Retrieved from http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/rightsandfreedoms/a/federalism.htm Marion, N.E., & Oliver, W.E. (2006). The Criminal Justice Policy Process. Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database. Chapter 5


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