Each state in USA has the discretion to have its own system of civil and criminal laws. As the result , 50 different states of USA is having its own legal systems , backed by its own rules, prisons ,police and city as well as county courts. Since, there is lot of anomalies between different state and local laws and it is making the life miserable for those who are moving frequently between states. As separation of power, judiciary in US is independent of the US government and comprises of the Supreme Court, US Court of Appeals and the US District Courts.
In certain cases, the Supreme Court appraises the activities of both state and federal governments and come to a conclusion whether a law enacted by them is valid under US constitution. In some cases , US supreme court even gone to the extent of nullifying laws enacted by Congress and even categorically declared that some actions pursued by US presidents were unconstitutional. Along with state courts, federal courts also operate in states and mainly focus on cases involving US Constitution or any treaty or any law.
Federal courts also hear disputes which is affecting state governments and between individuals residing in different states. Federal District courts have power to hear cases falling within its jurisdiction. Federal District court’s decision can be appealed to the Circuit Court of Appeals and in some cases to the US Supreme Court itself. Comparative criminal Justice System: USA criminal justice system is having advantages and disadvantages. USA policy towards capital punishment is widely criticized by many. For instance, its neighbor Canada has imposed total ban on capital punishment.
On July 14, 1976, Canada removed capital punishment from its criminal code. Canada strongly believes in conjunctive punishment whereas USA follows consecutive punishment. Canada is rather engaged in educating and rehabilitating the criminals whereas USA policy is focused on incarcerating the criminals. In USA, states are given full freedom to acclimatize the criminal code in their own style and sentence the criminal however within the parameters of criminal code. However, in Canada, individual province does not have power to punish the offenders as they wish.
The best example is death penalty where in Canada, it is banned in all the provinces and territories whereas in USA, death penalties are perused even today by some states. For instance, in a theft case, German and French judges are supposed to employ logical deduction to decide whether the circumstances of the case demonstrate that defendant stole something that did not own by them. It is to be noted that both the French and German criminal codes are relatively concise. In Scotland, the tradition of judge made substantive law is being followed.
Tazir offenses are the least grave crime in Islamic penal law which has roots through the process of ijma [consensus] and are not codified either in Qur’an or in Sunna. Under tazir, prosecution and punishment are discretionary in nature. The religious leaders and the Court decide these issues in the background of damage suffered the offender’s circumstances and the spiritual and social consequences of the crime. Punishment for tazir will be rehabilitative in nature ranging from severe punishment to light corporal punishment. [Wiechman et al, 1996].