Criminal Laws In The United States Are Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Business - Law Type: Essay Paper: #20430734 Related Topics: Common Law, Administrative Law, Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law
Excerpt from Essay :

Criminal laws in the United States are largely and totally considered as the result of the constitutional authority and legislative bodies that enact them. The American constitution normally provides the basis for the development of legislative agencies that are empowered to criminal and other legislations. For instance, the country's constitution has established the Congress and provides it with the power to make laws. The importance of the Constitution to the substantive criminal law is evident from the fact that it establishes limits on the definitions of crime. In most cases, the criminal laws of specific states and federal governments as well as the definition of crimes and their respective penalties are found in the penal codes of every jurisdiction. The establishment of criminal legislations in the United States has evolved through the years and is based on several fundamental principles.

Creation of Laws in the United States:

Most of the criminal laws that are currently used in the United States were established by the legislatures of each state. Despite of its importance as a source of criminal law, common law is rarely used in the current criminal justice system. This is shown by the fact that there is no federal criminal common law in the United States as the existing criminal law is the result of the political process. The political process contributes to the creation and implementation of rules by people...


The creation of the United States laws can be traced to the country's forefathers who established these laws by putting them into writing.

While its genesis is traced to the indigenous in England, the common law is an essential element that was used to create a system of trial by jury in the development of U.S. laws ("History of American Law," n.d.). Common law has become one of the most cherished components of the American Jurisprudence because it's an essential part in the country's administration of justice since the latter part of the 18th Century. The use of common law and its current function in the administration of the law was first developed during America's colonial period and times.

One of the major developments in the creation of U.S. laws was the period immediately after the Declaration of Independence. Following the declaration of independence, the first official articulation of the principle was made in 1776 resulting in the adoption of the first constitution by the State of Virginia. This proved to be a landmark in the country's lawmaking history as Virginia's constitution marked the beginning of all state constitutions in America. The constitutions then became integral parts of the law making process since they provided the framework for the establishment and implementation of the criminal and other laws. These constitutions played an integral role as they also enabled the development of legislative agencies to govern implementation of laws.…

Sources Used in Documents:


"History of American Law." (n.d.). Retrieved March 19, 2012, from

Kelly, M. (n.d.). Early Development of the United States Court System. Retrieved March 19,

2012, from

"Lawmaking in the United States." (n.d.). UIC -- University Library. Retrieved from University

Cite this Document:

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