The defendant claims he acted in self-defense. Trial courts are where a case begins, where witnesses are heard and evidence is presented, sometimes to a jury and sometimes only to a judge.
Some states employ systems that have specialized trial courts to handle domestic, civil, or criminal cases. If you value our reporting please consider making a donation.
Meanwhile, the US Supreme Court is the highest authority there is. There are thirteen circuit courts of appeals in the United States, also spread geographically through the states. It is important to note that appellate courts usually operate under different rules. However, if the appellant simply disagrees with the way the trier of fact resolved a factual dispute, the appellant is out of luck.
However, the judgment of the appellate courts is usually the basis of the final decision. Trial courts are classified into two kinds: one that has general jurisdiction, and one with limited jurisdiction.
Stare decisis requires courts to respect and follow established precedent. However, the Maryland and New York systems are different. Forty-one of the 50 states have at least one intermediate appellate court.
The appellate judges want to know whether the law was applied accurately.