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In general, the three branches of government have different responsibilities with regard to criminal law. Criminal law is typically created by the legislative branch. This branch of government writes the laws that define what actions are crimes and what punishments go with those crimes. These laws are enforced by the executive branch. The police and prosecutors are, for example, parts of the executive branch. They decide when they believe laws have been broken and bring charges against the defendant. The judicial branch generally oversees this process. Judges ensure that the laws pertaining to trials are followed. In this way, each of the three branches has a different part in criminal law.
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