Massachusetts is a commonwealth, a member of the six New England states, the historical landing place of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, and a member of the original 13 colonies. The name of the state was derived from the Massachusett tribe that inspired colonist and explorer John Smith to officially give the name to it. The capital city is Boston, the scene of historic activities during the American Revolution such as the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre. The state has a large population composed of Irish-Americans and is famous for starting the Industrial Revolution of America with Lowell’s big textile mills.
Massachusetts has 14 counties, but between the years 1997 and 2000, abolished the county governments of eight of them, which left a total of five counties that bear local government on a county-level and one with a combined city/county government, Nantucket County. Even with the abolishment of the eight county governments, the different district’s law enforcement and judicial practices are still being followed because of the geographic distinctions and not through political ones. Three counties–Franklin, Hampshire, and Barnstable–have formed their own regional laws as a way of governing their area.
The law of Massachusetts is interpreted and applied by the Judiciary of Massachusetts which gives resolutions to disputes to give equal justice for all under the law. The entire court system is under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Judicial Court.
The court of last resort in Massachusetts is the Supreme Judicial Court, and appealing a first-degree murder conviction is handled by them. The court also has the power of ‘direct appellate review’ which is to choose to bypass an Appeals Court review and hear the case directly.
The intermediate appellate court is the Massachusetts Appeals Court that reviews and hears appeals coming from administrative tribunals and trial courts of the state.