The condemnable justness system refers to a set of governmental establishments charged with the duty of presenting justness to all, convicting and penalizing those that are deemed guilty and protecting the inexperienced person through effectual, efficient and accountable procedures.
It is composed of three chief parts: The police/ jurisprudence enforcement that investigates breaches in jurisprudence and do apprehensions, the tribunals that settle differences and administer justness and eventually, the section of corrections that carries out the sentences meted out by the tribunal system and rehabilitates wrongdoers.
The intent of this paper is to critically analyze this system through the experiences and sentiments of a practician. I will seek to place the good, the bad and the ugly refering this system and hopefully come up with several possible solutions.
Lewis Zegas is a practising condemnable jurisprudence lawyer in New Jersey ; he has worked extensively in the system and should supply lament insight into the condemnable justness system and holding gotten the acquittals of several suspects in local and federal tribunals, he should be able to indicate out the loopholes in the system and the strong points.
Positives of the Criminal Justice System
The Fifth Amendment
The best characteristic of our system is the fact that one has to be given notice that he has a affair before the tribunal and he is given an chance to hear the accusal and fix a defence. This limits the state’s ability to randomly incarcerate or utilize menaces of captivity to hale citizens into making what they want.
The Jury System
The Sixth Amendment outlines the rights of people who have been charged with offenses. It guarantees among other things, a public test and a test by jury. The jury is a panel of citizens that are supposed to listen to the grounds brought frontward by the prosecution and find the guilt of a individual.
The jury can non find the artlessness of a individual merely that he is ‘not guilty’ . It does function its intent by supplying an impartial and relatively less bribable system than a test by justice and generates public assurance in it. An sentiment supported by bulk of Americans, harmonizing to the defender. “Trust the people with the duties of citizenship and they will lift to the occasion.” ( The Guardian, 2010 )
Burden of Proof
This refers to the demand that the prosecution/plaintiff proves beyond the shadow of uncertainty that a suspect committed a offense. The fact that the load of cogent evidence lies forthrightly on the side of the prosecution protects suspects from frivolous claims or holding wholly false charges brought against them for whatever ground.
Right to Rede
In another step designed to protect the people, a suspect must be informed to his right of advocate during apprehension ( Miranda rights ) , and one provided to him from the province if he can non afford one. Even though some jurisprudence enforcement officers have circumvented this, it does move as hindrance to torment of the inexperienced person. However, the public defender’s offices of most provinces are normally short-handed taking to a batch of supplication trades that undermine the initial end. ( Fabelo, 2002 )
Benefit of Premise
Closely linked to the ‘burden of proof’ is the benefit of premise. In pattern this is the rule of guiltless unless proven guilty applied by the tribunal system. This given of artlessness is of critical importance in coercing the prosecution to show feasible and persuasive cogent evidence of guilt.
This refers to a system where two advocators argue their in forepart of an impartial 3rd party in order to obtain a opinion on the virtues of their statements. This differs from the inquisitorial system where the prosecuting officer would look into the instance to find truth which is prone to maltreatment.
It besides prevents the accused from being compelled to supply testimony, in theory it prevents the prosecution from unduly hassling the suspect in instances where they do non hold adequate grounds. However, in pattern, if they choose to make so they open themselves up to cross-examination by the prosecution.
Basically, it is a combination of the clauses in the fifth and 14th amendments that guarantee that one can non be subjected to vague Torahs and protects the accused from being denied his autonomy or right to belongings without expressed support from the established jurisprudence.
Negatives of the Criminal Justice System
While there are a batch of things that the legal system is making right, there are some glowering issues deserving altering or more likely their complete remotion. The statistics on the condemnable justness system are stark, while the US population makes up merely 5 % of the worlds’ ; it houses a monolithic 25 % of the world’s prison population. 1 out of every 30 American grownups is either incarcerated or on parole and half of those in prison are non-violent wrongdoers largely drug nuts ( Webb, 2009 ) .
There are some cardinal issues incorrect with the system:
“As it stands, 36 provinces have instituted these minimal sentences for drug strong beliefs, these Torahs are rough and stop up incarcerating people who would be better served if they received intervention instead.” He says “We need to get down looking at drug dependence from a medical base point”
In 2013, President Obama expanded the reforms brought to the mandatary lower limits by the Fair Sentencing Act to include charges that had already been filed. ( Rhodan, 2013 ) .
However, it does non work out the job ; compulsory lower limits take the condemning authorization one time possessed by Judgess and topographic point it in the custodies of prosecuting officers. While Judgess are required to enforce certain sentences, prosecuting officers are explicitly required to bear down a count transporting the lower limit if other options are available. This flexibleness enables them to utilize the menace of longer gaol footings in supplication deals.
“I besides experience these lower limits come terribly near to go againsting the Constitution’s demand of ‘due process’ , subjecting citizens to stricter than necessary penalties.”
Over-reliance on Good Prosecutorial Behavior
As stated above, the system is turning more and more dependant of prosecutorial decency. The cheques and balances in the original system are being eroded, with the prosecuting officers able to offer supplication deals ; they can besiege the demand for a justice pass oning him to mere ‘stamping machines’ , set uping guilt behind closed doors alternatively of in the unfastened as originally intended.
“There is a really existent menace of maltreatment by ambitious prosecuting officers, who for the interest of their win-loss ratios will disregard mitigating fortunes and endanger stiff punishments to coerce through supplication deals particularly in drug instances where compulsory minimums” says Zegas.
Retaliatory Treatment of Youth
Young people are unambiguously suited to rehabilitation ; nevertheless most are incarcerated with grownup wrongdoers, 200,000 young persons under the age of 18 are tried as grownups each twelvemonth ( Woolard, et al. , 2005 ) . These young persons end up being eligible to life without word, puting them at great hazard of assault, sexual maltreatment and decease.
Alternatively of assisting these young persons alter their batch in life, we throw them in with calling felons where they pick up more condemnable behaviour and endure really high recidivism rates, staying unable to interrupt the rhythm of offense and gaol clip for the balance of their lives.
“This remains the point where a small alteration has the greatest potency for important and long term benefits.”
The American condemnable justness system is broken, the best things about it are ideals that should be enshrined in it and the worst is that most of those ideals are non reflected in the experiences of those who go through the system or the results of instances.
There needs to be sweeping and lasting alterations to this system on a national degree to take it back to the instrument of societal justness it was envisioned to be. The longer we wait the harder it will be to travel back and the more stuck we will go.
Harmonizing to Mr. Zegas, we are past the point of no return. With characteristics like the private prisons coming into drama, where net income is the chief motive and local sheriffs and other jurisprudence enforcement holding a portion in such strategies it merely stands to ground no existent justness can come of our justness system.
Politicians are afraid to suggest existent reforms to the most abominable Torahs, fearing they will be tagged with the ‘soft on crime’ label and lose their seats. Judges are hence stuck implementing Torahs they don’t support, passing out penalty that far exceed the offenses and unable to exert their ain judicial discretion.
When Congress passes Torahs that allow for the willful, knowing and malicious neglect of our civil autonomies guaranteed to us by the fundamental law in the name of ‘national security’ , it is difficult to see a manner back.
As to the hereafter, he says the system can be fixed, it all depends on how far down the ‘rabbit-hole’ the American people will let themselves to fall before they wake up.
It’s difficult to differ.
Column, ( 2010 ) . Jury test: Case dismissed. The Guardian Newspaper. Retrieved February, 2014 from: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/feb/18/case-for-juries-criminal-justice
Fabelo, T. ( 2002 ) . What Policymakers Need To Know To Improve Public Defense
Systems. Public Defense: Documents from the Executive Session on Public Defense.
Rhodan, M. ( 2013 ) , Obama Expands Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Relief. Retrieved February, 2014 from: hypertext transfer protocol: //swampland.time.com/2013/09/20/obama-expands-mandatory-minimum-sentencing-relief/
Webb, J. ( 2009 ) . Why We Must Reform Our Criminal Justice System. Huffington Post. Retrieved February, 2014 from: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.huffingtonpost.com/sen-jim-webb/why-we-must-reform-our-cr_b_214130.html
Woolard, J.L. et al. , ( 2005 ) . Juveniles within Adult Correctional Settings: Legal Pathways and Developmental Considerations, 4 International Journal of Forensic Mental Health 1.