Due Process vs. Crime Control Essay

662 Words Mar 19th, 2006 3 Pages
The criminal justice system in the United States has traditionally operated under two fundamentally different theories. One theory is the Crime Control Model. This theory is characterized by the idea that criminals should be aggressively pursued and crimes aggressively punished. The other theory is the Due Process Model. This theory is characterized by the idea that the rights of the accused need to be carefully protected in any criminal justice investigation. (Levy, 1999)

The Due Process Model emphasizes the adversary system. The Due Process model also puts on emphasis on the rights of the person or people who are being accused of a crime. The Due Process model consists of many factors but a few are the idea of aggressive police
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Some of these rights are the right to be assumed innocent until proven guilty, the right against arrest without probable cause, the right against self-incrimination, the right to an attorney, and the right to fair questioning by the police. All of this is part of the Due Process Model but one thing the Due Process Model calls into question is, do the rights of the individual outweigh the rights of the many? (Perron)

The Crime Control Model states that there may be some individual rights that need to be sacrificed for the good of society as a whole. In the Crime Control Model crime is actively and aggressively pursued and punished. Some of the methods used to employ this method are "targeting high crime areas, increased patrols and traffic stops, profiling, undercover sting operations, wiretapping, surveillance, and aggressive raids and searches." (Perron) The benefits of the Crime Control Model are that criminals and crime itself is what law enforcement begins to target. The negative effect is that the zealous pursuit of crime and often result in huge amounts of collateral damage or even loss of human life.

The Due Process and Crime Control Models are able to coexist. Frank Scmalleger, a noted criminologist, support a new approach where "it is realistic to think of the U.S. system of justice as representative of crime control through due process." (Schmallager et al, 1999) In using both of these models law enforcement and the judicial system can…