The question of fairness and equality in the criminal justice system has its original roots dating back to the Magna Carta in 1215 AD. The latest document to define the criminal justice is the United States Constitution which specifically in the 14th amendment which states ”no state can make or enforce laws on its citizens, nor shall they deprive a person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor will they deny equal protection of the laws”. Section one of the fourteenth amendment means that the states cannot make any laws or enforce them on any person without due process and makes it illegal to deny equal protection. The founding fathers envisioned a justice system that is blind as evidenced by the
There have been numerous vigilante attacks on innocent people because inaccurate information posted on the registry list. “In St. Louis, Missouri, more than 700 registered sex offenders, or approximately 46 percent, do not live at the addresses posted on the sex offender registry, and many sex offenders (approximately 285 sex offenders released from prison as of May 1999) never get put on the list” (Freeman-Longo, 2000, p. 8).
In what ways is the indigenous justice paradigm in conflict with the principles of the traditional, adversarial American criminal justice system? In what ways do the principles of Native American justice complement more mainstream correctional initiatives?
“The court finds you guilty on all accounts. You are sentenced to 35 years in federal prison. Court dismissed.” If only justice in America was the same as a hollywood movie, where, in the end, each and every person put on trial receives a true and just verdict. It would be nice if America’s justice system was designed so that “you couldn’t be the next victim of corruption - innocent and sent to prison, or strapped to a table and put to death; or robbed of your life savings by American lawyers” (Sachs, America’s Corrupt Legal). Welcome to the new America, where all it takes is pockets as deep as the Pacific Ocean to be innocent and poverty to be found guilty, thrown in jail, and not given a second thought. Although America often prides itself on its just ways of governing and dealing with potential criminals, the justice system is often corrupted because of social issues, ethical issues, corrupt officials, and control of the press.
A couple days ago in Kalgoorlie a 14-year-old aboriginal boy named Elijah killed by a 55-year-old man who hit the young boy off his bike and then ran him over on Monday then leaving him to die. The man is now getting charged with manslaughter which has left the aboriginal community anger and upset as they want the charges to be charged to murder. The Aboriginal community has been protesting which has led to the police arresting as the protest turned violent, as people say the protest weren’t just about Elijah that things have been brewing for a while now.
The American justice system is divided between the wealthy and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds. A system that has been systematically built to favor wealthy Americans and punish poor Americans, as suggested in Matt Taibbi’s book “The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealthy Gap”. Meanwhile, poor Americans, specifically people of color, face punishment far beyond crime allegedly committed. In the following paragraphs, we will explore the root causes behind systematic forces that oppress and criminalize poverty, but also perpetuate white collar crimes among the wealthy.
Individuals with a criminal record re-offend mostly because of status discrimination which in turn leads to high unemployment rates. Having a criminal record in today’s society is damning when trying to find employment. Opportunities for an education are slim due to this, leaving them only their shot to gain entry into the workforce. A slew of jobs requiring specific things like licenses are barred from the formerly incarcerated. When released back into society prisoners have to once again try to adapt to a society that has been changing in their absence. Put back into the world with only their clothes and little money they might have had. Often at times with little education or employment prospects it seems that they would just end up back in jail. They head somewhere familiar ensuring that they will be accepted and taken in. Back to their neighborhood and back to old friends they haven’t seen in years. Convicts return back to those bad influences. In order to combat this drug treatments, housing, job training, classes and peer groups are established to assist them. Once released, convicts have many tools at their disposal for getting the help they need but it depends on what state they’re in and on the person. Will they seek help though? Will they themselves willingly avoid what got them into trouble in the first place; from returning home only hoping for the best without trying? With the fear of constant failure and
However, it was determined that “in 2006, California’s website for its sex offender registry was visited over 180 million times” (Wagner 266). Furthermore, the 2006 California Statistical Abstract, the total population of California was approximately 37,444,000 (10). With this fact present, statistically each registered resident of California would had to have searched for the website about 5 times independently. These statistics seem to support that the people use these websites for purposes they were not made for. An example of misuse of the sex offender registry was in the case of a sex offender named “Jeff” (not his real name) who was assaulted by his former friend who found him on the registry. Jeff’s friend decided to bring two bikers to come and abuse Jeff (Yoder). This specific incident is not isolated, but is widespread. A recent study found that “the overwhelming majority of respondents [sex offenders] reported that they had experience significant levels of harassment as a result of having to publicly register as sex offenders” (Worley and Worley 342). The public registry allows for the sexual offender to be ridiculed and assaulted even after their determined sentenced time for their misconduct is over. An even more surprising study done by Caputo, Caputo and Brodsky, Zevitz et al., and Zevitz claimed that “notification [in the way of sex offender information online] can increase anxiety [to the public]” (Levenson et al. 589). The public registry is now failing at what it was made to do, make the public have a sense of security. Instead, this security theater tactic has backfired for the government, making people feel more uneasy. An even more revealing study showed that out of 232 sex offenders, 9% did not live at the address that the online database had presented (Worley and Worley 337). These laws that sacrifice one’s safety
less often unjustly inflicted than others" (192). Statistics reveal that there is far less number of death sentences than life imprisonment sentences without parole given out every year. According to Federal Justice Statistics, in 1998, there were approximately 5000 criminals sentenced to life imprisonment as opposed to 74 criminals sentenced to death (Internet). This shows that judicial system itself is very careful with death sentences. Even if we assume that there are chances that an innocent person is executed, it is the problem with the trial, not the punishment. "It is not the penalty - whether death or prison - which is unjust when inflicted on the innocent, but its imposition on the innocent", writes Haag (192). When an innocent person
The American justice system is sometimes faulty and often time repeat offenders slips through the cracks and commit the same or some of the most horrific crimes. The system failed to be proactive with some of its laws and put regular citizens’ lives at risk. Unfortunately, this system proved ineffective for the Kanka family, when an unregistered repeat sex offender moved into their neighborhood and enticed seven- year old Megan to his home where he raped and killed her. Numerous petition was signed, and the Megan Law was born is currently in effect statewide. Therefore, all sex offenders should be public because this will promote an informed neighborhood and accountability.
Looking into criminal justice procedure, many administrations are at work. Starting with the police, to the courts and concluding in corrections. Though all these sectors have different tasks, their combined focus is processing the law. Regardless what the process is called criminal justice will continue to serve with discretion, conviction, and correction. When first presented with the question whether criminal justice is a system, non-system, and network I leaned toward a network. Throughout our discussions, lectures, and readings I felt the process presented itself as a network. Intertwined divisions working for a common goal. Further into my research and help from Webster, I decided that the criminal justice
After a contentious sentencing in a high profile rape case, many people have demanded the judge be recalled. However, this raises questions over whether making the judiciary answerable to the public would lead to harsher sentences and a less legitimate justice system. Those in favor of judicial recall query whether the system has failed if judges are out of touch with public morals and victims’ suffering.
One of the most interesting things I learned from doing my research on community corrections in my jurisdiction is how the criminal justice system is committed to being fair and balanced. I have observed in a court arraignment how a judge briefed everyone in the court about proper protocols during the hearings .The judge said he could not start court hearings unless a prosecutor was present, and that he cautions the inmate the right to remain silent, and also discussed to the inmate his rights. Community-based corrections developed as a result of dissatisfaction with institutional confinement and in recognition of the problems encountered by inmates reentering society after prolonged incarceration. Belinda R. McCarthy, Bernard J. McCarthy, Jr,& Matthew C. Leone (4th edu.). (2001) Community-Based Corrections. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Group. In writing this paper I will inform and discuss the various programs and rules applied to handle offenders who have violated state laws according to the criminal justice system in NC. I will write about the following subjects in the following order: 1) Parole and probation, 2) Community and drug courts, 3) Pretrial release, 4) Victim aid, and 5) Community service (as a function of service of sentence).
There is a lot of importance placed on the idea of our legal systems being fair. I think that they do a great job dealing with what they can control. It just so happens that this is starting to spiral out of control, and not in a good way. We make sure that everyone has someone to defend them. It is a right that every person has. If it gets far enough, the case is presented in front of a jury. It does not get much more fair than that.
My respondents vary across the boundaries of race and social class. All but one respondent, are Indian. The other is identifies as a White American. The ratio of social class is more proportionate with my father and I identifying as middle class and my mother and friend identifying as part of the poor and working class.