Principle Of Equality In Criminal Justice

532 Words3 Pages
In several different ways, the principle of equality of opportunity is relevant to the criminal justice system in the twenty-first century. John Rawls “assumes that we are self-interested, rational beings motivated to select laws, rules, and ways-of-life that are most advantageous to ourselves” (p. 117). The principle of equality is a theory that we all wish truly existed; however, it is unfortunate that it does not exist due to our own personal biases. Unconsciously, we all have biased and prejudicial thoughts—we are human and this tends to result on a reality based on social values; however, it does not make it correct. Unfortunately, we have not all learned to put our differences aside in order to get along. In other words, there are times…show more content…
Rawls affirms that “there are two basic principles that define a “just” society” (p. 117). These two concepts are the liberty principle and the difference principle. The liberty principle states that “we should all be willing to agree to a system of rules which guarantees each person the free exercise of basic liberties” (p. 117). On the other hand, the difference principle states that there should be a “fair equality of opportunity” (p. 117). Nonetheless, our criminal justice system should have both of these principles, instead it is inequitable. The first step to fixing a problem, however, is to admit that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. We all know that our system is flawed, the real concern is how do we fix it? I do not believe that there is a way to completely fix the issues; instead, I believe that we would only minimize the injustice that currently exists. The first contact that an offender has with the criminal justice system tends to begin with a police officer. By having more defined policies and procedures emplaced at police departments, the biases that we have can be controlled and minimized significantly. The warnings and citations would have to exclude any and all areas where ethnicity and or race are requested. As well, all documents presented to court would have to exclude all possible personal identifiers of the person being handled; even that I am not sure to be possible. We live in a world of uncertainties that cause the law to be
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