Danitza G. Robledo, Department of Administration of Justice. Arizona Western College. Correspondence concerning this paper should be addressed to Danitza G. Robledo, Department of Administration of Justice, Arizona Western College, Campus Box 929. Yuma, Az 85366-0929 (928)317-6000. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Another perspective surrounding the American criminal justice system is that people only criticize the system because the results they wanted did not occur. Some people go as far as to say, “THE criminal justice system doesn 't work” (Haberman). But why do people have these strong feelings against the American criminal justice system? Haberman’s interesting viewpoint answers that question when he says, “It seems to be a popular pastime: trashing the system when it does not produce the results you want.” From this quotation one can consider that some people disparage the system so heavily because they disagree with the rulings, not because the judgements are wrong, but simply because they do not like them. This could be a reason why people believe the system is so heavily criticized, when in reality people only criticize it because they disagree, not because the system is actually unjust. This idea shows that maybe the American criminal justice is not as an unjust as people make it
Many wrongful convictions are due to mistaken eyewitnesses, jailhouse snitches, or false evidence. I think many of the wrongful convictions could be solved with harder evidence, more information. A case should not rely on a single eye witness but multiple. For those in prison, those who snitch saying the defendant confessed, testifying can be a bargaining chip; the state will often reduce sentence time or
The principle in law that one is innocent until proven guilty has created much discourse. There are those who feel that the moment that one is arrested, there is reasonable belief that they committed the crime. However, there are those who feel that just as the principle states, one is, and should be taken as a victim and the outcome could be either way: guilty or not guilty. In fact, this argument is supported by the many cases of malicious prosecutions and mistaken identities.
There comes a time in the criminal justice system where a law that was written to protect us will be challenged through a court case. That case will eventually make history and will become a reference in future cases with similar dilemmas. In 1983, one particular case met the criteria (Arizona vs. Youngblood). In this case, Larry Youngblood was convicted by a jury in Arizona of child molestation, sexual assault, and kidnapping of a ten-year-old boy. Both a criminologist for the State and an expert witness for the defendant testified as to what they believed the results were from the tests that were performed on the samples shortly after they were collected, they also commented on later tests performed on the samples from the boy’s clothing
How would one end up as an innocent man on death row? A man by the name of Edward Lee Elmore has been convicted and found guilty of burglary, rape, and murder. Elmore was a lower-class black man who lived in Greenwood, Carolina. He was a quiet, polite young man, and worked odd-end jobs to make ends meet. In 1982, he was arrested for the murder of 75-year-old Dorothy Edwards, a friendly and loving woman who was well-known in the community. Elmore’s lack of objection or emotion convinced the people around him that he must be guilty.
“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”- Carl Sagan. The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, is a play based on the injustice of the ‘Red Scare’. Arthur Miller is one of America’s greatest playwrights and is praised for his moral courage for refusing to name names of Communist Party members before the House Unamerican Activities Committee. Another brave man during the time was Herb Block; who made political cartoons such as “I have here in my hands” and “We now have important evidence”. In both Herb Block’s cartoons and Arthur Miller’s play flawed, faulty and unreasonable evidence is used to accuse and convict many innocent people.
Manufacturing Guilt Wrongful Convictions in Canada, follows the theme of the first edition where the authors demonstrate what leads to wrongful conviction. We all know that innocent mistakes happen however, wrongful convictions are usually the result of deliberate actions of those working in the criminal justice system and not unintended errors. By using Canadian cases as miscarriages of justice, the authors argues that understanding wrongful convictions and how to prevent them is incomplete outside the broader societal context in which they occur, particularly regarding racial and social inequality. This book also analyzes how forensic science is used as a resource for prosecutors rather than seeking the truth.
The criminal justice system faces multiple accusations for not standing up to the “innocent until proven guilty” standards. While the legal system has fought to keep this statement true, the challenges still exist. One of these is a proper trial that is both unbiased and without error. The setting for a proper trial includes an impartial jury selection to follow the proper procedures of the courtroom. Selection of the jury is an important task and serving on a jury is considered by the United States as the civic duty of the community.
When the jury trial process is replaced with plea negotiations, we lose trust and reliability in the system. When we give efficiency that the plea bargain has provided power, it comes at a substantial cost. People who are indeed innocent of the crimes they were convicted have now been influenced into pleading guilty for the sake of efficiency. Not to mention the collateral consequences that accompany a person when they plead out. It also undermines the reliability of convictions in general (Gilchrist, 2011). Although she was innocent of the charges brought against her, Stewart took the plea. However, her choice had dire consequences, three years after, she is left destitute, ineligible for food stamps and government grants, unable to vote for
The United States criminal justice system is riddled with cases of many varieties. Some have obvious outcomes while others warrant more detailed analysis. However, some cases go beyond the court into other courts, where they are decided, such as Jackson versus Hobbs in 2012. The courts try to lighten the load of cases they have by offering plea bargaining, an agreement among a defendant and a prosecutor in which the defendant pleads guilty to a charge that is less severe than what he or she is initially charged for in the hopes that clemency will be administered. Sometimes, however, people accused of a crime are completely innocent, and it is not until technology is released, such as DNA testing, decades later that these people are proved to
Countless people are getting placed in the criminal justice system on meager charges. Then, the system offers them “Legal Misrepresentation,” even though Gideon v. Wainwright (Alexander, 2012, p. 85) stated that they are entitled to an attorney if they are accused of a serious crime and indigent. Yet, public defendant attorneys lack resources and are overburdened with a substantial caseload that they cannot give defendants suitable representation. Subsequently, these accused people are forced into a plea deal to offset spending the mandatory maximum sentences in prison.
Law abiding citizens should not be wrongfully convicted of a crime that they did not commit. Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) was first used to aid a criminal investigation by Professor Jeffreys in 1986 for rapes/murders that occurred in the United Kingdom. The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Prior to DNA testing there were hundreds of wrongful convictions. Post DNA testing there has been a decrease in wrongful convictions, but they are still prevalent for various reasons including eye witness misidentification, improper forensic science, and incriminating statements. Regardless of the reason, wrongful convictions remove a part
The American legal system is supposed to be fair. In recent times, majority of minorities will argue against the fairness and that there are inherent biases embedded throughout the system. The issue of those biases is a separate case, however, the legal system can be wrong, even in instants of murder and rape. The story of Randolph Arledge illustrates how the legal system is not perfect. The law failed him for 29 years, but after DNA testing, he had his justice. The Innocence Project illustrates and explains how someone can be imprisoned for many years, and then, suddenly be set free.
Prosecutors have the very important job of representing the people in a court of law on both state and federal levels. Prosecutors are under obligation to execute the law on both federal and state levels. However, the discretion that they are afforded under United States law gives them nearly absolute and unreviewable powers to choose whether or not to bring forth criminal charges, and also what charges to bring for cases when the evidence is enough to those justify charges. Plea bargaining is another area in which falls under a prosecutor’s vast discretionary powers, they can choose to bring full charges against the defendant or they can choose to show leniency by reducing the charges or dismissing the charges altogether. The incredible amount of discretion that prosecutors have in the criminal justice system places them