Courts, Prosecution, and the Defense
The courts have one of the most important roles in the criminal justice system. They are responsible for the interpretation and application of law when crimes are committed, They exert some of their greatest influence when it involves due process under the law. The due process model argues that the greatest concern of the justice system should be providing fair and equitable treatment to those accused of crime. This perspective is demonstrated through the courts’ involvement with the police in controlling search and seizure and interrogation, protecting the rights of the accused, in cases like Miranda v. Arizona and Weeks v. United States. Have concerns over due process and protecting the “allegedly” innocent led to the guilty also being spared, as the crime control model would argue?
Criminologist Herbert Packer’s assembly line concept finds that although there are many people who commit crime and are arrested and charged, only about 21 adults are incarcerated for every 1000 serious crimes committed. Additionally, 80 percent of all felony cases and over 90 percent of misdemeanors are settled without trial.
On the other hand, over time, the Supreme Court has been diminishing the scope of the exclusionary rule. This normally excludes improperly obtained evidence by permitting more exceptions, thus allowing more “improperly obtained evidence” into court. For example, evidence is now admissible in court if the police officers acted in good faith by first obtaining court approval for their search, even if the warrant they received was deficient or faulty. This has come to be known as the good faith exception.
Based on your understanding from the readings in chapters 6-8, and keeping in mind the due process and crime control models, write a 2- to 3-page paper in which you discuss:
Have criminals been given too many rights by the courts?
Should courts be more concerned with the rights of victims or the rights of the offenders?
Should illegally seized evidence be excluded from trial, even though it is conclusive proof of a person’s criminal acts?
Use your textbook and at least two (2) quality resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and similar websites do not qualify as quality resources.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
Explain the development of American courts and illustrate the concept of the dual-court system.
Distinguish between the various courtroom participants and describe the stages in a criminal
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