can be viewed as the system of law enforcement, adjudication, and correction directly involved in the apprehension, prosecution, and control of those charged with criminal offenses.
criminal justice process
A.Few cases are actually processed through the entire formal system.
B.A comprehensive view of formal criminal process normally includes:
1. Initial contact
6. Preliminary hearing/grand jury
9. Plea bargaining
12. Appeal/post-conviction remedies
13. Correctional treatment
courtroom work group
is made up of prosecutor, defense attorney, judge, and other court personnel, group functions to streamline the process of justice through the use of plea bargaining and other alternatives
the wedding cake model of justice
1.Samuel Walker describes the informal criminal justice process as a four-layer cake.
2. Layer I involves celebrated cases (eg O.J. Simpson or Michael Jackson).
3. Layer II involves serious felonies (eg. rape, robbery, burglary).
4. Layer III involves less serious felonies, offenses committed by young or first time offenders, or involves offenders known to one another (eg. domestic violence).
5. Layer IV involves misdemeanors (eg. shoplifting, public drunkenness, minor assault).
due process perspective
1. proponents argue that the greatest concern of the justice system should be providing fair and equitable treatment to those accused of crime.
2.Points out that justice system remains an adversary process
3.Advocates believe that legal principle of fairness and due process must be upheld.
1. advocates believe that justice agencies should limit their intervention with criminal defendants.
2.Concerned about effect of stigma on criminal suspects
3.Tries to place limitations on government's ability to control people's lives
4.Calls for decriminalization and/or legalization of non-serious victimless crimes
5.Calls for deinstitutionalization
6.Support pretrial diversion for first offenders
Restorative justice perspective
1.Argues that the true purpose of the criminal justice system is to promote a peaceful and just society
2.Resolution of conflict between criminal and victim should take place in the community in which it originated.
3.Goal is to enable offender to appreciate the damage, make amends, and be reintegrated back into society
The term used when a prosecutor decides to drop a case after a complaint has been formally made. Reasons for a nolle prosequi include evidence insufficiency, reluctance of witnesses to testify, police error, and office policy
1.Rests on the assumption that criminal law has social control function
2.Crimes are those that are essentially harmful to a majority of citizens and are prohibited by the existing criminal law.
3.Criminal law is the set of rules, codified by state authorities that express the norms, goals, and values of the majority of society.
1.Crime is the outcome of class struggle between the rich and poor, have and have-nots.
2.Criminal justice system is an instrument of social and economic repression.
3.Criminal law is created and enforced by the ruling class as a mechanism for controlling dissatisfied lower-class members.
1.Criminal law is structured to reflect preferences and opinions of people who hold social power in a particular legal jurisdiction.
2.Moral entrepreneurs wage campaigns to control behaviors that they view as immoral and wrong
Official crime data: The Uniform Crime Report (UCR)
FBI compiles official crime data in yearly publication, Best known and most widely cited source of aggregate criminal statistics, Major unit of analysis involves index (Part I) crimes, UCR uses three methods to express crime data.
a.Number of crimes reported to police and arrests made expressed as raw Figures.
b.Crime rate per 100,000 people are computed.
c.FBI computes changes in number and rate of crime over time.
Because they want to
1.Suggests that people choose to commit crime after weighing potential benefits and consequences of a criminal act.
2.Crimes are events that occur when offenders decide to risk crime after considering personal needs, situational factors, and legal factors.
3.Punishments threatened by the existing criminal law are the primary deterrent to crime.
It's in their blood
1.Crime and violence are possibly functions of biochemical abnormality.
2.Biosocial theorists believe that crime has a biological basis and that elements of the environment interact with biological factors to control and influence behavior.
3.Biochemical factors may lead to anti-social behavior and include:
4.Relationship of brain activity to behavior is another area of research.
5.Behavior is possibly inherited and a function of genetic makeup
: It's a dog-eat-dog world
1.Views the economic and political forces in society as fundamental causes of criminality
2.Radical feminist theory is an important aspect of conflict theory and views female crime as originating with the onset of male supremacy, subsequent subordination of women, male aggression, and efforts of men to control women sexually.
index (Part I) crimes
The eight crimes that, because of their seriousness and frequency, the FBI reports the incidence of in the annual Uniform Crime Report. Index crimes include murder, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, arson, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.
substantive criminal law
defines laws and punishments
Citizens' right to be protected from criminal laws that may be:
the Principle of Stare Decisis
to stand by decided cases, the legal principle by which the decision in an earlier case becomes the standard by which subsequent similiar cases are judged.
Crimes and Classifications
Each state and the federal government have developed their own body of criminal law that grades offenses, sets levels of punishment, and classifies crimes into categories
most serious crimes, punishable by imprisonment:
• Criminal homicide
•Police may arrest using either arrest warrant or probable cause.
May be barred from certain employment or some professions
Status as an alien in the U.S. may be affected
Might be denied the right to hold public office, vote, or serve on a jury
less serious, punished by jail terms:
• Petty larceny
• Assault and battery
• Unlawful possession of marijuana
Can only be taken into custody with an arrest warrant or if police officer observed the infraction (in-presence requirement).
There are exceptions depending on the jurisdiction and offense
• Example: Domestic violence
violations or infractions
• Violations of city or town ordinances
o Traffic violations
o Public intoxication
Punishable by a fine
the legal definition of crime!
• For the prosecutor to prove a crime occurred and the defendant committed it, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant:
* Engaged in a guilty act (actus reus)
* Acted in an intentional and purposeful manner (mens rea - guilty mind)
*Thought of committing a crime alone does not constitute a crime.
Admit physical act of crime but deny responsibility because they lacked free will.example: Actions were either a mistake, or unaware that the behavior was a crime. As a general rule, ignorance of the law is no excuse
•State of mind negates one's criminal responsibility.
•Successful insanity defense results in a verdict of "not guilty by reason of insanity"
•Insanity is a legal category.
•Usually left to psychiatric testimony to prove person understood wrongfulness of actions
•Not considered a defense unless defendant becomes involuntary intoxicated
Duress (forced into crime, threatened life)
•May lessen the degree of the crime
• Child generally not criminally responsible for actions committed at an age that precludes a full realization of the gravity of certain types of behavior.
- Generally a conclusive presumption of incapacity for a child under 7
- Reliable presumption for ages 7 to 14
- No presumption over 14
Main source of procedural law is Bill of Rights
first ten amendments, Purpose was to prevent the government from usurping the personal freedoms of citizens.
Added December 15, 1791
Of Primary concern are the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments.
These limit and control the manner in which the federal government operates the criminal justice system.
Limits the admissibility of confessions that have been obtained unfairly, protect against self incrimination
the concept of due process, No state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law
due process of law
•Found in Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments
- Evaluate the constitutionality of legal statutes
- Set standards and guidelines for fair procedures in the criminal justice system.
Federal Bureau of Investigations FBI
the arm of the us justice system that investigates violations of federal law, seeks to protect america from terrorists attacks, gather crime statistics, runs a comprehensive crime laboratory, and helps train local cops.
department of homeland security DHS
federal agency responsible for preventing terrorists attacks within US, reducing vulnerability to terrorism, and minimizing the damage and assisting in recovery from attacks.
drug enforcement administrations DEA
Assist local and state authorities in investigating illegal drug use and carrying out independent surveillance and enforcement activities to control importation of narcotics
bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives
Helps control sales of untaxed liquor and cigarettes
- Through Gun Control Act of 1968 and Organized Crime Control Act of 1970:
- Jurisdiction over illegal sales, importation, and criminal misuse of firearms and explosives
Nation's oldest and most versatile federal law enforcement agency, More than 3,000 Deputy Marshals and Criminal Investigators perform a number of functions
the secret service
Protection of national leaders, investigating the counterfeiting of U.S. currency, Investigation of financial institution fraud, Computer and telecommunication fraud, False identification documents
uniform patrol purpose
1. Deter crime by maintaining a visible police presence
2. Maintain public order
3. Respond quickly to law violations or emergencies
4. Identify and apprehend law violators
5. Aid individuals who cannot help themselves
6. Facilitate the movement of traffic and people
7. Create a feeling of community security
the role of the police as maintainers of community order and safety
i. Neighborhood disorder creates fear
ii. Neighborhoods give out crime-promoting signals
iii. Police need citizen cooperation
The investigative function
A. Detectives are often handicapped by limited time, money, and resources.
B. How do detectives detect?
C. Sting operations
D. Evaluating investigations
E. Improving investigation with technology─ Technology can expedite crime investigations.
F. Improving investigations with forensic science
specific focus (interview witnesses, gather evidence, record events, collect facts at the crime scene), general coverage (canvass neighborhood, conduct interviews with associates, construct timelines), and informative (use modern technology to collect records).
Police officers often experience tremendous stress, a factor that leads to alcoholism, depression, and even suicide.
1. Causes of stress are: the pressure of being on duty 24-hours a day; being at risk for job-related accidental deaths; internal conflict with administrative policies; and psychologists have divided stressors into 4 categories (external stressors, organizational stressors, duty stressors, and individual stressors).
2. Combating stress─ Research shows that the more support police officers get in the workplace, the lower their feelings of stress and anxiety.
Can lead to disaster for officers
1. Controlling fatigue - Administrators should pay attention to the amount of overtime worked and the length of shifts
violence and brutality
1. Only a small proportion of officers are continually involved in use-of-force incidents, and aggressive police may overreact to the stress of police work.
From their creation, U.S. police departments have wrestled with the problem of controlling illegal and unprofessional behavior by officers
- It may be possible to divide police corruption into 4 major categories.
i. Internal corruption
ii. Selective enforcement or non-enforcement
iii. Active criminality
iv. Bribery and extortion
Miranda v. Arizona
created objective standards for questioning by police after a defendant has been taken into custody.
Police must issue the Miranda warning.
The accused can waive his/her Miranda rights at any time, but the state must show that the defendant was aware of all the Miranda rights and must prove the waiver was made with the full knowledge of constitutional rights.
The Court has ruled that under certain circumstances a valid search may be conducted without a search warrant.
a. Search incident to a valid arrest
b. Stop and frisk
c. Automobile search
d. Consent search
e. Plain-view search
f. Exigent circumstances
is the most controversial issue revolving around the Court's control of police behavior - it provides that all evidence obtained by unreasonable searches and seizures is inadmissible in criminal trials, and also excludes the use of illegal confessions under the Fifth Amendment prohibitions.
Represents the public in criminal trials
Advises law enforcement during investigations
Acts as legal advisor to elected officials
can be disctrict, county, states, or US attorney
writ of certiorari
an order of surpreme court requesting that the record of another inferior court be brought forward for review or inspection
an attorney employed at no cost to the accused by the government to represent the poor persons accused of a crime.
Gideon v. wainwright
1963 US supreme court case that granted counsel to indigent defendants in felony prosecutions.