The Bill of Rights Introduction to Criminal Justice March 3, 2013 There are many legal rights that we have during a trial. This Bill of Rights provides certain rights to criminal defendants during trial. There are two aspects of the U.S. criminal justice system and they are the defendant is innocent until the prosecution can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt (NOLO: Law for All, 2013). Defendants have many other rights and here they will be discussed. The right to confront witnesses is stated that in the sixth amendment “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to be confronted with the witness against him.” They are allowed to participate in the accused’s trial process.
It is usually recommended that any career use honesty as a quality, but it is extremely important that criminal justice professionals have honesty as well. Law enforcement is occasionally known for being corrupt, and it is so important for our law enforcement officers to be truthful on all applications, reports, and everyday work. This provides for more efficient and trustworthy public servants. The most important reason for honesty is simply to ensure that the innocent stay that way and are not caught in the lies of the accusers. Criminal justice professionals play an important role in the court system, and if they lie on accusations and evidence, the innocent become victims of the dishonesty.
However, with the “due process an individual is allowed their day in court if suspected of a crime because of United States constitution. Therefore giving that individual a right to a fair trial with an option for a jury of his or hers peers. It is the responsibility of the courts system to provide strong evidence on an individual accused of committing a crime beyond reasonable doubt. Strong evidence is important to avoid sending an individual to prison if they are innocent (Siegel, J. L.,
It is important to the criminal justice system because a client should always have adequate representation. The issues that surround attorney-client privilege also make it very important to the court system. Some of the issues that exist because of the complexity of privilege are mainly questions such as in what instances should an attorney break that privilege, what if a client admits guilt of a crime, what about a client that conveys their intent to commit a crime. Admitting guilt of a crime that has already occurred is considered privileged information, however, a client that conveys their intent to commit a crime is not covered under the attorney-client privilege. It is an attorney’s obligation, in fact, to break that attorney-client privilege in order to prevent future harm (Meyer & Grant, 2003).
2003. p. 114). The prosecutor’s main roles are to establishing that those guilty are prosecuted, and to determine which cases are weak and weed them out. Meyer & Grant (2003) state that, “ the tasks that prosecutors perform fall into three broad categories: planning and supervising the investigation phase of criminal and civil cases, case preparations, and responding to the issues related to appeals. The defense attorney’s role is to protect an individuals right when he or she has been accused of committing a crime, and to ensure that the individual is not prosecuted unjustly or falsely tried. A prosecutor presents evidence to prove that the defendant is guilty of the crime and the defense attorney tries to prove that the defendant is not guilty.
Due process protections under the Constitution force the state to fulfill its burden of proving its case against the accused. I personally prefer the due process model rather than the crime control model, The crime control model assumes guilt by fact. The person is guilty unless proven innocent. This is one of the downfalls of the Crime Control Model. The concern with this model is a quick and speedy conviction despite the innocence of the alleged criminal.
Two Models of the Criminal Process The two models of the criminal process; due process and crime control serve as the foundation of order and liberty as it relates to the practice of criminal justice and criminal law. These models struggle against each other to represent their own value system as it applies to ideologies in criminal justice procedures. Although there seems to be a difference between these two principles of criminal law, each one has positive qualities. The due process and crime control models contain prepared subject matter of values primary to the constitutional order of how criminal law is practiced (Packer, 1968). “The machinery of criminal justice—police, prosecution, courts, and corrections—is the formal means by which order is maintained in our society” (Zalman, 2008, p. 4).
The person who allegedly committed the crime has just as many rights as the victim, and their rights start the moment the arrest is made. The Due Process is a process designed to “guarantee all legal proceedings will be fair and that one will be given notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard before the government acts to take away one's life, liberty, or property” (Due Process of Law. (n.d.)). People who are in jeopardy of becoming incarcerated for either a short of long period of time are entitled to legal protections such as: a right to an attorney and a trial by a jury of peers. It is services like this that help provide due process of law.
Prosecutorial Discretion Prosecutors play very important roles in the courtroom. Prosecutors are granted the right by the courts to have discretion upon a case. Although, prosecutors are obligated to execute the law at both federal and state levels, they still hold the discretion of what charges to try and convict the defendant on. Prosecutors have a wide range of authority in the courts; therefore, the active prosecutor(s) must efficiently analyze any evidence being presented in a case in order to determine if the case will be strong enough to withhold a trial or even if the accused defendant is chargeable. In the case of Bordenkircher v. Hayes (1978), the court stated, “so long as the prosecutor has probable cause to believe that the accused committed an offense defined by statute, the decision whether or not to prosecute, and what charge to file or bring before a grand jury, generally rests entirely in his discretion.” Although there are many factors that come into play when a prosecutor is considering dismissing a case, the most prominent issues are state and federal resources, time, and investigative teams.
Also people that are in corrections are there to maintain justice. These three components of the criminal justice system work together to create punishment for individuals that are proven guilty and help to stop them from committing other crimes, all while maintaining fairness, and keeping the rest of society safe. The basic rights of citizens are affected by criminal law by preventing citizens from doing any and everything they want to do. As citizens of the United States, we already have basic rights that we are awarded with by being born an American citizen. Basic rights are protected by criminal law.