Running head: CRIMINAL JUSTICE 1Criminal justiceArmon M WilliamsAmerican Intercontinental University
CRIMINAL JUSTICE 2Abstract Criminal Justice ideally speaking is “Truth in action” within the process that we call theadministration of justice. Within this paper, I will be looking at the procedures in the Criminaljustice system. Before laying the foundations of this work, I will briefly dedicate a few lines onwhat the criminal justice system is all about. A criminal justice system is a set of legal and socialestablishments for carrying out the criminal law in agreement with a definite set of proceduralregulations and restrictions. In every country there is a need to shield, guard and protect peopleand their properties. The creation of laws is an indispensable form of protection and theestablishment of a system to apply and to enforce these laws, is imperative (schmalleger, 2012).In this work I will be looking at the procedures in the criminal justice system in the UnitedStates, and show the key components and there roles in the criminal justice system.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE 3 Criminal justice Criminal justice is one of the largest fields of work and studies. The criminal process ispart of the state’s response to crime, part of the mechanism which the state applies substantivecriminal law to its citizens. In order to keep a safe society, it is important to establish a nationwith good education to teach people judging right or wrong, excellent police force to keep ourstreet safe, and most of all, a good criminal justice system to carry out the justice. The criminaljustice system is what makes our society organized when it comes to crime. It includes differentforces of police, the people working in the courts and the people working in corrections who arethe ones who completes with the sentences appointed by the courts. The system is outlined tocatch criminals and make sure they are penalized for their crime. The police, who are also known as local law enforcements, have a big role. They are theones working in not only offices, but also in the streets investigating cases, ensuring safety in theneighborhoods, and are the ones making the arrests. The courts are next on the line. They are thepeople that come next in the criminal justice system with the pretrial activities. They also controlthe sentencing and the overall punishment of the criminal. Then we have corrections, this iswhere the criminal serves his punishment and is housed. It is supposed to be a state ofrehabilitation for the criminal. Criminal justice has two aims which are to control crime and to assure due process. Thereare three components to the criminal justice system, the police, courts and corrections. I’m goingto use an actual case to help me break down and show you the process of the criminal justicesystem, and its components. The case that I’m going to use is the O.J. Simpson murder case(officially called the People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson). This case
CRIMINAL JUSTICE 4was a court case in Los Angeles County, California Superior Court that went from the jury swornin on November 3, 1994 to opening statements on January 24, 1995 to a verdict being reached onOctober 4, 1995. This will help you understand from beginning to end of the criminal justiceprocess. The first step to the criminal justice phase is where a crime is being committed or hadbeen committed and investigated. In this phase the main personnel are police officers and orlocal law enforcement. At this stage they investigate or have probablecaused that a suspect hasbroken the law. For instant in (the People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson)case the first step into the criminal justice system was when Los Angeles County police foundthe bodies of O.J. Simpsons, ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldmanmurdered. This starts the investigation stage. In the investigation stage law enforcementindividuals gather facts and evidence to come up with a suspect (or criminal) and also to build acase against the accused person. Most of the time, the evidence has to prove without a reasonabledoubt that the accused person committed the crime at hand. Through, several key witnesses stating that they saw O.J. Simpson leaving the scene inhis Ford Bronco the night of the murder, plus DNA evidence, which gave law enforcementofficials probable cause to indict O.J Simpson for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole BrownSimpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. The evidence places O.J. Simpson at the murder at thearound bout time of the murder. This is where the district attorney also plays its part in the case.The district attorney office assists police or law enforcement individuals in criminalinvestigations, and prosecutes criminal charges for the commonwealth against those who areaccused of breaking the law. Upon receipt of a reported crime the district attorney reviews the
CRIMINAL JUSTICE 5facts and evidence and decides whether or not to approve charges, and this puts us in the nextphase of criminal justice which is the court phase. The court process can be a long ongoing process for some cases. In this process the keypersonnel are the defense counsel or defense attorney, which are people that work with criminaldefendants to offer them legal advice and counsel. Although most defense attorneys work inprivate practice, some are employed by government agencies as public defenders. It is a goodidea to retain counsel as soon as you think you are suspected of a crime you do not have to waitfor an arrest.Other personnel in the court phase is the judge. A judge is an official who conductscourt proceedings. Judges must be able to be fair and not choose sides on a case his main job isto hear the case out. When a case first comes to the court, the judge must decide whether there is enoughevidence against the person who is accused of the crime. If the defendant cannot afford to hire alawyer, the judge must give the accused person a lawyer. The judge also sets the bail. Once thedefendant has an attorney and his or her bail amount has been set, he or she enters a plea ofguilty or not guilty. (Walker, 1992). The role of a judge during a hearing depends on whether or not a jury is present. In mostserious criminal cases, a jury is present and thus it is the trier of fact, meaning that the jury looksat the evidence presented to the court and determines whether the accused personnel is innocentor guilty. The judge is the trier of the law, meaning he or she ensures that everything happeningin the courtroom follows the rules set down by the law. If the jury is not present in a court case,the judge becomes both the trier of fact and the trier of law. This mostly deals with civil cases.Judges also determine the amount of time a person spends in corrections and the amount of
CRIMINAL JUSTICE 6money an individual have to pay. To better but this in prospect we will continue with the O.J.Simpson case. After the police and the defense attorneys built a case on O.J. Simpson the case was thensent to Los Angeles County, California Superior Court. Simpson then hired a defense team.These personnel played the role as the defense counsel. Since it was a murder case the decisionrested on the jury. Simpson was arraigned and pleads not guilty to both murders. The judgeordered that Simpson be held without bail. The following day, a jury was called to decidewhether or not to indict him for the two murders. Two days later, the jury was dismissed because it was to much media coverage, whichmight influence the grand jury decision. After two of the main witness supposedly sold theirstories to tabloids, the case was change to a probable cause hearing. In this case now the hiringwas held to determine whether or not to bring Simpson for trial. This helpedSimpson lawyersbecause they would now have public access to the presentation of evidence as it is beingpresented by the prosecution in contrast to a closed- off grand jury hearing. After a week-longcourt hearing, the superior court judge ruled that there was sufficient evidence to bring Simpsonto trial for the murders. At this second court arraignment, when asked how he pled to themurders, Simpson, plead not guilty to the murders. “Following thehearing the case was moved toanother building due to damages to the recent court house and security concerns. Leading the murder investigation was aveteran LAPD detective. In 1995, the criminaltrial of O.J. Simpson was 134 days long. The prosecution wanted to give O.J. Simpson life inprison sentence. Now we are reaching the stage where the prosecutor and the defense counsel/attorneys argue their cases to the judge and the jurors. In this case the prosecutor argued that
CRIMINAL JUSTICE 7Simpson killed his ex-wife in a jealous rage. The prosecutor also played a recording of a call tothe police that Nicole brown Simpson had made. She told them that she was scared that O.J.Simpson was going to physically harm her. The prosecution also presented dozens of expertwitnesses, on subject ranging from DNA fingerprinting to blood and shoeprint analysis, to placeSimpson at the scene of the crime. Even though the prosecutor had what he thought was a good case against O.J. Simpson,the defense attorney arguments is what won over the jury. A verdict of not guilty was submitteddo to the jury saying that the prosecution did not totally prove their case; they also said it was alot of police errors that led to their verdict. Well as we can see in the O.J. Simpson case thecorrections part of criminal justice was not put into effect, to my belief because of errors in thecriminal justice system at the time. But if the verdict did go the other way in the prosecutors wasgranted the verdict for life in prison that’s where the corrections parts step in. The judge wouldmake the overall sentencing, and the criminal would be sent off to correction to be house forhowever long the sentencing is. Corrections for the most part act as a rehabilitation for criminals. It’s to get them away from their old habits and environment, to teach them new habitsand that the crime that committed was wrong. Correction facilities have many different programsfor criminals they house depending on the location. They have in house education program, inhouse work groups, recreation and etc. It’s to try to get the individual to adapt to a new outlookon things. Also it’s to equip the individual with better knowledge and to also show them theconsequences of their actions (Garland, 2002). In conclusion as we have seen with this case and many cases before and after this case,that everybody plays a key role in the criminal justice system. But it’s critical that everybodyknow there time and place when it comes to this process.A prosecutor should only come about
CRIMINAL JUSTICE 8when, a case is going to court for a hearing (post arrest). Any foul play that an individual canfind against the system they would use it. I believe that the prosecution should be in the first partof the investigation because they are supposed to be the legal party responsible for presenting thecase in a criminal trial against an individual accused of breaking the law. If everyone play therepart in this criminal justice system most mistakes like what happened in the O.J. Simpson trialwould not happen. Even though the criminal justice system is changing and become moreadvanced as time goes on it is still room for improvement.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE 9Works CitedFuller., J. R. (2005). Criminal Justice: Mainstream and Crosscurrents. new jersey: Prentice Hall.Garland, D. (2002). The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, 3rd edition. In R. Morgan, Of Crimes and Criminals (p. 20). Oxford: . Oxford University Press.lender, D. (2000). Orenthal James Simpson Trial. Kansas City : University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.schmalleger, f. (2012). Criminal Justice: a brief introduction. new jersey: prentice hall.Walker, S. (1992). "Origins of the Contemporary, Criminal Justice Paradigm:. Justice Quarterly , 9.