Evaluating How the Criminal Justice System Works

Published / by Stephenson

The criminal justice system is basically made up of 3 major institutions that process each case from inception to trial and punishment. Cases are set in motion when law enforcement officers investigate a criminal offence and gather evidence that can be used to pin down the presumed perpetrator. Thereafter, the case is forwarded to the court system, which analyzes the evidence presented before it to establish whether the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

If the defendant is found to be guilty of the alleged crime, a jail term will be prescribed depending on the seriousness of the crime that he/she committed. The corrections system uses several means to punish offenders including probation and incarceration. The correction system similarly aims at rehabilitating those who go through it.

At each stage of the criminal justice process, there are various constitutional protections that have been implemented to guarantee to protection of the rights of the convicted and accused persons. These protections are important since they make it possible for the criminal justice system to carry out investigations and prosecute the accused persons while upholding their fundamental human rights.

1. Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System

The police are an important pillar of the criminal justice system. The constitution protects those who are accused from police abuse and brutality. The Miranda advisement for instance, prohibits law enforcement officers from carrying out unreasonable arrests and searches. In as much as arrested people are aware of pertinent issues such as the right to remain silent, it is the duty of the arresting officers to remind them about these rights before questioning them.

the criminal justice system hard at work

On unreasonable searches and arrests, the Miranda advisement prevents law enforcement officers from arresting a suspect or searching his/her home without a valid warrant. Nonetheless, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, a suspect can be arrested without a warrant in the event that there is a hot pursuit, or the alteration of evidence.

3. The Court System and Bail

Just like it is the case with arresting a suspect, dozens of restrictions pertaining the trial of cases also exist. This includes the right to confront the defendant’s accusers, right to counsel, right against implicating one’s self, and the right to trial by a jury. The role of these safeguards is to ensure that the accused have a fair trial. Besides this, the defendants have the right to choose an attorney of their choice without being restricted by the court.

Before going to trial, the accused may have the chance to post bail. This is what is used to help people get out of jail before any pending trial or sentencing. In the US Constitution, the 8th Amendment explicitly details that bail bonds should not be excessively expensive. There are a few reasons for this, including negating the government’s ability to collect money from a defendant, nor should bail be used to punish a person suspected of committing a crime.

3. Corrections

The role of jails is to punish and rehabilitate criminals. However, this must be done in a human way since they are also protected by fundamental human rights. More often than less, jail terms or probation is used. Offenders who are sentenced to probation are typically those who have committed minor misdemeanors. However, more serious felonies are likely to attract jail terms.

Hope you enjoyed this! If you have any thoughts or comments please let me know.

Should Prostitution Be Legal

Published / by Stephenson

I have had this conversation with multiple people recently, and it created very interesting and heated debates. I have multiple feelings about this particular topic. However, to answer the overall question of this article, no, I do not think that prostitution should be legal.

When you look at it from a personal rights perspective, I can see why one would think that prostitution should be legal. If two consenting adults want to engage in the act of prostitution, why is that anyone’s business? I can definitely see the logic behind that point. That being said, it’s not the act of prostitution that is the issue, it is the results.

My issue with prostitution is the mental and physical side effects that it leaves. First of all, a lot of women who engage in prostitution started doing so before they were even legal adults. They were minors trying to make a living for themselves. It is illegal for grown men to have and solicit sex from minors. The mental and emotional side-effects can be daunting. A lot of them tend to grow up with a distorted view of the world and continue thinking that this is the best way for them to make money when times get rough. I am not judging anyone, I am just saying that allowing prostitution opens the doors for a lot of minors, a lot of runaways included, to enter that world at too young of an age.

legalize prostitution banner

There is also the issue of diseases. This leads to the physical detriments of prostitution. Sexually transmitted diseases are an unfortunate consequence for many prostitutes. So many of their clients treat them like objects and disregard their health. And, sadly, a lot of prostitutes seem to disregard their own health. Prostitution does not promote safe sex. A lot of these women and men do not use protection and knowingly sleep with someone fully aware that they are carrying an STD. All of these STD’s are being passed around to innocent spouses, girlfriends and boyfriends, to other prostitutes and clients, etc.

I read an article that stated that aids could be decreased by half if prostitution were legal. Apparently, a lot of prostitutes do not practice safe sex because they are in a rush to avoid trouble with the law, and they do not want condoms to be used as evidence. The article also stated that prostitutes are reluctant to go to health clinics, because they do not get the proper care that they need due to the stigmatism of their nature of work. This article really opened my eyes to a different perspective. If decrease is true, I could why a lot of people support the idea of legalizing prostitution. That being said, I still feel as though prostitution should illegal. I believe that it will still cause the spread of STD’s, and I still think it is mentally and physically damaging.

At the end of the day, our bodies are our personal property, and it is our choice to decide what we do with them. However, if we see someone doing something damaging to their bodies (mind and body alike), I think it is our mission as people to help and to do something about it. A lot of the time, we are so blinded by our own needs and desires, that we need another perspective on our actions. It may be our bodies, but that doesn’t mean that we know everything that is right for them. What do you all think? Should prostitution be legalized? Leave a comment down below and share your thoughts.

5 Reasons to Hire a Divorce Attorney

Published / by Stephenson

Divorce is messy, complicated, and expensive. If you or your soon-to-be ex-spouse have financial assets or children, your divorce may involve a legal and financial battle that can last for years. Most people find the process to be extremely confusing, emotional, and overwhelming, but an experienced divorce lawyer can help you make it out alive. Here are the top five reasons to hire a divorce attorney:

1. You don’t know how to complete the paperwork.
Divorce involves more paperwork than you could possibly imagine. If you accidentally omit or misrepresent something on the paperwork, the repercussions will be severe. An experienced family law attorney knows how to handle the paperwork correctly and persuasively, thus potentially avoiding disaster.

2. You’re an emotional wreck.
Divorce can be like an emotional roller-coaster. An objective attorney can help you see clearly and use logic, rather than emotions, to drive your decision-making process.

3. Your finances are a mess.
Divorce usually involves a detailed financial accounting to identify the parties’ assets and financial needs. The accounting requires careful review of bank statements, credit card statements, stocks, retirement plans, deeds, mortgages, car loans, student loans, childcare expenses, household bills, and more. An attorney can help organize and review these documents so your head isn’t left spinning.

4. You don’t know your options.
A divorce lawyer can survey your situation and recommend the best options for you. For example, an experienced attorney can help you identify a fair settlement demand or reasonable counteroffer. An experienced lawyer can also advise you about your chances of prevailing in court.

5. You are unfamiliar with the law.
If you’re considering representing yourself, understand that the judge will not make exceptions for you. The judge is going to hold you to the same standard as a lawyer. Failure to follow the rules will test the judge’s patience and potentially damage your case. A divorce attorney, however, has the courtroom experience and expertise to handle your case appropriately and effectively.

In sum, having a divorce attorney can significantly increase your chances of success and reduce your stress. For most people, a divorce attorney is an absolute necessity. If you are on the verge of a divorce, you should definitely consider hiring an attorney.

How Do Arrests Work

Published / by Stephenson

An arrest occurs when a police officer apprehends a person suspected of committing a crime. The person under arrest is then taken into custody and they are no longer able to simply walk away. Usually, a person is arrested for being a suspect prior to being formally charged with that crime. Often, when a person is arrested they will also be formally charged. A person cannot go to court and be convicted of a crime without first being arrested and charged with it. Remember, police officers must follow set out rules when arresting a person.

When a person is being apprehended police will search that person. This is done to ensure that they are not carrying a weapon or do not have anything else on their person, like drugs or stolen items. Police may also search the property or car of the person being detained.

A person under arrest still maintains the right to not speak and to have access to an attorney at all times. Police officers must read a person their rights and grant them access to a lawyer.

guy in handcuffs

Once at the station, the police officers will officially take information like the suspects full name and date of birth. This is called being booked and the details of the person being arrested are then formally recorded. The arrested person will also have their fingerprints recorded and their photograph taken.

Then, the suspect may be formally charged with the crime they allegedly committed. The prosecutor must then decide if the apprehended person will be formally charged with committing a crime or not.

If the charges are successfully filed, then that person will need to appear in court. The charges against the alleged criminal will be read out to the courtroom and they have to state if they plead guilty or not guilty.

Depending on the nature of the crime, the person charged may be able to apply for bail. This means that person would pay a set amount of money to the court to get out of jail and ensure that they will go to all mandatory court dates. If bail is refused, that person will stay in police custody until the trial concludes!

Here is another neat article on arrests and how they work. I also wanted to share this video about arrests and excessive force.