For instance, a vehicle fails to stop at a red light and a police officer initiates a traffic stop. The professionalism of policing is due largely to the desire to His Essay on Crimes and Punishment further distinguished between his two types of proof: perfect proof and imperfect proof. To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on LawTeacher.net then please: Our academic writing and marking services can help you! is often delegated to professionals. Furthermore, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment provides that no state shall deny a person the equal protection of the law. This document is a research report submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice. Unfairness that may exist is rare and aberrant, not a systematic feature of the criminal justice system. They must decide guilt or innocence and issue sentencing based on judicial discretion or sentencing guidelines. that require prison sentences for certain offenses. The limits of discretion vary from State to State and locality to judgment within limits set by law. that is criminal and all that is not.2 Therefore, persons charged Sociologist Emile Durkheim explored the idea of a community as a functional whole that translates the quality of life for its members. Procedural law compromises the means by which substantive law is administered. This theory closely resembles today’s proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In recent news, the Arizona Senate Bill 1070, has made it possible for law enforcement to stop any suspected illegal immigrants and to demand the proper registration documents. In order to effectively process cases through the criminal justice system, discretion is an important tool for police, prosecutors, judges, and correctional officials. Instructor: Melanie Norwood Melanie has taught several criminal justice courses, holds an MS in Sociology concentrating in Criminal Justice & is completing her Ph.D. in Criminology, Law & Justice. Discretion is a key part in the criminal justice process. Discretion in Criminal Justice Systems. throughout the government. As with adults, law enforcement serves as the gatekeeper to the justice system. Furthermore, the individuals within an institution must have lawful authority to make the decisions and must operate under the constraints acceptable to others within the organization or profession. Police States, however, are free to abolish grand juries and may use preliminary hearings as a substitute. Once the case is forwarded to the prosecuting attorney, multifarious avenues of discretionary decisions are available to resolve a case. Following the decision to arrest, the case is forwarded to the prosecuting attorney for a filing decision. He found th… Free resources to assist you with your legal studies! employed at the local level. Police departments have their own styles thatreflect the organizational culture of the department. Discretion exists when courtroom actors (police officers, attorneys, judges) have the flexibility to choose an appropriate response to a situation. Prior to the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Bill of Rights Amendments were interpreted as restricting the authority of the national government. Focusing on police discretion to arrest and the prosecutor's discretion to charge, the author notes that justified discretion is that which ameliorates the harshness of the literal criminal law. Looking for a flexible role? systems from mental health to education, as well as criminal justice. Disparity in the Criminal Justice System. Beccaria’s ideas were developed during the Classical School; Lombroso’s theories were developed during the Positivist School of thought while Durkheim’s were developed through sociology idealisms. Administrative Law Reference this. Beccaria stated, “Punishment should fit the crime.” He believed theft should be punished with fines, personal injury with physical punishment, and serious crimes against the state with the death penalty. For instance, unclear laws, nuisance behavior, ambiguity in state statutes, moral standards, and outdated laws may cause an officer to have an alternate resolution to the problem. The provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment including the Due Process Clause will raise questions on Bill 1070’s affirmation. Durkheim’s values are promoted in today’s “getting tough on crimes” outcry. The fact that a person comes from a good family, is wealthy, or is a promising athlete does not diminish the seriousness of their offense and it certainly should not lessen the sentence. The victim, has the discretion to use self defense and to report the crime given the opportunity. the judges discretion in sentencing by passing mandatory sentencing laws Durkheim viewed the function of punishment as a “passionate reaction” to crime. An effective and workable criminal justice system relies on police discretion. Beccaria believed the punishment should be severe enough to outweigh the personal benefits derived from committing the crime. protection is primarily a function of cities and towns. The prosecutor’s job is to seek justice, not conviction. Studies in this literature generally hypothesize that discretion plays one of two roles: either it serves as the means by which changing broad social norms against crime causes changes in sentencing patterns, or it serves as the means by which internal social norms of the criminal justice system prevent the implementation of formal changes in laws. Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. First, there needs to be far greater clarity about what fairness means in the criminal justice system and a … Supreme Court Justice Black argued that the entire Bill of Rights is incorporated by the Fourteenth Amendment and therefore may be asserted by defendants in state and federal court. Beccaria, Lombroso, and Durkheim each contributed to the field of criminology. The Miranda case was decided under the Fifth Amendment which is applicable to the states under the Fourteenth Amendment. Basically, they must decide -. The five rights that have been applicable to the states by means of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment are: indictment by a grand jury for a capital or major crime, prohibition of double jeopardy, prohibition on self-incrimination, a person cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property, and prohibition on the taking of private property by the government without just compensation. Beccaria stated, “Laws are the conditions under which independent and isolated men unite to form a society.” He believed criminals should be punished based on the amount of injury they cause, not their criminal intent. 1 Discretion is exercised throughout the government. Prof Evander. The most widely cited studyon police departmental styles was conducted by James Q. Wilson (1968). Born from the Classical School of criminological though was Italian Cesare Beccaria who first published his Essay on Crimes and Punishment in 1764. Beccaria further distinguished between three types of crimes: those that threaten state security, those that injure citizens and property, and those that run contrary to the social order. 4.8 … Procedural law establishes the methods used to enforce legal rights and obligations in civil lawsuits, criminal, and administrative proceedings. Arizona v. Gant (2009) held that police may search a vehicle if it contains evidence of the offense of arrest. With the liberal movement, Beccaria’s theories may be sharply criticized by different groups that may consider certain criminal offenses to be less severe than another particular group’s opinion of the offense. He opposed the death penalty in most instances and condemned the torture of suspects. The punishment should closely follow the commission of a crime so the offender connects the punishment with the wrongfulness of the crime. Therefore full enforcement of laws is impossible, making discretion a fundamental necessity of the criminal justice process. This was in sharp contrast to New York v. Belton (1981) that allowed officers to search every vehicle incident to arrest. Criminal Justice Reform: Judge’s Discretion in Sentencing Is Far Broader Than What Most Think – and Reeks of Lack of Due Process! In misdemeanor cases, judges are often the intermediate between the prosecutor and state attorney. Officers must use discretion when deciding to enforce the law when certain situations arise. In “perfect proof” there was no possibility of innocence while some chance of innocence remained in imperfect proof. In fact discretion can be found in all stages of the criminal justice system. Some examples of the Center's work at the intersection of race and discretion in the criminal legal system includes: amicus submission in Singleton v. Cannizzaro, which challenged the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office practice of issuing fake subpoenas to crime victims and witnesses amicus submission in the Supreme Court case Edwards v. 2 Wayne R. LaFave, Arrest: The decision to take a suspect into Durkheim’s theory can be compared to today’s call for getting tough on crime. Copyright © 2003 - 2020 - LawTeacher is a trading name of All Answers Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales. There is a middle path. This is not an example of the work produced by our Law Essay Writing Service. ensure the proper exercise of police discretion. *You can also browse our support articles here >. As one of the five rights afforded by the Due Process Clause, the prohibition of the taking of property without just compensation has had profound affects on our nation’s infrastructure. Procedural law therefore drastically effects how substantive law is enforced. However, the punishment exercised on criminals cannot vary from the standards established by the United States. Beccaria believed the jury should be compromised of peers of the victim and of the accused. For example, procedural law incorporates the following questions: the conditions a person may be arrested, when the police can search, when does the accused have the chance to assert a defense, and how long before the accused is granted a trial. This report has not been published by the Department. These components of the judicial system do not have total discretion; they must act within the admittedly very broad boundaries of the principle of legality. The defendant will often plea to the highest charge and maximum sentence in exchange for full cooperation with providing law enforcement with criminal information. The five rights are derived from the Fifth Amendment and were therefore only applicable to the federal government. Prosecutors exercise unfettered discretion, deciding who to charge with a crime, what charges to file, when to drop the charges, whether or not to plea bargain, and how to allocate prosecutorial resources. But the answer is not to dismantle prosecutorial discretion – that would, to use the old expression, “throw out the baby with the bathwater.” The responsibility Criminal procedure, or procedural law, puts substantive criminal law in motion. Most justice personnel are I Department of Justice. or situations in accordance with an official's or an official agency's own The departmental style influences every aspect of police work in that jurisdiction, ranging from hiring and promotional decisions, everyday police-community interactions, and budget decisions and resource allocation to police strategies and identification of crime problems within the jurisdiction. Serving as an "interim report" on what does and does not work in the system, Taming the System concludes that not only has the effort to control discretion been a unifying theme in criminal justice history, but that there have actually been some successes, resulting … Concerning crime and justice, legislative bodies have recognized that For instance, possession of oxycodone is a felony in the State of Florida, yet a prosecutor may change the charge to possession of a prescription medication without a prescription, a misdemeanor. Although their theories are well over 100 years old, they can be compared and contrasted to current criminological thought. He believed the modern criminal was incapable of conforming to rules and expectations of society due to an undeveloped brain. Get Your Custom Essay on Discretion in the Criminal Justice System Just from $13,9/Page Get custom paper Although it is common throughout the criminal justice system, some authoritative figures don’t use discretion in a way to guide punishments; they stay in accordance with established guidelines. Substantive law dictates that a driver must come to a complete stop at a red light, while procedural law dictates that an officer has probable cause to now conduct a traffic stop. The Role of Discretion in the Criminal Justice System 257 discretion can enable judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and/or juries to implement sentencing policies in line with their own views, even if these policies conflict with formal law. Discretion is more formally defined as “the authority to make a decision between two or more choices” (Pollock, 2014, p. 2). You can view samples of our professional work here. Beccaria’s principles have been incorporated into the French penal code of 1791 and influences leaders such as Catherine the Great and Frederick the Great. Parole officers face similar discretionary decisions when recommending or denying incarcerated defendants early release or violating there conditional release agreements. The Miranda decision made the reading of “Miranda Rights” a part of routine police procedure to ensure suspects were informed of their rights. Correctional officers give recommendations to parole officers when a parole hearing arises. The role of discretion in the criminal justice system outlines what may form an aggravating or mitigating situation. For example, discretion should be used for a first time offender for speeding but should not be used for a first time offender of rape. The three examples cited above illustrate the disparity in the United States criminal justice system. Substantive law is written or statutory law that defines rights and obligations of those subject to the law. Discretion of this sort is frequently vilified as the with the day-to-day response to crime are expected to exercise their own Discretion exists when courtroom actors (police officers, attorneys, judges) have the flexibility to choose an appropriate response to a situation. Throughout the criminal process discretion is evident, from the police to the regulatory agencies right through to the Crown Prosecution Service. Points of view in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Vorenberg, "Some abstract notes on the issue of discretion. anticipate local mores, and enact laws that clearly encompass all conduct “The essence of monocracy, the rule of law, is limitation of the discretion of officials, and providing a process by which errors or abuse of discretion can be corrected.” (www.constitution.org). sentence they may impose. Discretion is exercised throughout all levels of policing. Beccaria’s ideas were developed during the Classical School; Lombroso’s theories were developed during the Positivist School of thought while Durkheim’s were developed through sociology idealisms. He firmly believed criminals control their own behavior and that punishment is necessary as a deterrent. 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