Criminal Procedure Essay

2256 words - 9 pages

Criminal Procedure Reaction Paper IFor any society to function there needs to be a standard of mores and laws that are understood by everyone. Not only must they be understood but they must also be observed and maintained. America does this by utilizing its criminal justice system which holds those who do not follow society's standards accountable for their actions. The criminal justice system in America is similar to the inner workings of a clock. There are many gears that go into the entire machine and they all rely on one another to operate correctly. Some of the working parts of the criminal justice system would be law enforcement, prosecutors, and the courts. Similar to any organization or system, there is a specific procedure that must be followed. The criminal justice system follows what is called criminal procedure.Joan Samaha, author, outlines how this system operates with its own inner checks and balances in his textbook titled Criminal Procedure: Seventh Edition. The first chapter begins with an introduction to why the government needs to find a balance between power and personal choice. I agree with the chapter because there is a fine line between community security and personal autonomy, the power of individuals to control their own lives. On one hand a community wants to feel safe but on the other those who live in the community would like to make their own decisions on how to live. A community that has law enforcement exterminating any individuals for breaking any laws would be a "safe and secure" community in regards to law and order. However, would those who live in the community really be living at all? Another important note the chapters makes is of the "Ends and Means" (Samaha, 7). The ends being the result, in this case justice for those who commit crimes and freeing the innocent. The means being how the results were achieved. No matter the end result, the means are the most important. There are strict guidelines on how to follow through with an arrest or investigation and if anything is done unjustly then the evidence will become victims of the exclusionary rule. If a law enforcement officer stopped a random individual without reason and suddenly searched him or her, any drugs, weapons, contraband, or basically evidence to arrest would be worthless because the search was unjust. The constitution is in place to protect the citizens of America and when law enforcement is using "bad" methods, it will be there to protect the people.Chapter two discusses the relationship between criminal procedure and the constitution. To begin, the constitution is the highest authority in all criminal cases and proceedings. Specifically mentioned in the text, the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th amendments in the Bill of Rights are in place to regulate criminal procedure in America. The Supreme Court can only control the enforcement of criminal procedure onto the state courts only if the state violates the Constitution. Hurtado v. California...

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