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Essay Regarding The Public's Misperception Of The Criminal Court System And Due Process Of The Law

1916 words - 8 pages

Public (Mis) perceptions of Criminal Procedure and the CourtsIntroductionThe portrayal and perception of criminal procedures and the courts have the public concerned of how safe they really are from deviants of the law and if the guilty parties are being punished accordingly. It is public opinion that there are many abuses in criminal procedure. This would include everything from traffic stops to search and seizures. The community also views the court system through warbled glasses. The prosecutors are always seen making deals with defendants and judges are viewed as being too lenient. Because there is little faith in the fairness of police procedures and court outcomes the public turns to the media to get the real "truth". The general majority believe that crime is on a constant rise, although statistics show offenses are at their lowest since the early 1990s. Criminologists blame news coverage for the unwarranted increase of the public's awareness of crime versus actual crime. Politicians exploit the sensationalized crime as a way to relate to the public's perception that the increased crime needs special attention, so they manipulate the reports by the media. Although the television has been harmful in its' distortion of reality, it is useful in keeping people informed on criminal information and warnings when there is a real concern.Criminal ProceduresCriminal procedure is generally based on the idea of obtaining balance in the system. Criminal procedure is composed of the rules governing the series of proceedings through which the substantive criminal law is enforced. (Law about Criminal Procedures) The public perceives that there are not enough rules regulating police and that police have too much discretion in obtaining information and evidence in charging and individual with a crime. Unfortunately, when you make it easier to prove guilt, then it becomes harder to establish innocence. (Overview of Criminal Procedure) The public may perceive that the ends justify the means and that the criminal procedure as it is written today may violate or deprive an individual of the constitutional rights. An example of one court case; U.S. vs. Dunnock, 295 f.3d 431 (4th Cir. 2002) Defendant, "by virtue of the fact he was standing outside his home in the presence of police as they were about to execute a valid search warrant, had all the benefits of the protections afforded by the knock and announce. There are basic guidelines governing criminal procedures, such as; reasonable suspicion is used in stopping or frisking an individual, and probable cause is used to arrest, sear, or detain a suspect. Criminal procedure must balance the defendant's right and the state's interest in a speedy and efficient trial with the desire for justiceCourt ProceduresThe public perception of the courts is either the jurors are not fully informed as to the ramifications or what their specific duties are pertaining to the case at hand. Many time juries will not be informed...

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