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Jurisdictional Issues Within The Criminal Justice System

1964 words - 8 pages

Within the United States’ Criminal Justice System, problems pertaining to jurisdiction issues are quite common due several reasons. The United States v. Thomas J. L Smiley case and the United States v. Jared Lee Loughner case both had jurisdiction issues. Smiley and several other men obtained permission through a license from Mexico to search for treasure on an expedition; the treasure belonged to the steamer Golden Gate, which belonged to the Pacific Mail Steamship Company located within the United States. Ultimately, federal charges were brought upon him from the United States for violating a statue regarding plundering a sunken and/or abandoned ship. In contrast, Loughner had federal charges brought upon him by the United States due to his act a shooting, which resulted in the injuries and deaths of federal officials and employees. Furthermore, both cases involve jurisdiction issues involving the fairest of the trials and the location of the alleged crime; however, they both differ due to the circumstances and nature of the alleged crimes.
The defendant within the United States v. Jared Lee Lougher case was charged in federal court with the attempted assignation and attempted murder of federal employees, which came as a result of his shooting spree at the Safeway Supermarket, located in Tucson, Arizona. The shooting occurred on January 8th of 2011 and resulted in the deaths of six individuals and the injury of 13 individuals; the alleged target of the attack was said to be “[Representative] Gabrielle Giffords,” whom was among the injured (Audi, 2011). In addition, among the injured was “Federal Judge John Roll and Giffords aide Gabriel Zimmerman” (Audi, 2011). Furthermore, due to Judge John Roll being a federal judge, Loughner could potentially receive the death penalty as Roll was a federal official. Lougher did not speak during the reading of his charges, but on his behalf the court entered a plea of not guilty.
Jurisdiction issues emerged within the case due to the location of the shooting, the victims, and the effect on media within society. The shooting’s location, Tucson, Arizona, makes it very difficult for Loughner to receive a fair trial in the state of Arizona as Judge Roll was “the chief federal trial judge in Arizona and thus had a connection to every federal jurist in the state” (Koppel et al, 2011). This presents a huge problem for attorneys and legal team of Loughner, as they must ensure he receive a fair and unbiased trial which is one of his fundamental rights as an American citizen. Without receiving an unbiased judge, the fifth amendment of the Bill of Rights within the United States Constitution would be violated. The Fifth Amendment states the following:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall...

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