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Victim's Rights: Why Do Laws Protect The Criminal More Than The Victim?

2640 words - 11 pages

The criminal laws of the United States are more intent on protecting the rights of criminals than penalizing them. Today’s inmates live better off than most American citizens who are often working two jobs just to meet paying their taxes. A criminal can literally get away with murder because of a technicality, police can barely interrogate suspects without the suspects’ lawyers stating some legal issues that prevent further investigations. It almost seems that the very people who do not respect the law are above it.

A criminal is obviously an individual who commits a crime, but what is crime? A crime is any act or omission of an act in violation of a public law. Though most laws are common throughout America, some laws are also established by local and state governments as well. Criminal laws and penalties vary from state to state. Crimes include both felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are serious crimes like murder or rape and are punishable by imprisonment for a year or more. The consequence for felonies such as murder and treason can be the death penalty. Misdemeanors are less serious crimes like petty theft or speeding and are punishable by less than a year in prison. Fines are also punishments of both misdemeanors and felonies. The fine’s amount is determined by the seriousness of the case. However, no act is a crime unless it has been stated as such by an American law or statute.

Why do criminals have rights in the first place? The laws of the United States were created to protect the rights of all individuals, even the ones that break the laws. Many of these laws are made in order to uphold the rights established in the Bill of Rights. When the United States was still developing, many states refused to sign the American Constitution. Many of the states were fearful that if a powerful centralized government was accepted, they would be returning to the ways of a monarchy and lose their freedom. In order to persuade these states into ratifying the Constitution, the writers included the Bill of Rights, ten amendments that stated and would protect the rights of the American people. These laws are also created to prevent police officers from planting evidence on suspects and from bursting into homes whenever they feel like it. The law also prevents an officer from firing upon a suspect who has stolen a candy bar from a local gas station. Even the ones who enforce the law must be restricted. Without restrictions, the law enforcement of the United States would eventually become no different from the storm troopers of Nazi Germany. Due to the American policy of “innocent until proven guilty,” not all suspects are criminals. It is not always easy to determine who the lawbreakers are. As much as these laws are needed to keep officers in line, how far should the law go to protect the rights of criminals? Under the current law in the United States, it is possible for a law-abiding citizen, only acting in defense, to be...

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