Law Enforcement Systems

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Criminal Justice is defined as the system of law enforcement, involving police, lawyers, courts and corrections, used for all stages of criminal proceedings and punishment. Criminal justice professionals are both consumers and producers of research. The consumers of all research findings, such as police officers, are better at understanding how research is being conducted within their department. The producers of research, such as probation officers, try different methods in order to communicate with criminals better to decrease the likely hood of being locked up.

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Throughout the semester of the course, I have learned a lot, but the remainder of my paper will be about how research is conducted in the criminal justice system and how court systems are conducted.

We live in a world with two different realities; Experiential reality and Agreement reality. Experiential reality is the things we know from direct experience versus agreement reality which is the things we consider real because we’ve been told that they are and everyone else seems to agree they are real. Science plays a role in the criminal justice system because it offers and approach to both realities. Science offers a special approach to the discovery of reality through personal experience. Scientists have a certain stage that should always be met first before determining on the reality not personally experienced.

Personal human inquiry attracts personal experience and makes room for secondhand authority. Causal and problematic issues arise when humans try to predict how things are going to be long term. Circumstances begin to form a pattern and people tend to get comfortable in certain conditions. Also, patterns of cause and effect can as well be an issue. The effect may occur the same way but have a different cause. Human inquiry can cause many things to be misconstrued. Humans should focus more on how the world is through direct experience. There are two important sources of agreement reality and that is tradition and authority. Tradition and authority differ because tradition is more cultural versus authority is the gaining of new knowledge every day. Tradition is very family oriented where everyone does the same thing a certain way. Authority is more accepting toward new knowledge and is more open to discoveries.

Personal human inquiry has many flaws as well. Every day it reveals many biases of their own casual inquires. Inaccurate observation is the very first one that comes to mind. Observing things right in front of us should be so easy because it is simply right there but the mistake is so reoccurring. Simple and complex measurements help a great deal during inaccurate observations. Overgeneralizing is a big one too. Assumptions are the biggest downfall when overgeneralizing. When the researcher gets so used to a certain pattern that’s when this flaw is in act. Also, when forced to focus and grasp a certain point in research pressure begins to form and the tendency to overgeneralize erupts. Selective observation is also an issue because it causes racial problems. When only choosing a participant for racial or ethnic reasons that is unconstitutional. Illogical reasoning is a problem because it gets judgmental. Pretty much the errors in personal human inquiry stem from getting used to patterns and not actually looking at what is presented in front of the researcher. Finally, ideology and politics. Many humans already feel so strongly about an idea that they are not open to other different parts of the idea. Ongoing patterns are already made up and these ideas continue to flourish even if wrong. Political views are pretty much already set in stone when you become an adult undermining objectivity.

Criminal Justice has many different parts. Now I will introduce how court systems are operated throughout the criminal justice system. Within the semester we’ve covered the bases of trials and juries and what are their primary functions within society and the law. But before I can discuss their functions, I have defined what they are, starting with trails. In law, a trial is a coming together of parties (plaintiff and defendant) to a dispute, to present information (in the form of evidence) in a tribunal, a formal setting with the authority to adjudicate claims or disputes. Now, the first question that arise is what is a tribunal? In a short, brief explanation, a tribunal is a court of justice. One form of tribunal is a court. The tribunal, which may occur before a judge, jury, or other designated trier of fact, aims to achieve a resolution to their dispute. Now when you’re putting trails into categories, there are two main types: trials divided by finder of fact and trials divided by types of disputes. A trier of fact, or finder of fact, is a person, or group of persons, who determines facts in a legal proceeding, usually a trial. Examples of this are jury trials and bench trial. On the other hand, you have trails divided by types of disputes and by the hint in the name, you need a dispute for these types of trials. Examples of these types of trials include criminal trials, civil trials, administrative hearing and trials, and labor trials. A criminal trial is designed to resolve accusations brought (usually by a government) against a person accused of a crime. In common law systems, most criminal defendants are entitled to a trial held before a jury. Because the state is attempting to use its power to deprive the accused of life, liberty, or property, the rights of the accused afforded to criminal defendants are typically broad. A civil trial is generally held to settle lawsuits or civil claims of non-criminal disputes. Although administrative hearings are not ordinarily considered trials, they retain many elements found in more “”formal”” trial settings where the hearings are governed by administrative law and auxiliary by the civil trial law.

A jury is a sworn body of people convened to render an impartial verdict (a finding of fact on a question) officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a penalty or judgment. Modern juries tend to be found in courts to ascertain the guilt, or lack thereof, in a crime. They also decided if a defendant is guilty or not guilty. Now naturally, there is to assume that there are different types of juries, which they are. The three main types of juries include: Petit jury, Grand jury, and Coroner’s jury. A Petit jury hears the evidence in a trial as presented by both the plaintiff (petitioner) and the defendant (respondent). After hearing the evidence and often jury instructions from the judge, the group retires for deliberation, to consider a verdict. The majority required for a verdict varies. Next, is a Grand jury. A Grand jury a type of jury now confined almost exclusively to federal courts and some state jurisdictions in the United States, determines whether there is enough evidence for a criminal trial to go forward. Grand juries carry out this duty by examining evidence presented to them by a prosecutor and issuing indictments, or by investigating alleged crimes and issuing presentments. A grand jury is traditionally larger than and distinguishable from the petit jury used during a trial, usually with 12 jurors. Last, you have Coroner’s jury. A Coroner’s jury can be convened in some common law jurisdiction in connection with an inquest by a coroner. A coroner is a public official (often an elected local government official in the United States), who is charged with determining the circumstances leading to a death in ambiguous or suspicious cases. A coroner’s jury is generally a body that a coroner can convene on an optional basis in order to increase public confidence in the coroner’s finding where there might otherwise be a controversy.

A juvenile court (or young offender’s court) is a tribunal (a court of justice) having special authority to pass judgements for crimes that are committed by children or adolescents who have not attained the age of majority. In most modern legal systems, children or teens who commit a crime are treated differently from legal adults that have committed the same offense. The normal age of these defendants is under 18, but the age of majority changes based on the state or nation. Juvenile court does not have jurisdiction in cases in which minors are charged as adults. The procedure in juvenile court is not always adversarial, although the minor is entitled to legal representation by a lawyer and parents or social workers/probation officers may be involved in the process to achieve positive results and save the minor from involvement in future crimes. However, serious crimes and repeated offenses can result in sentencing juvenile offenders to prison, with transfer to a state prison upon reaching adulthood with limited maximum sentences, often until the age of 18, 21, 23 or 25. Where parental neglect or loss of control is a problem, the juvenile court may seek out foster homes for the juvenile, treating the child as a ward of the court. A juvenile court handles cases of both delinquency and dependency. Delinquency refers to crimes committed by minors, and dependency includes cases where a non-parental person is chosen to care for a minor.

When looking at juvenile justice as a whole two types of models tend to be used: restorative justice and criminal justice. Restorative justice is an approach to justice in which the response to a crime is to organize a mediation between the victim and the offender, and sometimes with representatives of a wider community as well. Criminal justice is the delivery of justice to those who have committed crimes. Within the United States, there are systematic shifts towards a more restorative model of justice especially surrounding juveniles. In the United States, there is no uniform national age from which a child is accountable in the juvenile court system, this varies between states. In 44 states, the maximum age for juvenile court jurisdiction is age seventeen. In five states (Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin), the maximum age for juvenile court jurisdiction is age sixteen. One state, North Carolina, has a maximum age for juvenile court jurisdiction of age fifteen.

This later leads to the definition of a Habeas Corpus Review. This is a recourse in law through which a person can report an unlawful detention or imprisonment to a court and request that the court order the custodian of the person, usually a prison official, to bring the prisoner to court, to determine whether the detention is lawful. Habeas corpus has certain limitations. Though a writ of right, it is not a writ of course. It is technically only a procedural remedy; it is a guarantee against any detention that is forbidden by law, but it does not necessarily protect other rights, such as the entitlement to a fair trial. Therefore, if an imposition such as internment without trial is permitted by the law, then habeas corpus may not be a useful remedy. The United States inherited habeas corpus from the English common law. Habeas corpus is also used as a legal avenue to challenge other types of custody such as pretrial detention or detention by the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement pursuant to a deportation proceeding.

Appellate are also very important in the criminal justice system. An appellate is concerned with or dealing with applications for decisions to be reversed, typically of a court. An example of this is an appellate court. An appellate court, more formally known as an appeals court, court of appeals (title given in the United States court system), or court of second instance/second instance court, is any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court. In most jurisdictions, the court system is divided into at least three levels: the trial court which initially hears cases and reviews evidence and testimony to determine the facts of the case, at least one intermediate appellate court, and a supreme court or known by its other title as the court of last resort, which primarily reviews the decisions of the intermediate appellate courts. A jurisdiction’s supreme court is that jurisdiction’s highest appellate court. In the United States, both state and federal appellate courts are usually restricted to examining whether the lower court made the correct legal determinations rather than hearing direct evidence and determining what the facts of the case were because the appellate isn’t about hearing the case all over again, they must instead come up with a new verdict based off of new evidence found in the case. Any evidence or testimony used in the trial courts cannot be presented in the appellate courts. Once the appellate court has made their decision on a case, that decision is usually final as they are the second level court to hear the case.

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Law Enforcement Systems. (2020, Feb 25). Retrieved from