The purpose of this paper is to highlight the different aspect of the Criminal Justice after visiting the criminal justice office(s). The visit is done during the last week of September 2010 and the visiting point was the United States District First Court of Appeal, the court located at 301 S. ML King Blvd. Tallahassee, Florida.
In this paper the findings will be discussed that what factors (selected) are involved that affect the process of administration of justice. It will be tried the best to explain the observations and views with comparison and contrast. However, the points will be discussed in narrative format to grab the information precisely.
The Criminal Court Visit and the Observations
First, have some information about the Criminal Justice. The Criminal Justice is the system or group of system and institutions that have the prime responsibility to mitigate the crime or crime rate and to take necessary actions to cope with the situations that is critical and sensitive in nature to maintain the peaceful environment of the society. It is ideal profession for those who has investigative mind. The President's Commission defined the criminal justice system as the means for society to "enforce the standards of conduct necessary to protect individuals and the community”. (The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society, 1967)
The Criminal Justice system has three main parts: Police, Courts and Jails also known as Corrections but all these parts have one main goal that is to maintain the rule of law within the society by operating with coordination under one umbrella that is Law.
Police is the front face of the criminal justice system that has the prime responsibility to maintain the peace and control the law and order situation as per their jurisdictions according to the predefined law. Police are also responsible to decrease the Crime rate in the society. In USA the police department was founded in 1908. Police itself has multidimensional activities to guarantee the peace, calm and trust throughout the society.
Courts are the place where disputes are settled down and finalized after thorough debates and analyses according to the law. There are number of professionals in any court who perform their responsibilities as per their role like judge, prosecutor and attorney usually belong to defense. The one most important personality in that court sitting is the judge that has a special authority to settle the dispute.
Corrections or punishment
Corrections or punishment is the outcome for the final decision of the court against the crime. The main purpose to keep the person in jail or prison is separate him from the society to prevent any further sensitive or law and order situation. There are also other different forms of punishment and corrections like to impose financial penalties, probation and house arrest. The house arrest sanction is the type of punishment that limits the person’s mobility to prevent others and society from his or her negative activities.
Reflections with compare and contrast after Visiting
Visiting the Criminal court, enable us to enhance our knowledge about the proceeding that is the part and parcel of administration of the justice. In that connection, the book “criminal justice today” by Frank Schmallegar provided the necessary information. The observation was based on the ongoing court trial on the violent attacks on two blameless citizens. (The identities will not be shown, because of personal reason/request).
According to the case the victims Mr. A and Mr. O were driving on the way, during the driving there Car rammed from the back. When they got out checking that issue and cause of rammed, suddenly they were harmed by the gang that comprises with four people who had iron rods in their hands. The accused person got into his car and dragged the Mr. A along the road for a distance of 40 to 50 yards.
However, the victim rushed to the near hospital but he died because of numerous rib fractures, the liver’s trauma and haemorrhaging, followed by a number of heart attacks.
After and during the hearing of this tragic and inhuman story there was a pin-drop silence inside the court.
The lawyer of the accused tried to defend by saying that the above mentioned story about crime scene was far from reality but the judge refused it when the criminal history is cited by the victim’s lawyer that the accused criminal already has the record of murder trial that was started in six month before, he also referred the criminal’s girlfriend who declared herself as a hostile witness.
The victim’s lawyer also presented the Toxicological reports that have the clear evidences of identical sweat, fiber and finger prints matches.
When these evidences presented, the criminal’s lawyer had no way but to accept and keep silence, after examining the report and evidences the Judge started to express his remarks by saying that “Quite Shocking”. He further said that Mr. A and Mr. O was the respective and law-abiding citizens and has no any criminal records, who were rammed and assaulted by the accused person and his gang in a highly violent and inhuman manner.
Judge further said that the criminal also has a record of previous hearing but he didn’t learn any lesson from them. Judge further added that this action is reprehensible morally and this crime is very high in the ranking of manslaughter. Finally, the judge sentenced the 10 years among the final year suspended for the manslaughter.
This court visit and the proceeding of above mentioned case opened many dimension in front of me. This visit enriched my experience about the criminal court and its proceeding about the particular case, the way that both parties argued and raised the concerns and the deep thinking ability of the judge who gave final judgment.
Furthermore, there are plenty of issues that need to be addressed but another important point that is noticed generally about the Proceeding, is the media coverage. The main concern that is raised by the court officials is about the live camera coverage, according to them the camera coverage create a tension to make a reasonable judgment because during the whole process the officials feel confused to express their views thoroughly because of the mass reactions. The official concerned that the mass reaction is not the main issue but to satisfy them on each and every legal issues because of the ignorance of law and proceeding of the justice. They claimed that this camera coverage and its related issue converted the courtroom and its proceeding into “media circus.
But the counter argument that is in favor of camera coverage is that, these camera coverage is the catalyst to make the whole proceeding crystal clear as per law and the assurance that the all proceeding that affect the administration of justice is bias less. This live camera coverage is the antidote for those elements who affect directly or in directly to the whole processing and are the main cause(s) of dissatisfaction about any particular aspect or whole of the proceedings
However, the positive point is that some professionals are in favor to do these activities during the proceeding, as per their viewpoint the live coverage via electronic media and devices make the proceeding of the administration of justice more trustable, accessible and transparent among the masses.