Are Laws and Criminal Justice Policies Fair To All Americans?

AreLaws and Criminal Justice Policies Fair To All Americans?

AreLaws and Criminal Justice Policies Fair To All Americans?

Thecriminal justice policies and laws are meant to uphold socialcontrol, prevent crime, and punish offenders through penalties andrehabilitation efforts (Cole, Smith &amp DeJong, 2015). The systemrooted in the theory that victims should be compensated and culpritsare given the appropriate punishment to prevent reoffending and deterother criminals. According to Jones (2012), criminal justice isdesigned to protect the innocent without paying much attention toconvictions. However, the laws and policies are not fair to allAmericans because their implementation is based on geography, race,and social status.

People require the rules to be executed equally otherwise, itresults in injustices (Cole, Smith &amp DeJong, 2015). Thedifferences observed when implementing the regulations undermine theintegrity of the entire justice system. Although there similarfederal laws and criminal justice policies, the location of the crimehas a significant role in determining the type of punishment. Thenagain, prosecutors have broad discretion to determine the nature ofpenalty accorded to a convict (Cole, Smith &amp DeJong, 2015).Therefore, it leaves room for prejudice despite the system’s bestintentions. For example, some high-profile murder cases in thecountry do not always result in harsh punishment if the culprit canafford good lawyers to negotiate suitable deals. On the other hand,poor offenders are subjected to severe penalties for crimes such asrobberies and drug-related offenses (Cole, Smith &amp DeJong, 2015).

Additionally,the criminal justice policies are implemented with prejudice againstsome ethnic groups (Cole, Smith &amp DeJong, 2015). For example,most African-American convicts are aggressively punished as comparedto other races, particularly due to war on drugs. Besides,African-American and Latino offenders have a higher chance of beingdetained while awaiting trial as compared to their whitecounterparts. Research also shows that African-Americans receiveharsher punishments as compared to the whites convicted of similarcrimes (Cole, Smith &amp DeJong, 2015).

Thecriminal justice system is based on the notion that no individualshall be sentenced for a crime they did not commit (Cole, Smith &ampDeJong, 2015). However, there has been an increase in wrongfulconvictions in the past two decades, which has subjected somedefendant to punishments they do not deserve (Jones, 2012). Forinstance, statistics show that the rate of wrongful convictions inrape-murder cases is at five percent due to eyewitnessmisidentification, flawed forensic evidence, incompetentrepresentation in courts, and false confessions. Therefore, it deniesthe people their fundamental right to a fair process (Jones, 2012).

Besides,some of the federal laws are vague, which permits different forms ofinterpretations thus, promotes partiality. Therefore, the UnitedStates correctional system is filled with petty criminals whoseincarceration does not have much impact on the safety of the society(Cole, Smith &amp DeJong, 2015). For instance, incarcerating alow-level drug dealer creates an opportunity for another person tofill that vacancy. Therefore, the laws and policies are not deterringcrime, but rather locking up people without offering a permanentsolution to deal with the pertinent issues in the society (Jones,2012).

Inconclusion, the criminal justice policies have paved the way forunfairness as some people are treated as though they are better thanothers. The issues of race, geography, and poverty continue todetermine how the laws and policies are applied in the United States.Therefore, the rate of incarceration is inconsistent across allsegments in the country. In some cases, innocent people have beenwrongfully convicted while others are subjected to unfairly harshpunishments. Although the criminal justice policies have tried tomaintain an impartial system, it does not guarantee that only thecriminals shall suffer. Hence, a radical approach to theseregulations is necessary to promote fairness by tackling real causesof prejudice in the criminal justice system.

References

Cole,G. F., Smith, C. E., &amp DeJong, C. (2015). Criminaljustice in America(8th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Jones,J. A. (2012). Wrongful conviction in the America judicial process:History, scope, and analysis. InquiriesJournal, 4(8),1-3.