Honesty versus Justice and Due Process versus Crime Control Lisa Moore University of Phoenix Ethics in Justice and Security CJA 530 March 07, 2010 Roger Long JD Honesty versus Justice and Due Process versus Crime Control The criminal justice system is built on a foundation of honesty and justice. For justice to work, the justice system, and criminal justice professionals must be honest. The word honesty, describes an individual that doesn’t lie, cheat, steal, or abuse to get ahead for personal or professional gain.
The word justice describes the concepts of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality and fairness. How can there be justice if the guilty go free or if the innocent pay for crimes he or she never committed. “In order for this to occur, our legal system must be one that demands absolutely honesty, such as when someone is called to testify he or she is asked, Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? If false accusations and false evidence are presented against the innocent, they will be punished as if they are guilty” (RealPolice, 2000).
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The place of honesty in a system that promotes justice has sparked a controversial issue among the Criminal Justice world, that honesty could be put on the back-burner when pursuing justice. For example when officers present false evidence to prosecutor in order to have a case against the accused when they believe he or she will not be found guilty. A good example of deception by law enforcement occurred in 1993, when “Craig D. Harvey a New York State Police trooper was charged with fabricating evidence.
Harvey admitted he and another trooper lifted fingerprints from items the suspect, John Spencer, touched while in Troop C headquarters during booking. He attached the fingerprints to evidence cards and later claimed that he had pulled the fingerprints from the scene of the murder. The forged evidence was used during trial and John Spencer was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison” (New York Times, 1993. ) It is “important that the officials within the justice system be held to higher standards in moral and ethical behavior.
As the law enforcement arm of our legal system, Law enforcement officers take a front-line role in activating the laws our legislators create. If they arrest those they know are innocent, create fake evidence against the innocent, or otherwise undo the requirement of honest and honorable behavior, they undo the processes of the justice system from the very beginning, and therefore corrupt the whole process” (RealPolice, 2000). Honesty and justice are the entities that we depend on to distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil, legal and illegal.
We depend on justice to keep us safe from evil and allow us to live our lives in harmony and peace, without chaos. According to John Locke (1690), we, as citizens, give up sovereignty to a government or other authority in order to receive or maintain social order through the rule of law under the Social Contract Theory. Crime control and due process models are “two competing systems of values operating within criminal justice, the tension between the two accounts for the conflict and disharmony that now is observable in the criminal justice system” (Hoffman, p. 12, 2000).
Although they are both different systems both impact the way our judicial system is ran. “When comparing the due process and crime control models, it should be kept in mind that proponents of both models embrace constitutional values” (Hoffman, p. 11, 2000). The concept of Crime Control Model is to get the criminal off the street and to protect the innocent. “The Crime Control Model could perhaps be seen in a negative mannerism due to the fact that it assumes the alleged criminal is guilty even before they step foot into the court, this model supports those actions of the police and prosecutors to the fullest extent” (Zalman, p. 3, 2002). This “model moves the alleged criminal through the system with the forethought that everyone is guilty until proven otherwise, and also limits the amount of plea-bargaining and appeals. The main objective of the criminal justice process should be to discover the truth or to establish the guilt of the accused” (Hoffman, p. 11, 2000). The “Due Process Model resembles an obstacle course” (Zalman, p. 13, 2002). “This system is far more realistic in the fact that it leaves room for error. It does not automatically assume that the alleged criminal is guilty before the case is proven.
This system does not want to risk prosecuting an innocent person” (Zalman, p. 13, 2002) it “demands the prevention and elimination of mistakes to the extent possible. The Due Process Model is said to be “suspicious of those who are power hungry and merely looking to convict. The difference between the two models in this sense is that the Crime Control Model is based upon factual guilt and the Due Process Model is based upon legal guilt” (Zalman, p. 14, 2002). “Due Process is also based upon equal treatment of the defendant. The reason that this is believed is because it is felt that errors are the cause for an invalid conviction.
While the Crime Control Model strongly contradicts this view it can sometimes hinder a person’s rights within the system” (Zalamn, p. 14, 2002). In the case of Charles Manson, the crime control model, was swift and took the criminal off the streets. “Manson was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the Tate and LaBianca murders, carried out by members of the group at his instruction. He was convicted of the murders themselves through the joint-responsibility rule, which makes each member of a conspiracy guilty of crimes his fellow conspirators commit in furtherance of the conspiracy’s object” (Linder, 2002).
The case of “Roe v. Wade is a good example of the due process model, making it a crime in under Texas law to assist a woman to get an abortion violated her due process rights. The Court held that a woman’s right to an abortion fell within the right to privacy protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision gave a woman total autonomy over the pregnancy during the first trimester and defined different levels of state interest for the second and third trimesters” (Oyez Project, 2010).
Both models have been opposing each other for years, the crime control model used by law enforcement is based on the assumption that the evidence in a case is reliable and factual not fabricated. Under the due process model the individual charged with a crime will have his or her rights protected To determine that one model is better than the other one would have “to make a value judgment. Crime control reflects conservative values, whereas due process model reflects liberal values. In my opinion the due process model is unbiased, and follows the principles of the Declaration of Independence” (Hoffman, p. 1, 2000). Too bad the two models cannot come together to form a model that would work for everyone. References (1993) “Police Investigation Supervisor Admits Faking Fingerprints” The New York Times Retrieved March 7, 2010 from http://www. nytimes. com (2000) “Honesty in the Justice System” RealPolice Retrieved March 7, 2010 from http://forums. realpolice. net Hoffman, D. (2000) “Great Debate in Criminal Justice: Should the Crime Control Model or the Due Process Model Prevail” Criminal Justice Cliff-Notes pgs. 1-12 Retrieved March 7, 2010 Linder, Doug (2002) “The Charles Manson (Tate-LaBianca Murder) Trial” UMKC Law Retrieved March 7, 2010 from http://www. wikipedia. com Locke John (1690) “Two Treatises Government” Project Gutenberg (10th edition)Retrieved March 7, 2010 from http://www. gutenberg. org/dirs/etext05/trgov10h. htm The Oyez Project, “Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113 (1973)” Retrieved March 7, 2010 from http://oyez. org/cases/1970-1979/1971/1971_70_18 Zalman, M. (2002) “Analysis of the Crime Control and Due Process Models” Criminal Procedure: Constitution and Society Retrieved March 7, 2010 from http://www. associatedcontent. com