Read the two scenarios provided in the OER which give examples of Herbert L. Packers’ models to describe the functioning of the criminal justice system. Also read chapter 1, particularly the sections explaining these two models. Answer the discussion board questions related to this topic.
Comment and critique one other student’s post. Remember to be detailed and specific in your critique. Just agreeing and or saying “good job” is not sufficient for this part of the assignment. It is perfectly fine to disagree with each other as that is part of any discussion but do so respectfully.
Murder in the Gym: Crime Control Model Example by Dr. Sanchez (Chapter 1 – p. 36).
Imagine working out at the local gym, and a man starts shooting people. This man has no mask on so he is easy to identify. People call 911 and police promptly respond and can arrest the shooter within minutes. Under the crime control model, the police should not have to worry too much about how evidence gets collected and expanded. Investigative, arrest, and search powers would be considered necessary. A crime control model would see this as a slam dunk and no need to waste time or money by ensuring due process rights. If there were any legal technicalities, such as warrantless searches of the suspect’s home, it would obstruct the police from effectively controlling crime. Effective use of time would be to immediately punish, especially since the gym had cameras and the man did not attempt to hide his identity. Any risk of violating individual liberties would be considered secondary over the need to protect and ensure the safety of the community in this model. Additionally, the criminal justice system is responsible for ensuring victim’s rights, especially helping provide justice for those murdered at the gym.
The due process model focuses on having a just and fair criminal justice system for all and a system that does not infringe upon constitutional rights. Further, this model would argue that the system should be more like an ‘obstacle course,’ rather than an ‘assembly line.’ The protection of individual rights and freedoms is of utmost importance and has often be aligned more with a liberal perspective.
Murder in the Gym: Due Process Model by Dr. Sanchez (Chapter 1 – p. 37).
Back to the gym murder, the due process model would want to see all the formalized legal practices afforded to this case in order to hold him accountable for the shooting. If this man did not receive fair and equitable treatment, then the fear is this can happen to other cases and offenders. Therefore, due process wants the system to move through all the stages to avoid mistakes and ensure the rights of all suspects and defendants. If the man in the gym pled not guilty due to the reason of insanity, then he can ask for a jury trial to determine whether he is legally insane. The courts would then try the case and may present evidence to a jury, ultimately deciding his fate. The goal is not to be quick, but to be thorough. Because the Bill of Rights protects the defendant’s rights, the criminal justice system should concentrate on those rights over the victim’s rights, which are not listed. Additionally, limiting police power would be seen as positive to prevent oppressing individuals and stepping on rights. The rules, procedures, and guidelines embedded in the Constitution should be the framework of the criminal justice system, and controlling crime would be secondary. Guilt would get established on the facts and if the government legally followed the correct procedures. If the police searched the gym shooter’s home without a warrant and took evidence then that evidence should be inadmissible, even if that means they cannot win the case.
1. Which of the two models of the criminal justice system do you think is the best way to handle the shooting at the local gym? Explain your answer.
2. Based on what you know about mass shootings in the United States, which model do you think is used when mass shooting suspects are captured alive? Give an example of a specific mass shooting case to justify your answer.
3. Discuss what the primary goal of the criminal justice system should be: to control crime, ensure due process, or both?.
4. Is there ever so much evidence against someone who has committed mass murder, that we should forgo the process and just lock the person away based on the obvious facts? Justify your answer either way.