American Legal System Essay Research Paper The — страница 2

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assistance of counsel for his defense. Each town, county, state and even the Federal Government have courts to deal with the large amount of crime and infractions of the law we have everyday. Our circuit, county courts deal with the local, state, and federal problems immediately, while the appellate courts of each branch take the cases that already been decided upon, but will be tried again. Once someone is arrested they are held to determine if they should stay in custody or are released on bail to stand trial at a later time. That person has the right to a defense by a lawyer of his/her choice or they will be appointed one. The judge and the prosecuting attorney decide what the charges should be and what penalties the defendant can receive. One specific case that has been a

catalyst in the advancement of our Constitutional rights is Miranda v. Arizona (1966) which gave people certain rights when they are arrested. Ernesto Miranda was arrested but he was interrogated under the notion that he was not aware he was entitled to legal representation. This case informed suspects of their constitutional rights to silence, counsel, and protection against self-incrimination, which is insured by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. When someone is to stand trial for a charge, the decision to punish is determined by a jury of peers. The jury usually consists of random citizens that are not associated with the defendant or case. This is to ensure that it is a fair trial and there are no discriminations. Preliminary hearings are set to make sure that there is

sufficient evidence to support the charge on the individual. The case, Batson v. Kentucky (1986), held that prosecutors may not exclude members of one race from a jury because they believe they may favor a member of their own race. There are many aspects of the court system to ensure that the defendant receives a fair trial such as the bill of rights and the intricate procedures that follow. The last step in the American Justice System is the Department of Corrections. If one is convicted and sentenced, that person must be place in the required facility to punish or rehabilitate in some cases. Mandatory sentencing laws have been added to many state s statues to possibly have a better effect on stopping individual crimes dealing with firearms and violence. Punishments come various

in severity, from probation, in which one s behavior and progress is watched , to the death penalty, in which a prisoner is executed for his crimes. Punishments decided by the courts are determined by the severity and past history, especially criminal, of that individual. We have certain kinds of correctional facilities for each prisoner, such as jail, which holds people with sentences for less than one year, or state and federal prisons to hold for longer than one year and up to a life sentence. Prisoners have limited rights and are denied the right of freedom through due process of the law and conviction. But prisoners do have some rights, like freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, medical treatment, mail, freedom of speech and religious practices, access to courts and

counsel, and the due process for criminal proceedings. Some states today still enforce the death penalty for committing murder in the first degree. States in the South like Florida, Alabama, Georgia, California and almost ten others. There has been much controversy on the death penalty and its deterrent effectiveness over the years. Some may argue that the death penalty is legalized murder and some believe it to deter others from homicide. Most states have abolished the death penalty statue from their legislature. Fear that the innocent will be executed in a mistrial, most of the states that have a death penalty statue contain several, and intricate, appellate proceedings that enable the convicted to appeal the death decision and seek acquittal. The Supreme Court has dealt with

much controversy and debate on weather the death penalty is constitutional or not. It was considered a violation of the Eight Amendment since execution was rare and therefore an unusual punishment. The Supreme Court case, Fuman v. Georgia (1972), illustrates a opposition to the penalty by overturning the death penalty statues as they were then applied for being in violation of the Eight Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. The decision was for the states to have the ability to write their own death penalty or life sentence statues. Some citizens agree that the justice system does not work as fast and proper as it should. But limitations and the Constitutional rights that we have, make it a lengthy process to ensure that fairness is given to us all. From