The Criminal Justice System: Crimes, Criminal Processes, and Sentencing
In the monumental study The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society, published in 1967 by the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, it was noted that a large volume of crime is not reported to or detected by the police. Much detected crime is not solved, and much that is solved does not lead to prosecution or, if prosecuted, does not end with a conviction. If this is true, our criminal justice system may be irrelevant or ineffective with respect to the overall crime picture. The study also showed that by the time nine out of ten have reached adulthood, American males have engaged in conduct which, if successfully prosecuted in adult court, would brand them as felons. Would it be fair then to say that 90 percent of all males are criminals? If one rejects this characterization, it must at least be admitted that “criminal” is a very selective or equivocal label.
KeywordsCriminal Justice System Criminal Process Prison Sentence Defense Lawyer Model Penal Code
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