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On September 18 at around 2:30 PM, the victim, a famous citizen in the community was assaulted and robbed of his wallet by the defendant on his way home. The victim was not only assaulted but he was also pushed against his car and threatened with a knife. The crime generated huge media attention because of the victim's popularity as calls for speedy arrest and conviction of the criminal gained momentum. As heavy pressure was place on the law enforcement officers to arrest the criminal, the defendant was apprehended several days later while carrying the wallet of the victim and knife and was subsequently identified in a lineup by the victim. During preliminary of the case, the defendant was pronounced indigent and offered with a public defender and even denied bail because of the nature of the crime. While he chose not to take to the stand, the defendant was convicted of several charges associated with the assault and is awaiting sentencing.
Double Jeopardy in these Proceedings:
Based on the Fifth Amendment to the American constitution, double jeopardy is an aspect in the criminal law that forbids the government from prosecuting people more than once for a single crime and from imposing more than one punishment for a single crime ("Double Jeopardy," n.d.). Defendants appearing in state courts are also guaranteed this right because most state constitutions consists of this law. Notably the protection must still be provided to defendants even in states that don't necessarily guarantee this right to defendants. This right could attach itself to these proceedings if the indigent defendant had already been punished for the same offense. In this case, the defendant could be guaranteed this right if he had already been convicted and punished for his involvement in the offense. However, this policy does not attach itself to the proceeding because the defendant has only been declared indigent, which has nothing to do with the offense.
The other important aspect that may have played a critical part in these criminal proceedings is the defendant's failure to take to the stand in his own defense. The jury in this case was unduly influenced by the defendant's decision not to take to the stand in his own defense. While judicial decisions are guided by the rule that the defendant's failure to take the stand should not result in inference against him/her or the subject of comment by court, this decision played a significant role in the determination of the case. This is largely because the failure could have been an attempt by the defendant to indicate the truth of the evidence and charges against him. In cases of this magnitude, the defendants usually take to the stand to try and prove their innocence and discount charges against them. As a result, the failure to take to the stand in such cases is normally interpreted as an indication of admission of guilt.
Nonetheless, the defendant could not be compelled to testify in his defense because of certain safeguards provided by the constitution. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that an individual should not be forced to testify in any criminal proceeding against him or her. Consequently, a defendant has the right not to testify at a criminal proceeding, especially if such an action could implicate him/her in the offense (Gaines & Miller, 2008). While his failure to testify may have played a crucial role in the jury's decision, the defendant could not be forced to testify because of the constitutional protection.
Theory of Punishment:
When an individual is unjustly harmed through assault and robbery from a criminal, people tend to experience a strong desire to punish the criminal. Since this case involves a criminal who assaulted and robbed a prominent person in the community, there is a strong desire in the media, community, and the victim for the offender to be punished of his acts. Notably, there are various theories of punishment that are used in the criminal justice system depending on the crime. Some of the most common theories of punishment in criminal law include incapacitation, deterrence, retributive and just deserts theories. The most appropriate theory of punishment in this case is the just deserts theory, which is retrospective instead of being prospective. Through this theory the punisher does not need to focus on the…[continue]
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