Criminal Law Foundations Evaluation Criminal Law Foundations Essay

Length: 5 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Criminal Justice Type: Essay Paper: #39747761 Related Topics: Criminal Procedure, Double Jeopardy, Exclusionary Rule, Criminal Behavior
Excerpt from Essay :

Criminal Law Foundations Evaluation

Criminal Law Foundations Paper

Constitution signifies different political contexts safeguarding the well-being of the citizens, as well as, the convicts in the state. The constitution gives an integrated model of a republic that dictates the roles, responsibilities of different arms of the legal and criminal justice system that ensure social equity and coercion. It is recognizable that each state has a unique political system characterized by "checks and balances" that separate power of authority, control, and legislation of the state. As such, scholars such as Thomas Aquinas of the medieval period considered the constitution as the divine power of the state that should be delivered in manners that ensure safety of the public and those in power. It is also recognizable that the constitutions of different states such as the U.S. have provision safeguards the interests of its citizens (Baron, 2003).


This research paper focuses on the safeguards provided by the fourth, fifth, and the sixth amendments to the constitution of the United States in relation to adult and juvenile court proceedings. The paper also discusses the impacts of the safeguards to the daily operations of the adult and the juvenile courts.

Criminal procedures are meant to safeguard those considered innocent and guilty for a crime from the indiscriminate application of criminal laws. They also protect the innocent and the guilty from abusive or arbitrary treatment in the hand of the law enforcement and the criminal justice bodies. The safeguards at the national level are set primarily in three significant places; the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendment, Tile eighteen of the U.S. Code sections 3001, and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Of importance in this study is the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendment that safeguards the juvenile and the juvenile courts (Cohen & Felson, 1989).

The above stated amendments provide that juvenile courts should ensure the protection of the fundamental constitutional rights of the juvenile innocents and those found guilty. It gives rights such as the provision of advance notice of the charges, right to be provided with counseling services, and the right to cross-examine adverse witnesses and confront them. In most cases, the fourth amendment provides that juveniles arrested without an arrest warrant be given a probable causative hearing. Further analysis of the amendment shows that the provisions extend to the federal delinquency adjudications that target the juveniles across the U.S. In addition, textual analysis reveals that the fourth amendment of the U.S. constitution safeguards the juvenile against unreasonable seizures and searches.

The law also recognizes that particular situations might warrant the violation of the provisions of the fourth amendment. For example, the schools have the right to conduct unreasonable searches as they have an obligation to ensure order and discipline within the environment of the school. Similarly, the amendment provides the adults with safeguards such as the provision of advance notice of their charges, provision of counseling services, right to perform cross-examination and confronting of the witnesses alongside fair treatment from the criminal and legal systems (Stuntz, 1989).

The Fifth Amendment safeguards the juvenile crime offenders and the innocent from unfair treatment by the criminal justice and legal systems. The phrase recognizes that the legal and criminal justice systems should not deprive those found guilty with their property, life,


As such, it shows that the amendment protects the citizens from adverse effects such as discrimination and violation of human rights by the federal government. The safeguards provided in the Fifth Amendment underpin the actions of the Fourteenth amendment that protects the adults and the juveniles from adverse actions of the state and local governments. In addition, the amendment advocates for grand jury investigation of the crime before accusing and individual (the juveniles and the adults) of a serious crime. The Fifth Amendment also forbids the legal and criminal justice systems to conduct double jeopardy to the suspects of a crime. Double jeopardy refers to bringing an individual to the court for the second time for the same crime tried earlier. The defendant whether juvenile and adult have the right to refrain from providing testimony against themselves during a court proceeding. Scholars such as Becker (1968) interpret the provisions of the amendment as allowing the suspects for a crime to remain silent during the trial.

In addition, the provisions of the Fifth Amendment such as the Marinda and the Arizona provisions ensure that the innocent and the suspects receive counseling support prior to a court proceeding. It also advocates for their protection from involuntary or forced confession during a court trial or when under the pressure from the police officers. A significant principle identified from the analysis of the fourth, and the Fifth Amendment is the exclusionary rule that strengthens the belief that evidence collected under situations considered illegally cannot be used during the trial. As such, it ensures the credibility and fairness during the trial of the juveniles and adults found guilty of committing a crime (Stuntz, 1989).

The sixth amendment of the United States constitution provides that the adult and juvenile suspects of a crime to be given to the counsel and jury trial. The defendant has the right to receive speedy trial and counsel representing them during the trial. The right to counsel extends to felony arrests since the imprisonment for such crimes exceeds one year. The ability to receive speedy trials occur through the upholding of the rights of the suspects such as being informed of all the charges against them, being provided with the right to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses, right to have their attorney during a trial, and the right to subpoena their favorable witnesses. Cumulatively, the above analysis shows that the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments ensure the protection of the suspects, both juvenile and adults from unfair treatment from the criminal justice and legal systems (Gould & Mastrofski, 2004).

The safeguards provided by the amendments have a significant effect on the daily activities of the adult and juvenile courts of the U.S. Significant evidence has it that the amendments such as the fourth amendment has adverse social effects, including increasing the possibility of crimes. The effects can occur in two ways. Firstly, it directly reduces police searches that affect the credibility of the cases by lowering the chances of conviction of the suspects of the crimes. Secondly, a decline in the intensity of the police searches is likely to increase the incidences of crimes within the society. An increase in crimes results in a rise in the number of the legal cases in both the juvenile and adult courts. Empirical evidence shows that a stronger exclusionary rule increases crimes within the state. Such occurs due to wrongful indications of the suspects as the police have less evidence that link the suspects to their crimes (Cohen & Felson, 1989).

The safeguards provided by the amendment such as the right to have counsel during a case provide individuals with the opportunities to receive fair treatment from the criminal justice and the legal systems. The suspects acquire the opportunities to express themselves during the trial through their attorneys; hence, enhanced abilities to receive the desired treatment. However, such provision also increases the risk of the release of the convicts of a crime from the criminal justice system. Such occurs due to the influence of the attorneys to justify the innocence of their clients irrespective of their involvement in the crime, thereby, breeding social inequalities (Becker, 1968).

Moreover, the amendments have affected the daily activities of the courts of the adults and juvenile by ensuring protection of the rights and needs of individuals considered guilty until proven otherwise by the court. The amendments also ensure the upholding of the privacy requirements of the American citizens. For example,…

Sources Used in Documents:


Baron, S.W. (2003). Self-control, Social Consequences, and Criminal Behavior: Street Youth and the General Theory of Crime. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. doi:10.1177/0022427803256071

Becker, G.S. (1968). Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach. Journal of Political Economy. doi:10.1086/259394

Cohen, L.E., & Felson, M. (1989). Social Change and Crime Rate Trends: A Routine Activity Approach. American Sociological Review. doi:10.2307/2094589

Gould, J.B., & Mastrofski, S.D. (2004). Suspect Searches: Assessing Police Behavior Under The U.S. Constitution. Criminology & Public Policy, 3, 315 -- 362. doi:10.1111/j.1745-9133.2004.tb00046.x

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