Issues in Criminal Justice System

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Criminal Justice System

Challenges of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) to law enforcement

Law enforcement agencies view the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) the most harmful street gang in the U.S. The aggressive nature of MS-13 members have led to a variety of killings and terrible beatings. Various trials held in New York and Maryland have led to significant jail terms even extending to life imprisonment for MS-13 members. The FBI was first attracted by violence, but proof of the gang's escalating level of organization has drawn public attention. Organization is an indicator of a future where MS-13 is will be a transnational network of criminals extending from the United States to suburban communities in a multitude of U.S. towns (Mandel, 2013).

Despite functions of violence, it is worrying to note that MS-13 movement is improving its structure and organization. Many major security experts are comparing it to the illegal groups of the 50s such as the Hell's Angels and Mafia. The distribution of the MS-13 group across the U.S. is an exclusive occurrence compared with gang threats law enforcers have handled in the past. MS-13 has its roots in large cities, but members are known to follow the migratory styles of unlawful aliens leading them to labor in small cities across the U.S. In these far-flung sides of the nation, MS-13 group associates commit criminal offenses, hire new members, collect tax, extort, and work carefully to amplify their network and increase their gang territory. Studies into the inner technicalities of the group are not straightforward at all. The discordant policy does not entertain anyone sharing their secrets, particularly with cops. Informants may have their tongues removed, and the law of the group requires killing of transgressors where clique associates cast a vote on the "green light" or murder order on a person (Mandel, 2013).

Factors that lead juveniles to join such gangs

Theories of social structure believe that the key components to criminal actions are the popularity of social and financial impacts that are popular in rundown communities where the population is mainly lower-class people. Social disorganization and strain theories are sub-branches of the social structure theory. They make an effort to describe what drives people to join criminal movements. Although the components of these theories differ in terms of principle, they are all based on the social structure concept (Siegel, & Welsh, 2011).

Social disorganization theory focuses on the conditions in the inner town that affect criminal offenses. These conditions consist of the lack of social control, deterioration of the communities, presence of gang movements who breach the law and opposing social principles within these communities. The fact that juveniles in these neighborhoods are brought up in such dilapidated communities is the core reason juveniles engage in crime and become associated with street gangs. These juveniles are not proud of where they stay and are not motivated to become engaged in actions that protect the safety of the community. As a compromise, they take their free time and invest in gangs (Siegel & Senna, 2009).

Strain theorists indicate that the criminal activity is due to the frustrating strain that juveniles experience when they have goals, but no way to accomplish them. Strain theory holds that prosperity and power are assigned disproportionately between financial sessions and the disappointment of the incapacity to achieve objectives and strain of lack of opportunities influences a person's choice to commit criminal activity. As seen from the strain advocates, the juveniles think that the only opportunity to acquire the things that they dream of is to be a part of criminal movements. They witness gang members in the neighborhoods with money from activities like sale of drugs and think that becoming a member of the group will benefit them similarly (Siegel, & Welsh, 2011).

The "Innocence Project"

DNA has turned out to be a vital investigation process for law enforcement authorities. It has assisted to put many individuals in jail and out of jail. In most cases, testimonies given by forensic analysts are beyond the permissible levels of technology. Some commonly used forensic practices though not subjected to rigorous scientific analysis are approved and treated as factual. Juries are convinced to believe that the proof is extremely scientific, increasing the potency of wrongful convictions. Inappropriate forensic report is not limited to invalid professions. In the DNA exoneration situations, multitudes of individuals were unlawfully charged after forensic
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statement misinformed serology outcomes. Serology is still relevant; it was the only approach to identifying blood source and other body fluids at the crime scene, before the advent of DNA (Scheck, 2010).

Forensic experts use the serology method to determine what blood type was present in liquids gathered in a sexual assault kit. In many situations, experts give appropriate testimonies about what the serology can reveal and the percentage of the population shares the criminal's blood type. Nevertheless, in other situations, experts fail to identify that the scientific sample could be an assortment of liquids from the criminal and victim, and the victim's blood type could cover up the perpetrators. In fact, it is impossible to know the criminal's blood type. In other situations, experts provide incorrect statistics for the ratio the population that shares the criminal's blood type.

The DNA exonerations have led to the emergence of "Innocence Project" in the U.S. law, dubbed "the civil rights movement of the twenty-first century." This project works at the federal, state, and local levels, to promote the quality forensics. Nationwide, the Innocence Project facilitates creating a government forensic technology agency that will activate analysis to confirm forensic technology fields, and will set and implement standards. In states, the project supports advisory boards helping oversee forensic institutions have the necessary resources and information to do quality work. This initiative lobbies for full administration of the current forensic management systems in the science enhancement program. This government program provides critical financing for state and federal crime laboratories and other forensic units (Scheck, 2010).

Common causes of wrongful convictions

Invalidated Forensics results in approximately half of wrongful convictions later overturned by DNA examining. While DNA examination was developed through comprehensive medical research at top educational centers, many other forensic methods -- such as hair microscopy and show print comparisons -- are yet to be subjected to rigorous scientific tests. Meanwhile, forensic methods that have been properly verified like serology, identified as blood testing -- are sometimes poorly performed or inaccurately communicated in trial testimonies. In other wrongful indictment cases, forensic investigators have been involved in misconduct (Scheck, 2010).

Community influence on the issue of Cyber-attacks

After the 9/11 terror attacks, the country faces crucial security threats from cyber attacks. Since the activities of 9/11, the community has become used to concentrating on non-state players as the core national security threat. For now, this is the truth. Global terrorism is still our major current nationwide security risk. However, we may experience diverse security threats unlike previously where one source could make our planning easy. Our capability to adapt to the future will be essential, as will our capability to recognize threats and possibilities at the first possible level. It will also be essential to sustain extremely capable and versatile military so that we can exercise military power when appropriate (Erbschloe, 2001).

Lawmakers and politicians are addressing the issue appropriately

After the 9/11, politicians and U.S. lawmakers have been very active in reinforcing and expanding law enforcement strategy to fighting terrorism. After the 9/11 attacks, the lawmakers and politicians all executed anti-terrorism resolutions 1373 (2001). This reaffirmed their unequivocal condemnation of the terror functions of 9/11. Additionally, the resolution obliges all member states to criminalize the willful collection or provision of funds for terrorist functions and to freeze all financial resources and assets of terrorist movements. Moreover, all states must cease offering any form of assistance to organizations or individuals involved in terrorist functions. They must take legal action against anyone who has participated in the funding, perpetrating, planning or preparation of terrorist functions. Such measures have ensured terrorist acts are categorized as serious criminal offenses under domestic law, warranting serious punishment.

Improvements made in recent years

Given the sheer number of cyber-related criminal offenses in the U.S., the FBI relies on relationships with cyber-enabled business and sectors, such as Microsoft Company and AOL. These relationships allows for a wide range of information sharing, that when put together and examined, gives the FBI the power to link commonalities that may lead to criminal arrests. This technique of "connecting the dots" cannot be achieved without the partnership and collaboration with private companies. The formulation of laws like those based on the PATRIOT Act along with efficient anti-cybercrime companies has proven quite successful in recent years. Not only are institutions more efficient at finding and arresting cybercriminals, they are also better equipped and organized to meet the powerful difficulties they face in the cyber domain. The move from a simply defensive position to a proactive technique has been successful in balancing a previously uneven battling field (Erbschloe, 2001).…

Sources Used in Documents:


Erbschloe, M. (2001). Information Warfare How To Survive Cyber Attacks. New York: Osborne/McGraw-Hill.

Mandel, R. (2013). Global Security Upheaval Armed Nonstate Groups Usurping State Stability Functions. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Scheck, B. (2010). 250 Exonerated, Too Many Wrongfully Convicted: An Innocence Project Report On The First 250 DNA Exonerations In The U.S. New York: Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.

Siegel, L., & Senna, J. (2009). Essentials of Criminal Justice (6th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

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