Criminology

Unit 1: Describe and analyze the due process and the crime control perspectives.

The due process and the crime control models mostly involves making sure the right justice is given and challenging crime. The due process is to make sure people have their rights right in court and that they have fair trials and can defend themselves effectively. On the other hand, crime control is to make sure that criminal cases are dealt with immediately and effectively. Both the due process and the crime control are of importance to the criminal justice system since they identify crime and interpret the criminal justice system. Due to upcoming new laws and the more awareness there is of crimes, the criminal justice system keeps on changing constantly. Therefore, as stated above, the due process makes sure that everyone who is in contact with criminal law justice is allowed to his/her rights and the rights can only be rejected with appropriate legal measures. The due process is mostly like not having too much faith with the criminal agency and giving the criminal a benefit of doubt. It is also believed that the criminal agency might be corrupt or dishonest, therefore the due process creates a limit to coercive powers of the criminal agency, hence giving room for the people to defend themselves. Therefore, the due process simply means that the accused is innocent until proved guilty by the court of law. On the other hand, the crime control mostly deals with condemning people for performing acts that are criminal. Here, the criminal agencies convicting these individuals even before the court decides, which means that innocent people. One can therefore conclude that the crime control model is set to punish everyone who breaks a law, which will reduce crimes since the fast convictions will scare the society. The difference between these two models is that the crime control means that the accused is guilty until proven innocent by the court whereas the due process means that the accused is innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. In conclusion, the both models are both useful in handling crime and reducing criminal acts in the society (Higgins & Marcam, 2016).

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Unit 2: Identify and explain the four restrictions to a search incident to an arrest. 

A search incident to arrest allows the police officers to practice a search with no warrant for the criminal and also the criminal’s immediate control. This is also to provide the police officer’s safety, to prevent the criminal from escaping and to make sure there is no evidence destruction (Higgins & Marcam, 2016). Earlier in the 40s, in the Supreme Court in the United States, police officers were allowed to have a search with no warrant either while the criminal is being arrested or immediately after the arrest without putting into account what the arrest is actually for. Later on, in the 50s, the search of the area within which the arrestee is arrested was narrowed to the arrestee’s immediate control. In the 60s, the supreme created a limit in exception to the arrestee and his/her immediate control so as to take away weapons that the criminal might use to resist and even to prevent destruction of evidence. During the 70s, the U.S Supreme Court made a new law which stated that a full search of the person arrested should not be excepted in the warrant requirements since it was made reasonable to the fourth amendment. Later in 2000s, a new law was passed that incase the person arrested had accessed his/her motor vehicle during the search, an automobile search is allowed. This means that officers are not allowed to search peoples’ cars unless they are sure or have a reason to say that the car could provide evidence regarding the case. Later a new law that the police officers should have a warrant before putting a drunk-driving person into any blood tests. The Supreme Court later passed a law that stated that police officers would not search a cell phone that belongs to the person arrested without a warrant (D.K, 2017).

Unit 3: Distinguish between credibility and competence of a witness.

According to the law of evidence, anyone who is making a testimony in the court is said to be credible witness. This is the person with the testimony that is convincing enough and one that is worthy of believing. A credible witness is only said to be true if he/she is experienced, has enough knowledge, have undergone training and whether he/she appears to be honest and forthright. The factors that determine credibility are; if the witness had personal knowledge about the incident, if the witness was present at the scene and whether the witness told the whole truth. However, the number of witness per party does not matter in court, the jury is only interested in the testimony they believe (Higgins & Marcam, 2016). On the other hand, competence is a general ability to provide evidence in a court of law. Every credible witness is a competent since the court gives chance to everyone who is competent to give testimonies to do so. However, not every competent witness is credible. If a competent witness refuses to give testimony in court he/she could be punished for contempt, but a credible witness could even be excused from answering questions. In the court, people might raise objections against the witness’s competence just in case the witness does not express him/herself in a way which the court understands, the witness does not tell the truth, the witness lacks personal knowledge on the incident and when the witness is inexperienced in that certain field. In other words, everyone is competent to testify in a court of law unless their competence is challenged in the factors stated above. In conclusion, when someone is credible, he/she is said to be competent since one cannot be a credible witness without being competent but one can be competent without being credible. Thus, a witness can be competent without being credible but a witness cannot be credible without being competent enough to provide the court with evidence. Therefore, every credible witness is competent but not every competent witness is credible (D.K, 2017). 

Unit 4: Summarize the arguments for and against plea bargaining

Plea bargains is when the defendant pleads guilty in order to get a less sentence or punishment from the prosecutor. It is usually a mutual acknowledgement between a prosecutor and a defendant agreeing on charges, sentence and facts. The arguments for plea bargains include; that courts are sometimes overcrowded hence pleas prevents courts from being overwhelmed which could lead to them being closed down. Sometimes the caseloads for the prosecutors are a workload hence by offering pleas, he/she is able to easily prosecute the serious cases. Pleas also saves defendants an amount of resources since they do not go for trials meaning that plea bargains speeds up the processes. Plea bargains also provide more resources for the community (Higgins & Marcman, 2016). On the other hand, the arguments against plea bargains include; it removes the right for one a trial by the jury since it might seem like a defendant is being forced to take plea which deprives him/her the right to have a trial. Sometimes pleas lead to poor investigations since the officers do not prepare the case as expected since they expect the case to plead out, so instead of looking for justice, they rely mostly on making the plea deal. Either way a plea still creates a criminal record for the innocent parties, since an innocent person may agree to the plea deals just to cut his/her losses even without trials to be proven innocent. The judges do not necessarily follow the pleas, even after the prosecutor and the defendant have agreed on a plea, the judge can void their agreement and demand that the case goes to court for trial just in case they feel the plea was offered illegally. Since a plea needs the defendant to always plead guilty, even though his/her charges are reduced, it does not give room to file appeals in any circumstances. Lastly, plea gives soft punishments for the guilty people, since the guilty plea with a sentence is not the same as being proven guilty and having an actual sentence or punishment. This is therefore seen as an escape from workloads (D.K,2017). 

REFERENCES

Higgins, G. E & Marcam, C. D. (2016). Criminological Theory. Alphen aan den Rijin: wolters Kluwer Law and business  D.K. (2017). The crime book: Big ideas simply explained. London: Dorling Kindersleg ltd.

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