Located below is a discussion post. I need a response to this discussion post. 350 word minimum count.
Discussion Board Forum Number One
CJUS 700, Liberty University
In examining the particular elements of our current American criminal justice system that are based on or hold-overs from Bonesana, marchese de Beccaria (Beccaria)’s work, we must first recognize or discuss, the America Criminal Justice System, then show how Beccarias work influenced it. The ideas of Cesare Beccaria are very apparent in todays criminal justice system in America. During Beccarias the criminal justice system was particular to the society that was enforcing the laws. In other words there was no regulatory or systematic procedures in enforcing the law and the delegation of punishment. It was a time the elected official could have complete control of the fait of a criminal. This would not be a good thing, because one did not know the mental capacity of the elected official. Court systems of the time began to establish a set of rules that were deemed standardized, to put some type of consistency towards the issuance of discipline.
The standardization of discipline can be seen in todays modern police departments. In the stated of Maryland all police departments must post policies and general orders on a public forum that allows all citizens access. Most police departments have some sort of matrix or table of discipline that outlines officers actions and he punishment they will receive if they break the rules. It is important that the officers and the public are aware of the possible outcomes that can occur if the rules are broken. In essence it is a way to deter possible violations of procedure and allow the public to understand what is considered improper police actions.
Beccaria had developed several elements of the criminal justice system that are still evident in todays time. Some elements that can still be seen today are sentencing guidelines, speedy trial, unjust punishment, guidelines on punishment severity and the certainty of punishment. As stated in John 7-24, stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly. (New International Version, 2011) This passage gives thought on the process of judging correctly and equally, not just on the appearance of an incident but using all the facts to develop a proper decision.
The establishment of standardized punishments and court practices began to be put in place to correct these deficiencies and many have carried on to this day. Some particular elements in American criminal justice can be evidenced in the spirit behind sentencing guidelines, crime categories, speedy trial rights, and freedom from unjust punishment, ex post facto laws, and overall more equity in the process.
Beccaria also emphasized that the laws should be published so that the public may know what they are and support their intent and purpose, that torture and secret accusations should be abolished, that capital punishment should be abolished and replaced by imprisonment, that jails be more humane, and that the law should not distinguish between the rich and the poor. (Bernard et al., 2019) It is important that all laws are published and all citizens have access to them. In order to have proper adherence and enforcement of law citizens must have the opportunity to read and understand them. As for the abolishment of capital punishment, many states today have removed the death penalty and replaced it with life long imprisonment. The prison system also has a system of checks and balances that help create proper living conditions. It is up to the stated to properly fund and monitor the conditions of the prison facilities to make sure they are adequate to current living standards.
According to Baccaria, if punishment is to deter offenders, it must be dictated by law, proportionate to the crime committed (neither too harsh nor too easy), Certain, swiftly imposed, and dispensed in public. (Masters, 2017) It is important that the punishment be reasonable for members of society to have acceptance. Punishments are unjust when their severity exceeds what is necessary to achieve deterrence. (Bernard et al., 2019). It is reinforced that punishments buts not be too severe or unreliable therefore discrediting the legitimacy of the court system.
Bernard, T. J., Snipes, J. B., & Gerould, A. L. (2019). Vold’s Theoretical Criminology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Ruth, E Masters. (2017). CJ Realties and Challenges. New York: McGraw- Hill Education
New International (2011) Holy Bible
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