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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Foundations of Criminal Justice - Week 5 notes

“They claim that the prejudice against this juvenile drove him to commit a violent act “?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!



“Why did the Columbine killings take place? Were they a reaction to the bullying culture prevalent in the school, or were they a result of exclusion and alienation?
Studies have shown that a small percentage of students engage in a majority of the extracurricular activities at schools. Do we, therefore, need to widen the net of extracurricular activities at school to include all students? Can students be involved in designing the program curriculum? Can bullying be checked at schools?”
ARE YOU KIDDING?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Content Alert
parens patriae
double jeapordy






Recidivism Among Juvenile Delinquents and Offenders
Released from Residential Care
in 2008

William J. Bennett, John J. DiIulio,
Jr and John P. Walters,
Body Count: Moral Poverty
. . . and How to Win America’s War Against Crime
and Drugs
. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Foundations of Criminal Justice - Week 4 Notes

police socialization process.
selection, training, and providing recreational activities for officers
due process
systems models

  • Can public opinion about the death penalty be shaped by external forces given the ingrained nature of most people’s perceptions on the subject and exposure to conflicting information in the subject? Why do public officials support or condemn capital punishment?
  • Does capital punishment work? What are the myths we hold about the subject? Why do we believe what we believe, and where are those myths created? What if it works? What if it doesn’t? Ultimately what should we as a society decide, and who should make the decision?
  • How should the system balance the needs of the victims and the community against the possibility that someone sentenced to death is innocent? How do we balance the needs for justice for the victims against the concerns we have about acting in a humane civilized way? Where does our responsibility lie?
  • Are the thousands of correctly convicted criminals justification for our justice system and are the few innocent people who are wrongly convicted an acceptable price to pay to maintain our system? Does the legalized killing of even a single person, guilty or innocent, reduce our claims of being civilized?

hyperbole re: poor poor criminals




Many viewers become jurors. Prosecutor Bruce Bartlett, the chief assistant in local State Attorney Bernie McCabe’s office, says attorneys call it “The CSI effect.” He asks potential jurors if they watch the show to see if they’re aware that it usually takes months to get DNA samples processed, not minutes.


"You have two people who've committed the same crime. They have the same background, and one is going to get twice as severe a sentence as the other because he's exercised the right to trial. I think it's a perfectly designed system to produce conviction of the innocent. "

cop myth
"Legal culture and popular culture, in effect, reinforced each other, but only within limits. "

"Public opinion has much to do with administration of justice "


code duello

"Criminality is a time invariant personality trait, namely self-control"





low control

Do policemen hold different myths about their profession then the community does?



Monday, February 17, 2014

Foundations of Criminal Justics - Week 3 Notes

drugs issues
parallel to prohibition
mass violayion 4th admendet
search and siezure (due process)
procedural lawVOC
militizartion of police
legal vs ilegal drug
criminilization of vapor tobacco
who gets arrested (conflict theory)
higher rates of arrest & punishment for minorities
how drugs are obtained and used
waste of resources
**treatment ir incarceration cost more

dur process theory


orgasnized crime

outlaw myth
individualist nature of america

growth complex
media busts for LE
"Starting in the mid-1970s, the NORC surveyed households in American cities and uncovered huge amounts of crime that never made the official rolls. One possible scenario that emerged was that the police were too busy with the war on drugs to do normal everyday policing. "

Administrative regulations are a fourth source of criminal law. These regulations have the force of criminal law to the extent that they can provide for criminal penalties. They are written by regulatory agencies empowered by legislatures to develop rules governing specific policy areas. For example, many regulatory agencies were established during the second half of the twentieth century to protect public health, safety, and welfare in an increasingly complex marketplace. The Food and Drug Administration was established to screen products to protect consumers. Similarly, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission were established to promulgate rules to promote safety and consistency in dealing with pollution and waste, stock-market transactions, and potentially dangerous products, respectively. If a regulatory agency wishes to add new rules, it must provide public notice of its intention and hold public hearings before adopting the rules.

conflict viewVOC

white collar crime

politics theory
punish left
**natural busybodies**
tiein prohibition

questions public good
is good when basic underpinning society undermined?
consensus viewVOC
"The custom of dueling, which continued even into the twentieth century in some parts of the United States, was a way to settle disputes outside the formal justice process. Dueling involved two disputing parties who used guns or swords to resolve their disagreement. Dueling was seen as a more direct and honorable way to resolve breeches of trust, property ownership disputes, and offenses against one’s family or honor. The famous duel in which Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in 1804 was an incident that helped ultimately to end dueling and to encourage the use of the public justice system to resolve criminal and civil wrongs. Church ministers of that period used the Hamilton–Burr duel as a prime example of why such private vengeance was wrong: In the words of one sermon, “[Hamilton] was no less a murderer because he was deceived by the wickedness of the law of honor.”p91

mens rea or “guilty mind.” VOC
actus reus, VOC

systems theorists

  • Why did the government approach the first war on drugs in such a haphazard manner? How and why was the second war on drugs handled differently?
  • What are the myths in this country about drugs, drug use, and the war on drugs? Where do they come from? How do they differ among different cultures and communities?
  • Are people’s myths and fears about some crimes too easily spun into a full-blown panic by social and political spin doctors? Have we over-reacted or underreacted to drug use in our country?
  • Should we criticize the media for glamorizing drug use? What blame can we place on the media (big business, movies, TV, music, news) for glamorizing drugs and encouraging young people to experiment?
  • What do we know about marijuana today that is based upon scientific research? What do we know about other drugs? Has our knowledge about the effects of drugs increased over time? Does this new knowledge call into question our continued war on drugs?
  • How are powerful interest groups trying to define drug policy today? What are their agendas? How does the public perceive the efforts of these groups? How does law enforcement perceive them?
  • What are the financial costs of the war on drugs? And, what are the costs, social, political, and economic, of drug use in our society? How can we manage both issues better?
  • Drug laws and drug tests in the workplace may be the result of a new form of moral panic. Is the marijuana issue a libertarian issue of free choice or should we control it for the people’s own good?
  • How does the first war on drugs compare to the new war on drugs carried out over the past 25 years?
  • What would the social impact be if drugs were legalized or if we abandoned the war on drugs?

  • What theories apply to the issue of myths pertaining to outlaws, the war on drugs, and organized and white-collar crime?
  • Why do you feel the U.S. culture glamorizes the criminal? In what ways do we have a myth of the outlaw? How is it expressed by society?

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
C.S. Lewis



last week


Albanese, J.(2013) Criminal Justice (5th ed.). Virginia Commonwealth University

National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS),

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Foundations of Criminal Justice - Week 2 Notes

  • Identify what contributes to people’s myths and fears about crimes against children vis-à-vis reality.
  • Identify how various ethnic groups perceive the issue.
  • Suggest a plan to reshape the myths and misperceptions.
  • Underpin research and suggestions on accepted criminal justice theory and realistic outcomes given the parameters of the problem.
  • Demonstrate ability to tie theory with real-world applications.
so often that the average citizen relives the victimization many times in a single day j

**issues of mental capacity




Are filipinos violent? 40/192 21.5/100000 US 92 6.5

Death Rate Per 100,000
Age Standardized








Saturday, February 15, 2014

Week 5 Paper - Foundations of Criminal Justice

Juveniles and You (JAY), Gang Violence, and Juvenile Delinquency - Recommendations
  1. Case Summary
JAY has entered the public eye as the result of a horrific series of crimes committed by a JAY program participant, Jeff Baker. Baker carjacked a vehicle using a gun, went to a girlfriend's house, murdered her parents, and kidnapped the girl. During the course of the investigation, it was revealed that the murders were conducted as part of a gang initiation. Media attention to the case has resulted in another murder as a rival gang sought to gain public attention as well. JAY becomes a focal point as we examine how this program and others like it have affected juvenile crime rates. We will also examine public attention to this case as shaped by popular myth, and the realities compared to the myths.
  1. Myths pertaining to juveniles in the community and how they can be addressed. Is the theory of juvenile superpredators real or a myth?
Although there is a public perception that juvenile crime rates are sky high, the truth is that juveniles commit 6% of violent felony crime committed in the U.S. (Crime in America, 2010, para 2). The community exaggerates juvenile crime in light of the decline of serious youth crime. The rate of youth offending per 100 ages 12-17 dropped from a high of 52 in the early 90's to 6 in 2011 (ChildStats, 2013, Table 1). This is a decline of 88%. One possible explanation for this drop in juvenile crime is that lawmakers in the early 90's embarked upon a series of reforms that changed the approach to juvenile justice. Piquero and Steinberg found that "during the 1990s . . . legislatures across the country enacted statutes under which growing numbers of youths can be prosecuted in criminal courts and sentenced to prison...today, in almost every state, youths who are 13 or 14 years of age (or less) can be tried and punished as adults for a broad range of offenses, including nonviolent crimes" (2007, p.1).
The categorization of certain violent juvenile offenders as “super-predators” is a redundancy compared to the description of violent adult offenders as predators. In addition, Dilulio never objectively defined what a superpredator is (Pizarro,Chermak, & Greunewald, 2007, p.90)
  1. Is the juvenile justice system too lenient or too harsh on juveniles, especially, those who commit violent crimes?
The answer to this question varies from state to state, and from case to case. Buck-Willison asserts that "juvenile justice today clearly represents a mix of punitive and rehabilitative approaches and that states vary dramatically in the extent to which they lean toward greater punitiveness or rehabilitation" (,2010, para. 1). The concept of justice demands that we must be harsh with violent offenders. In some cases, we are too lenient . The juvenile justice system is designed to be rehabilitative. Unfortunately, this does not work as well as we would like it to work. A New York State Office of Children and Family Services [OFCS] study of recidivism showed that 49% of program participants were re-arrested within 1 year of release, and that 66% were re-arrested within two years of release (2013, p.2) . The criminalization of status offenses is certainly too harsh. In this case, Baker's history shows us that he was effectively sentenced to be raped for the status offense of curfew violation. We can also see measures that are too harsh in many “zero-tolerance” initiatives. For example, there are several cases of pathetic school officials having children arrested for “doodling” on their desks (Chen, 2010).
  1. How can we structure the juvenile justice system to avoid injustice and oppression of juveniles? Does the juvenile justice system have prejudicial overtones? How can these be addressed?
    1. Juveniles must be categorized to prevent association and treatment with more serious offenders. Holman and Ziedenber discuss the process of “peer deviancy training,” and noted that issues with juveniles in detention “may include negative changes in attitudes toward antisocial behavior, affiliation with antisocial peers, and identification with deviancy”(2006, p.5). Specific recommendations to mitigate “peer deviancy training”are as follows:
      1. Status offenders must be grouped with status offenders, not with juvenile non-violent criminal offenders
      2. First time status offenders, in general and unless there is a serious problem with the parenting ability of the caretakers, should be released after the details have been recorded.
      3. Non-violent criminal juvenile offenders must be separated from violent offenders
      4. Non-violent juvenile offenders of victimless crimes and repeat status offenders should be separated from juvenile offenders of property crimes
      5. Violent juvenile offenders should be tried as adults, but housed separately from adult offenders
    2. The juvenile justice system needs to make more of an effort to determine cases in which the parents will be responsible for their children, and be discriminate in cases in which parens patriae is deemed necessary. Holman and Ziedenber also mention that many juveniles “age out of delinquency” (2006, p6)
    3. A standard of guidelines similar to Truth in Sentencing guidelines, but considering the goals of juvenile justice, should be adapted in order to lessen prejudicial punishments.
  2. What can be done to control the youth gang violence in the community? How can children be dissuaded from committing crimes and forming crime gangs?
Gang members should be rolled up under RICO auspices. This becomes more imperative in situations similar to how the Baker case unfolded. Gangs are organizations formed on the basis of violence; Wood and Alleynet cite Klein, Weerman, and Thornberry and state that ”it is a universal given that street gang membership facilitates violent behavior (2009, p.10) as conditions make make violence more likely, police preemption can protect the community before more crime is committed. Aggressive patrolling in areas where gang activity is prevalent is also necessary. The policing agency responsible for juvenile crime must devote resources to intelligence gathering, especially in areas of social media. Arnold, O'Gwin, and Vickers examine the efforts of the Salinas Police Department's intelligence analysis in regards to anti-gang policing, emphasizing social network analysis (2010, pp.119-151) Juvenile gang officers should work in conjunction with anti-gang activities in general. Juveniles should be dissuaded from gang romanticism by “shame programs” in which gang members are publicly depicted in humiliating circumstances; these circumstances should include situations in which gang members are hospitalized, crying, dead, homeless, and outcast. The juvenile system must ensure that these suboptimal results are clearly understood by youth to be the result of participating in gang/criminal activity. Although such “shame” programs would be attacked on political grounds as “cruel and unusual punishment”, there is already legal precedent as in publishing the names and addresses of DUI offenders. Ensure that adult members of gangs that are currently on parole or probation violate the terms of their release by associating with juvenile members of the gang, thus removing authority figures from the gang environment.
  1. What obstacles must be overcome to create a viable “back to society” rehabilitation program, which includes educational and vocational components?
The first step, as noted above, is in determining which juvenile offenders are eligible for rehabilitative programs. Unless the juvenile justice system has determined that the parents are unfit to discipline the children, the state should avoid parens patriae as much as possible. Repeat status offenders, juveniles that commit victimless crimes, and first time property offenders should be served justice in a rehabilitative program. This could help alleviate the recidivist behavior referenced in the OFCS study above. Repeat property offenders should be dealt with in a punitive manner, and violent offenders should be dealt with in the adult system, except in the case of separate incarceration. School disciplinary matters should be dealt with by the school system, and not by the police. Educators that cannot handle that responsibility should be identified and removed from the educational system.
  1. What is the best possible outcome of the case for the community?
Jeff Baker should be tried as an adult for his violent crimes, and if convicted, executed. He has proven himself to be a predator, not as a person who can take the opportunity for rehabilitation. Similarly, members of the Blades gang and the Eagles gang should be removed from the streets. Gang membership is essentially the same as declaring one's intent to be a violent criminal. Executing Baker will serve justice, and removing Baker permanently from society will protect the community from his crime, as will removing the gang members from the streets.
The JAY program represents an ideal in which the juvenile justice system serves the interest of both the community and the juvenile. The Baker incident highlights the limits of rehabilitative treatment for extreme cases. The JAY program's efforts to help drug offenders and status offenders are certainly admirable. Providing rehabilitation to juveniles suffering from moral poverty serves the community interest, as does giving juveniles the opportunity to “age out of delinquency”. However, programs like JAY are not capable of serving the public interest in the cases of violent, or serious juvenile offenders, offenders who require punitive and not rehabilitative justice. It should be noted that there is no reason to blame JAY for the Baker incident, as Baker was not a serious or violent offender previously. It could be argued that JAY was responsible for monitoring Baker's contact with the gang, but it could also be argued that the local juvenile crime authorities were not monitoring the gang's contact with prospective initiates.
In conclusion, the juvenile justice system (including the police, correctional agencies, the courts, and extra-judicial agencies such as JAY) bears a responsibility that the criminal justice system does not; the well being of an actor not legally responsible for his actions. This does not take precedence over the public interest, and in some cases the juvenile system must decide that an offender's violent actions take him past the point of rehabilitative justice.

Arnold, L., O'Gwin, C., & Vickers, J. (2010). Small town insurgency: The struggle for information dominance to reduce gang violence. (Master's Thesis). February 15, 2014 from http://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=5944

Buck-Willison, J. (2010, October 25). The U.S. Juvenile Justice Policy Landscape. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/publications/1001461.htm

Chen, S. (2010). Girl's arrest for doodling raises concerns about zero tolerance. CNN. Retrieved February 15, 2014 from http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/02/18/new.york.doodle.arrest/

ChildStats. (2013). Youth perpetrators of serious violent crimes. Retrieved February 11, 2014 from http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/beh5.asp

Holman, B.& Ziedenberg, J. (2006),.The dangers of detention: The impact of incarcerating youth in detention and other secure facilities. Washington, D.C. Justice Policy Institute. February 15, 2014 from http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/06-11_REP_DangersOfDetention_JJ.pdf

Juvenile offenders responsible for six percent of violent felonies: Crime statistics from Crime in America.Net. (2010, June 9). Crime in America.net. Retrieved February 11, 2014 from http://www.crimeinamerica.net/2010/06/09/juvenile-offenders-responsible-for-six-prevent-of-violent-felonies-crime-statistics-from-crime-in-america-net/

OFCS Fact Sheet: Recidivism among juvenile delinquents and offenders released from residential care in 2008. (2011). New York State Office of Children and Family Services. Retrieved February 11, 2014 from http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/detention_reform/Recidivism%20fact%20sheet.pdf

Piquero, A. & Steinberg, L. (2007) Rehabilitation versus incarceration of juvenile offenders: Public preferences in four models for change states. Models For Change. Retrieved February 11, 2014 from http://www.macfound.org/media/article_pdfs/WILLINGNESSTOPAYFINAL.PDF

Pizarro,J., Chermak,S., & Greunewald,J. (2007). Juvenile “Super-Predators” in the news:A comparison of adult & juvenile homicides. Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture, 14(1). Retrieved February 11, 2014 from http://www.albany.edu/scj/jcjpc/vol14is1/pizarro.pdf#page=2&zoom=auto,0,158

Wood, J. & Alleyne, E. (2009).Street gang theory and research: Where are we now and where do we go from here? Aggression and Violent Behavior 15 (2010) 100–11. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2009.08.005

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

After the first month

I am running an A in this course at the moment.  It is an accelerated course( the quarter will be done in 2 more weeks instead of 6 more), and the grading weight for spelling and grammar is light...which is why I'm holding onto an A ;>

I can see some definite improvement from the first paper to the fourth.  My prof has been very helpful in pointing out the areas I tend to screw up, and I finally broke down and got an APA style guide; which requires some study in itself.

I'm not seeing a lot of difference between undergraduate work and graduate so far, other then the two items I'm about to mention.  Primarily, I'm actually working at it this time around.  I found college to be a joke, and drank more then I studied.  The other thing is that grad school is requiring a lot more reading and writing; and surprisingly I find that I am enjoying the writing.

I have done a fair amount of writing over the last twenty years; political rants, technical procedures, some TV production, and I've hacked away at some novel material.  I am not going to claim to be writing a book at this time ;>

Week 4 Paper - Foundations of Criminal Justice


The case referred to in this paper is FICTIONAL; there is no such murder/rape case in San Diego as far as I am aware.


San Diego Breach of Trust: Murder and Rape Committed by Law Enforcement Officer
The recent case of a woman raped and murdered by a law enforcement officer (LEO) has broken the bond of trust between the criminal justice system and the community. The officer will be referred to as “John”. Not only did John commit a heinous crime, but it is likely that members of the law enforcement community covered this incident up. It is also possible that the crime took place in an environment where assaults committed by LEOs were common. Considering the case under the systems theory it can be seen that if the public does not trust the police to do their job then there is no "balanced state" and the criminal justice system cannot run properly. The purpose of this task force is to examine John's case in view of current perceptions about law enforcement officials and police misconduct. An additional goal of the task force is to examine whether the criminal justice system is appropriate in sentencing, both to law enforcement officials and to the general public. The task force also needs to determine where these perceptions are generated and how to manage them more effectively to reduce problems within the community. In addition, this task force will make recommendations to rebuild the community’s trust, dispel false perceptions regarding policing and the justice system, and to suggest preventative measures to the criminal justice system to prevent future occurrences.
Case Summary
A brief summary of the case shows that a suspect profile was generated and pursued without any basis; this becomes more suspicious as the initial investigation dismisses a witness with information damaging to the police department, and refuses to share the evidence that the subject profile was based on. There is also no mention of a police connection to the case through the Red Dome bar. These are items that can easily be interpreted as a cover up; whether this is the case or not, this appearance has certainly caused a breach of trust with the public. An additional complication in this case is the racial component, as both the victim, and the falsely accused suspect were African-American.
Perceptions Regarding Law Enforcement
The myths regarding policemen are the ideas that guide the public perception of the criminal justice system, and have an impact on the trust that the public has in the system. Danger, misconduct, brutality, duty,and honor are perceived by the public, and sometimes by policemen themselves, in a manner that does not always fit the facts on the ground. However, "Popular culture, of course, informs law. Law in its flexibility, for better or worse, facilitates the further direction of popular culture "(Lubet, 2002, p9)
One common myth is that policemen drink more than the general population does. Lindsay et al show that doesn't seem to be the case. The rates found by Lindsay, William, and Shelley (2008) don't seem to differ greatly from statistics given by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [NIAAA}. Lindsay et al found that 70% of officers drank once a month or less as compared to the NIAAA figure of roughly 60% (n.d., Table 2)
Another common mis perception is that LEOs have a higher-than-average suicide rate . However, Remsberg finds that “multiple studies have shown the police suicide rate actually to be lower than the norm “( 2013, para. 26).
A myth common to both LEOs and to the public is that law enforcement is among the top five most dangerous jobs . Remsberg contradicts this; “Police rank 14th in danger, between heavy equipment operators and electricians. (2013, para. 9). A contrasting reality sets in for many policemen, who then have to fight boredom. “A lot of police officials feel burned out; not from the stress of their jobs but from boredom. They join the force expecting excitement but instead get bogged down in paperwork and rules...”(South University Online, 2014, para. 5).
There are a wide range of activities that could be categorized as police misconduct, which raise an equally wide range of myths and realities. Various segments of the public may view the police as racist, corrupt, and brutal in turn. There is definitely anecdotal information to support each view, however the task force found few statistical studies to determine the realty behind these views, as most studies examined were based on anecdotal compilations. “U.S. police misconduct statistics are hard to come by because the government does not regularly collect data. One attempt to track misconduct is the "National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project" which estimates misconduct rates using newspaper reports “ (Wikipedia, 2014, para.35). A potential problem would also arise when attempting to track misconduct in a law enforcement environment itself gone bad, as in the New Orleans' police attempt at covering up the shooting deaths of civilians (Thompson, 2011, para. 4,6). Finally, one myth that coincides with police misconduct is the “code of silence” with which police officers protect one another. Westmarland discusses the reality of this myth in the article, “Police Ethics and Integrity: Breaking the Blue Code of Silence” (2005)
One view about the police that many policemen would like to share with the public is the primacy of the crime fighting mission:“Citizens largely think of police as crime fighters” (Plant & Scott, 2009, p.13). However, politicians seeking fine money, and political interest groups seeking to legally define morality, have certainly diluted the police mission since the time of the Peelers with a cacophony of mala prohibta crimes
Of interest to note is the source of myths that paint the image of the police sub-system of the criminal justice system.. Both entertainment media and news media have influenced these views through a center-of-attention effect. Movies and TV have portrayed policeman from the spectrum of the thoroughly corrupt Bad Lieutenant to the anti-hero Dirty Harry. However, the majority of news coverage focuses center-of-attention on police misconduct. Further study is required to determine exactly how much is driven by the “need” for sensationalist copy, and how much is driven by political bias. There is anecdotal evidence of anti-police bias, as discussed at The Oregonian (Norton, 2008,). However, that does not imply that all media coverage is biased.
Due Process in the Criminal Justice System- Equal Treatment Under the Law
The task force also needs to discuss the issues that affect sentencing of offenders. What factors influence how fair the system is?
Racism is an issue that can affect prosecution and sentencing. One example is that of Tulia, Texas, where the criminal justice system arrested 38 African-Americans for drugs; all charges later set aside by the courts. "The prosecutions were, these lawyers said, the consequence of poisonous small-town race relations, a misguided desire to claim victories at any cost in the war on drugs and a legal system in which poor defendants did not have a fighting chance against thin but confident testimony from a single police officer. "(Romero & Liptak , 2003, para 4)
Plea bargaining also has a negative impact on the fairness of the system , "You have two people who've committed the same crime. They have the same background, and one is going to get twice as severe a sentence as the other because he's exercised the right to trial. I think it's a perfectly designed system to produce conviction of the innocent. " (Frontline, 2004, para 2)
How fair is the system as a whole? Since 1973, 130 people have been released from death sentences (Amnesty International, n.d., para. 1).1365 have been executed since 1976 (Death Penalty Information Center [DPIC], 2014, p.1). In addition there are approximately another 3300 offenders on death row(CNN, 2011, para 2). This leads to a rough estimate of 3% wrongful convictions. This correlates with estimates of 1% to 3% of wrongful convictions in the criminal justice system as a whole(Godsey, 2012, para.2). This is an example of both the criminal justice filter and of due process at work.
Finally, as Truth in Sentencing (TIS) programs evolved it has been seen to have two effects. The first, that criminals received the same sentences for the same crimes, removing some political considerations that caused unfair differences in sentencing. The second, that criminals are punished for their crimes, and prevented from committing additional crimes. Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk states that TIS efforts are successful, “A second reason why we should not scrap TIS is that evidence-based research indisputably shows that since 1994 our crime rate has steadily dropped--an astonishing 42% between 1995 and 2008--as our incarceration rate increased by 18% “ (2011, para. 6)
Recommendations to Avoid Injustice Caused by the Criminal Justice System
The first recommendation made by the Task force is that all officers are to be equipped with a digital video/audio camera at all times during their shift. This is in addition to cameras mounted on police vehicles. Supervisors will be responsible for verification of operation prior to, at some point during, and at the end of shift. Officers will either behave themselves, or have immediate evidence of misconduct. The presence of cameras will reduce the number of misconduct complaints; “Where they have been used, they have proved their worth. In a three-month experiment with 74 Oakland, Calif., police officers, complaints were filed against 15 of the cops when they patrolled without video cameras. But when they were driving cars with cameras, there wasn't a single complaint filed against any of the 74. “ (Chapman, 2010, para. 6) This will also allow for defense against many baseless lawsuits filed against LE agencies. With the rising tide of lawsuits pursued against law enforcement agencies (Archibald & Maguire, 2002, p.2), a cost analysis should show the cost of the cameras to easily offset the costs of lawsuits. In addition, video evidence is useful in preventing assaults against officers and preventing racial profiling
A major impetus of the COPS grant program was the enhancement of officer safety. Not
only were officers being assaulted at an alarming rate; they were increasingly becoming
accident victims while performing their duties on the highways. COPS believed that the
use of the in-car camera would possibly deter assaults while providing a safer working
Another emerging issue was racial profiling in policing. COPS leadership felt that
providing agencies with technology capable of producing both video and audio records
of traffic stops would be extremely useful to agencies investigating any public challenge
regarding racial profiling. Based on these two critical police issues, forty-seven state
police and highway patrol agencies quickly took advantage of these camera grants.(Albright, n.d., p6)
Police act based upon training and experience. The environment on which that experience is gained affects what a policeman learns. This process can also be described as the police socialization process. Socialization can have good effects or bad effects; an example of a bad effect though socialization is the “code of silence”. Training must be an ongoing process, and reinforce current policy as the criminal justice system adapts new strategies. Training must also continuously emphasize the officer's responsibilities to both crime control, and to due process.
Law enforcement agencies need better screening for officers .Some cities have even dropped application exams. “The Chicago Police Department is seriously considering scrapping the police entrance exam “ (Spielman & Main, 2010, para 1)
Stop prosecuting citizens for videotaping police. The downside of this is the possibility of dishonest editing for political reasons, as seen in the Occupy UC Davis case (Kincaid, 2011). However, by arming police with cameras of their own, such propaganda will more easily be countered. This alone will repair trust in the community.
Recommendations Specific for San Diego
First, an investigation into the officers conducting the first investigation. Did they have ties to John or to the owners of the Red Drum? Collusion is hard to prove in such cases, yet the absolute evil of this crime warrants a detailed investigation.
A policy investigation of officers frequenting the Red Drum. Was assault a common occurrence? If criminal activity is discovered, that would need to be pursued. If officers are being falsely accused in the atmosphere of this crime, their innocence needs to be proven.
The Use of Capital punishment
There are three considerations to the use of the death penalty; is it humane in that the punishment fits the crime, is it effective in preventing crime, and is it fairly applied? Capital punishment is as humane as it needs to be, punishment must fit the crime. There is debate on this issue, but it seems that a position on either side is derived from morality, not objectivity. Capital punishment can only be used in crime control for specific deterrence. General deterrence is based on the premise that other potential criminals will decide not to commit crime in view of punishment, however crime is mostly committed by people with low impulse control who aren't going to spend time weighing consequences. "Criminality is a time invariant personality trait, namely self-control" (Engel, 2012, p.15) The costs involved with capital punishment lie in the death penalty appeals process “There’s no reason in the world for a death penalty appeal to take 20 years,” Negron said from Tallahassee. “That’s not justice, that’s people making a mockery of the justice system.'”(Holsman, 2013, para 4). Capital punishment must be used equally. A due process system requires that all citizens are treated equally by law. Just because someone has been an exemplary citizen up to the time they committed the criminal act is no excuse for leniency. Likewise, mental incapacitation should be no excuse. Finally, “police stress syndrome” is not an excuse for rape and murder.
Ramifications for San Diego
The best possible outcome for the city is the conviction and execution of John, a confessed murderer and rapist. The position that the city’s council should take if the officer is convicted and awarded the death penalty would be to support the decision. This would show the community that the criminal justice system works.

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Public Perception of the War on Drugs, White-Collar Crime, And Organized Crime: Recommendations for the Criminal Justice System Response

Public Perception of the War on Drugs, White-Collar Crime, And Organized Crime: Recommendations for the Criminal Justice System Response

"I say that you cannot administer a wicked law impartially. You can only destroy. You can only punish. I warn you that a wicked law, like cholera, destroys everyone it touches — its upholders as well as its defilers."
- Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee (Inherit the Wind)

A common worry that the public shares in regards to crime, is that of those crimes that may affect them personally, such as being the victim of a burglary, robbery, or assault. In contrast to this focus, the criminal justice system spends much of it's resources on crime that is not seen on the street or on the neighborhood corner. These battles are the "War on Drugs", investigating white-collar crime, and fighting organized crime. Are these resources being applied properly? Or are there better ways of utilizing the criminal justice system? To answer these questions, we will need to examine each one of these battles as related to how the public views the battle. We will also need to examine these battles in light if the effects these crimes have on the community. In addition, we need to examine whether it is feasible for the criminal justice system to attempt to change the public perception of this kind of crime. Finally, we need to address ow have these efforts affected the criminal justice system itself.
I. Public Perception
A. What is the public perception of the "War on Drugs", on organized crime, and of white-collar crime? The public itself seems to demand outlaw heroes. Maura Kelley in The Atlantic gives two examples in the figures of Cool Hand Luke and John Wojtowicz of how the public lionized criminals on the big-screen (2012). Obviously, the media creates a "TV" version of the outlaw hero, but how much of that is just giving the public what it wants? What myths and cultural influences affect how the public views these types of crimes? The outlaw myth is most likely to be the highest factor in the glamorization of outlaws. Even beyond the guiding myth of American individualism, the concept of "stealing from the rich and giving to the poor" appeals to humans in general, especially the poor. The "War on Drugs" has given rise in popular music to traditions such as gangster rap and the narcocorrido, celebrating the "outlaw hero" of the drug dealer (Wikipedia, 2014, para 1).
B. How do these perceptions affect the public’s attitudes toward crime and their confidence in government.? Public attitudes toward police are generally positive (Dowler, 2003, para 7) In theory, the arrest of public officials engaged in corruption should be proof of, and therefore reinforce a perception of the criminal justice system as honest. In fact though, media tends to use cases of public corruption selectively. Take for example, Chris Christie's abuse of power in Bridgegate, and compare this to the IRS abuse of power scandal in the way that media has covered both scandals. (Investors.com, 2014) (Whitlock, 2014)
C. Are there ways to adjust public perception? Because mala prohibita crimes tend to be the result of a consensus view, and there is a reflective relationship between the media portrayal of crime and the public demand for such material, it is unlikely that the way society views criminals will change unless the criminal justice system changes the way it deals with a consensus view. In addition, the role of the outlaw hero in cultural mythology subverts the possibility of changing these views through media manipulation. Finally, attempts to legally restrict media presentations of crime may be unconstitutional. As one example, laws such as the various "Son of Sam" laws, intended to prevent a criminal from profiting from their crime, would have a peripheral effect on media presentation. However, the original NY state law has been struck down as unconstitutional (Wikipedia, 2014, para 5)
II.. Efficiency of effort
A. Despite the high societal cost of the "War on Drugs", there has been little success in this war. In 2014 alone, the criminal justice system in America has spent over $3.5 billion, and arrested over 140,000 citizens (Drug Sense, 2014, para 1-3). And what are the results for this cost? CNN (2011, para 1) reports that more than 22 million Americans age 12 and older use drugs, nearly 9% of the U.S. population. Indeed, the federal government reports that drug usage is increasing. "National survey shows a rise in illicit drug use from 2008 to 2010"( Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration [SAMHA], 2011, para 1)
B. One issue in discussing white-collar crime is the cost to society. Graham compares several studies with estimates ranging from a total coat to the economy of $44 billion to $600 billion per year (2012, p.13) A second issue to be considered is the criminal justice system does not always pursue white-collar crime. "It appears at times that our justice system does not place adequate emphasis on fraud and other white collar crimes especially when it is considered a non-violent victimless crime. One disturbing fact is how the offense is perceived, not as a criminal offense at all, but as simple bad judgment on the part of victims, by both the general public and by the victims themselves. "(Crimes of Persuasion, 2014, para 3) Finally, some prosecutors may have a hard time convicting on white-collar cases. "The Serious Fraud Office’s decision not to lay criminal charges over the collapse of Hanover Finance shows how tough it is to prosecute white collar crime under the present law, former SFO boss Adam Feeley says." (Mafia Today, 2013, para 1)
C. The Congressional Research Service discusses the various ways that organized crime affects the economy.; money laundering, cigarette trafficking, piracy and counterfeiting of goods, and currency counterfeiting.(Finklea, 2010, pp21-24). Unfortunately, measuring a dollar cost for the damages that organized crime causes is difficult .The National White Collar Crime Center [NW3C] discusses the various reasons this is so; it is not measured in any systematic way, some is not detected, some is not reported, and not all offenses that could be committed by criminal organizations such as gambling and prostitution are committed by organizations (2007, p.3)
III. How have these efforts affected the criminal justice system
A. As mala prohibita crimes are defined by a consensus view, it can be argued that these crimes can be used to attack a political minority. Another view is that of conflict theory which proposes that poorer members of society are kept in their places by prosecuting their vices. One example of this is the political elite of a city attacking those that they consider as ill-educated., and satisfies both theories.
Take note, however, of which economic class Mayor Bloomberg thinks he is saving from themselves. In his mind he’s doing poor folks a favor when he assumes the role of portion police, but in reality he’s merely showing his prejudice that poor people are disgustingly fat and too stupid to understand why. He must believe that they need the government to ban their bad habits, one after another, until they’re eating organic arugula from Whole Foods. (Huang, 2014, para. 16)
B. The "War on Drugs" has had the most effect on Americans' fundamental liberties. While the growth of the Mafia has contributed to the growth of the FBI, the "War on Drugs" affects law enforcement agencies and court systems at every level of government, with an attendant effect on all of us.
Despite such warnings, most Americans have yet to appreciate that the War on Drugs is necessarily a war on the rights of all of us. It could not be otherwise, for it is directed not against inanimate drugs but against people—those who are suspected of using, dealing in, or otherwise being involved with illegal drugs. Because the drug industry arises from the voluntary transactions of tens of millions of people—all of whom try to keep their actions secret—the aggressive law enforcement schemes that constitute the war must aim at penetrating the private lives of those millions. And because nearly anyone may be a drug user or seller of drugs or an aider and abettor of the drug industry, virtually everyone has become a suspect. All must be observed, checked, screened, tested, and admonished—the guilty and innocent alike. (Wisotsky, 1992, para. 11)
And as the criminal justice system has pursued the "War on Drugs" past the boundaries of due process and procedural law, we now have the government taking the role of committing mala in se crimes, from the theft of property from un-convicted suspects via property seizure, to the killing of people who aren't even using or selling drugs. A list of such victims provided by Drug War Rant includes a Marine veteran who had served two tours in Iraq, and was under surveillance based on his acquaintances, not on any action of his own, was shot by police on his own front porch. (2014, para. 14).
C. That such shootings occur also coincides with the trend of police militarization is not surprising. Somin notes that
... the number of SWAT team deployments has risen from a few hundred per year in the 1970s to over 50,000 in 2005. A wide range of state and federal law enforcement agencies now have military-style units, ranging from small-town rural police departments to such unlikely federal agencies as the National Park Service, the Postal Inspection Service, the Department of Agriculture, and the Fish and Wildlife Service
Most of the raids launched by these units target suspected low-level drug dealers, not terrorists, kidnappers, or violent criminals of any kind. The everyday use of such massive force predictably results in the death and injury of numerous innocent people. (Somin, 2013, para. 1,2)
This trend is an indicator that the growth complex theory may be in play. Of course, when an organization succumbs to mission creep, it often fails to pursue the mission it was created for.
"Starting in the mid-1970s, the NORC surveyed households in American cities and uncovered huge amounts of crime that never made the official rolls. One possible scenario that emerged was that the police were too busy with the war on drugs to do normal everyday policing. " (Class notes, Unit 4: Week 3 - page 5)
V. Recommendations
A. Criminal justice agencies should push for the decriminalization of drug use and sales. Criminalization has led to a waste of public money, a waste of criminal justice assets, the arrest and incarceration of private citizens, and has had no effect on the consumption of illegal drugs in our society. Decriminalizing this activity would free up resources to be used to pursue other crimes, including white-collar crimes that have been not been pursued fully. Criminal justice agencies should also consider creating sanctuary zones regardless of what the politicians ask. One example of how politics can interfere with the operation of the criminal justice system is in the example of sanctuary cities, in which liberal politicians order policing agencies disregard enforce immigration law, despite the harmful effects of illegal immigration to employment and public support for the law. Selective enforcement is a sword that cuts both ways.
B. Bounty programs may also be a solution to resource issues: due to a lack of resources, the criminal justice system does not pursue investigation of white-collar and organized crime. A system of bounty awards would allow private agencies to investigate such crimes. The bounty could be paid out of fines assessed to a convicted criminal. There would have to be many restrictions placed on participants in such a program, as they would not be sworn law enforcement agents. Such restrictions would include no confrontation of suspects( no interrogation, no arrests). This type of program would dilute the possibility of corruption, as criminals might not know exactly which private agencies were investigating their crimes.

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