Functions of Criminal Law

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Criminal Law: Why We Need It
Jayme Cole
JUS201 Criminal Law
March 16, 2013

Many may wonder what is criminal law and how and why was it put in place? There have been criminals since back in biblical times and thus the start of criminal law. During this time, laws where molded from the “eye for an eye” standard and thus becoming a set of established laws. This was not literal to the eye itself but the value of an eye, in other words “value for value”. When read in context, this is a statement of the modern “rule of proportionality” standard used in our courts today. Over time criminal law has developed into five functions: maintaining order, resolving disputes, protecting individuals and property, provide for a smooth functioning society and safeguarding civil liberties. (“Functions of criminal,”) These functions touch on different aspects of life and living by setting standards. In this paper I will discuss each of these functions and the role they play in society. First, I will touch on maintaining order. This provides predictability, letting people know what to expect from others. Without this, there would be chaos and uncertainty. To maintain order we rely on the services provided by the police departments, courts, and corrections. The purpose of police is to maintain order and also provide services. They operate within a community to prevent and control crime. They also assist prosecutors in criminal investigations by gathering evidence necessary to obtain convictions in the court. The purpose of the courts is to discover the truth and seek justice accordingly using their key players being prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges. Lastly, probation, parole, jail, prison serve as correctional agencies who’s purpose it to punish, rehabilitate and ensure public safety through means of incarceration, community based...
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