Individual Freedom

Topics: Law, Criminal justice, Civil and political rights Pages: 2 (567 words) Published: March 20, 2013
Balancing the rights of an individual and the maintaining public order has been a challenged for the American Justice system. There are two groups that are involved in this balancing act. One group is advocates for individual rights known as “Individual Rights Activists” and believes that personal freedom should be protected within the criminal justice system. The other group is known as “Public Order Advocates.” Their belief is that at times of public safety threat, individual rights should not be considered foremost. Throughout history, laws have been created to balance the two opposing sides (Schmalleger,2012). Beginnings in the 60’s new laws were created to give rights to Americans regardless of their sex, race, disability, ethnic background etc. These laws were the start of the Civil Rights Movement. Rights regarding suspects, jail and prison inmates, probationers, etc. were created that provided the same rights as a free person (Leo, 2004). These rights were created to balance the court system. Suspects were protected from illegal searches, given access to lawyers, due process but at the same time the safety of the public was taken into account. Depending on the crimes, suspects were either denied or given bail. One way to provide the rights of the accused if out on bail is to maintain an electronic monitoring device on the person for the public’s safety. At all times, law enforcement will know where the suspect is until court. Seattle has created laws that protect the public order by making it illegal to sit or lay on sidewalks between certain hours in specific locations. People are allowed to walk by or stand on sidewalks but to keep vagrants from sitting or camping on sidewalks it is illegal. Merchants were losing business and some vagrants were aggressive to people walking by. The law kept the individual’s right to be on the sidewalk but for the safety of the residents created a law to curtail the ways to be on the sidewalk. In many...
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