Deborah Bryant CJA/500 June 7, 2010 Nicholas Russo
Theories regarding Punishment and Rehabilitation have evolved with the civilization of man. There was a time in history when the rights of the accused were not considered when rendering punishments. Rehabilitation for offenders was unheard of. ( Katz & Walker,2008) noted “A tradition of vigilantism persisted well into the twentieth century and represented some of the worst aspects of American criminal justice. People just killed others whom they did not like, or mobs would drive them out of town. The lynching of African Americans was used to maintain the system of racial segregation in the South”. An offender was totally without rights and at the mercy of only his accusers. Man has evolved from an uncivilized “eye for an eye” type of punishment system, where the accused had no rights and rehabilitation was retributive, into a civilized society where punishment and rehabilitation are secondary to the basic rights of the accused. Before punishment or rehabilitation can be dictated, the rights of the accused must first be considered. These rights are spelled out in the United States Constitution under The Bill of Rights; -Amendment I- The right to freedom of speech, religion and to peaceably assemble. -Amendment II- The right of the people to keep and bear arms. -Amendment III- No Soldier shall, in time of peace be kept in any house, without the consent of the Owner, or in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. -Amendment IV- The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. -Amendment V- No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless indicted by the Grand Jury. No person shall be tried for the same crime twice (Double Jeopardy), nor be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation. -Amendment VI- In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where the crime was committed, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witness against him; to obtain witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. -Amendment VII- The right of a trial by jury, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States. -Amendment VIII- Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. -Amendment IX- The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. -Amendment X- The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. (The Bill of Rights) The Bill of Rights is a Constitutional procedural guideline that specifically dictates to the courts the rights of the accused and must be of primary consideration when administering Punishment and or Rehabilitation.
There are some schools of thought that believe The Bill of Rights limits the discretion of judges, and forces them to have to depend on case law when rendering punishments.
Many victims of crime feel as if their rights are...