Criminal Procedure Policy
June 14, 2010
Kathleen H. Mooneyhan
“Criminal procedure is the branch of American constitutional law concerned with the state’s power to maintain an orderly society and the rights of citizens and residents to live in freedom from undue government interference with their liberty” (Zalman, 2008, p. 4). The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth amendments are significant in studying criminal procedure. In criminal justice, the criminal procedure is important because it deals with the conflict between order and liberty directly. To understand the friction between order and liberty, Herbert Packer studied the competing values that underlie the constitutional order through the Due Process Model and Crime Control model. Both of these models have similarities as well as differences on shaping criminal procedure policy. Herbert Packer states, “One is not “good” and the other “bad”; both models embrace constitutional values that are necessary to the kind of society in which we wish to live” (Zalman, 2008, p. 5). Both models compare in only a few ways, but each model works together to make the adversarial system work effectively. One similar proponent between the two would be that both models support the rule that a prosecution of an individual can only happen if one violates the law on the books. In other words, state and federal governments cannot arrest or criminalize a bad behavior not against the law. Another proponent that both models share is that the duty of police and prosecutors is to enforce criminal laws and cannot ignore any violations to the law. The limits to the powers of government are another value that both models share. For example, the government can only go so far without being in violation of the Constitution. Another similarity between the two models is the belief that every criminal deserves his or her day in court and may demand a trial or other procedural safeguards. A suspect is an...
References: Handler, J. (n.d.). Ballentine’s Law Dictionary. (Legal Assistant Ed.). West Publishing: Thomson Learning.
Zalman, M. (2008). Criminal Procedure: Constitution and Society. (5th ed.). Prentice Hall: Pearson Education, Inc.
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