top-rated free essay

slippery slope

By jhonkala Oct 14, 2014 1737 Words

Criminal Procedure Final
Jessica-Ann Honkala
Kaplan College- Chula Vista

Criminal Procedure
Mr. Gonzales
June 3rd, 2014

The United States of America’s Justice System has many flaws to it, but it is a good system to rely on. The American criminal justice consists of various stages in criminal procedures that are used to determine the innocence or guilt of a suspected and the appropriate sentencing if found after the trial. The United States Fifth Amendment of the constitution states No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall 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. The concept of due process is that the law states the protection and fairness of individual citizens against powers that the states have. According to Marco (2011) the public nature of the legal system is express through due process, which ensures the idea that the government is accountable to the citizens and not the citizens to the government. Due process plays a key role from the public perception because the system must seem fair concerning the legitimacy of the law, legal attorneys, and the courts. Perception of Courts

Today in society many people believe that what you perceive on TV is what the actual court proceedings are in a downtown district court. However this is not the case. Many individuals in society believe that these court proceedings are paid actors or that the judges do not have that type of power. According to McNeely (1995) Research has suggested that a majority of people in the United States receive much of their impressions and knowledge of the criminal justice system through the media, especially through entertainment television viewing. As students and or individuals who understand the criminal justice proceedings without the media we tend to primarily study the features that characterize law enforcement and the legal system. However, I would like to pose a slightly different subject than is usually addressed in this area of study. Before society can draw a meaningful picture of the criminal justice field and law enforcement in society, we must review the nature of public knowledge and the perceptions of social control methods, especially within the criminal justice legal system. To put into other words what is the perception of the criminal justice system within societies or the public’s eyes? How much actual information does the public actually have of the criminal justice system within the United States? In addition, to what degree does the public understand the workings of the system? According to McNeely (1995) despite possible impressions to the contrary, most members of the population actually have few opportunities for direct interaction with the criminal justice system.

The Perception of A criminal Justice Major
From the time I was a kid, I had the perception that the courts that was on television was exactly on how it played out in an actual court room. I had the same perception as everyone who else who does not understand the criminal justice field. As I got older my perception became broader. Before I came into the criminal justice field as my major I had no clue what probable cause was. I did not know how a jury was selected and I did not know what the right of discovery by the defense was. I only saw the black and white of the justice system. The book that was given to us for the criminal procedures class provided information that made more sense to me. On May 6th, 2014 the criminal procedures class of Mr. Gonzales from Kaplan College in Chula Vista took an extraordinary trip to the south bay district court between 3rd and H Street in downtown Chula Vista. At 10:33 a.m. as a class we went into a court room that was headed by Judge Sontag for a preliminary hearing on a charge of Assault with a deadly weapon. My first perception was completely wrong. As I said the media plays a significant role in the perceptions of the courts that are on television and the courts that are real. When we began to proceed into the court room I noticed that the defense attorneys and the prosecution attorney were very cooperative with each. I only saw on tv that the prosecution and the defense attorneys hated each other and were always at each other’s throats. The case that occurred in the court room happened in the San Ysidro port of entry. As soon as court started a witness was called into the court room and was sworn under oath by the Court clerk. She had relayed to the court that she was a police officer for the San Diego Police Department. She also stated what she observed and what she had seen at the time of the scene. The Next on the Witness stand was Mr. Gonzales. After being sworn in by the court clerk He had stated to the court about what had happened the day of the incident. What got my attention in particular was the Defense attorney was trying to slip up Mr. Gonzales in any way he could. The defense attorney kept asking him the same questions, but in different ways. During the trial proceedings I noticed that the bailiff seemed bored during the hearing. Also, I had the perception that all judges were mean and very strict. My perception again was wrong. I noticed that Judge Sontag was interacting with each attorney. Before the hearing began we were outside from the courtroom and saw the defendant sit across from us, but we did not know that he was the defendant. During the court hearing when the defendant entered the room we were all shocked. We kept saying to each other that he was the guy who was sitting next to us outside the courtroom. From observing the preliminary hearing everything changed my perception in the criminal justice system. Perception from the Media

According to McNeely (n.d.) crime and law enforcement television programs have been extremely popular, with consistently high ratings over time. More than a quarter of all prime time shows from the 1960s to the 1990s have focused on themes of crime or criminal justice, which constitute the largest single subject matter on television today, across all types of programming. There are arguments to the effect that television, even when entertaining, is a powerful educational medium. According to McNeely (n.d.) "there must be millions of people who have learned, simply by watching crime dramas in the past few years, that they have the right to remain silent when arrested." The American Civil Liberties Union has likewise said that television crime and law enforcement programs provide an "excellent legal education for the public". On the other hand, many analyst and experts have disagreed with this statement they find television programs to be poor sources of accurate knowledge regarding even the formal operation of the legal system, due to omission and distortion of information and the higher priority of dramatic need. According to McNeely (n.d.) For example, most police crime shows depict a criminal investigation process ending with apprehension, arrest, or violent death of the suspect. The stories often include legal and illegal searches and seizures, and arrested suspects are often "read their rights." Post arrest procedures arraignments, pretrial hearings, jury selection, bonding, plea bargaining, trials, sentencing, etc… and I believe this statement is very true. They do not perceive as a person who does go to court who does actually see a trial going on in front of their face. By portraying the law in this way, television programs make the legal system and the foundation of the law less understandable.

The current situation in the United States is one of a social structure undergoing relatively rapid change in a number of areas in which knowledge of the criminal justice system is a significant issue. According to McNeely (n.d.) Research has shown a strong relationship between heavy television viewing and the cultivation of television-biased perceptions of reality. Overall this experience that we as a class had was a once in a lifetime experience to witness the courts for what they truly are. Like McNeely said not a lot of people have interactions with the criminal justice system. We have to understand that We cannot believe everything we see on television because they do not depict the actual court proceedings between participants. According to Stott (2011) It might not be a free-for-all yet, but the more the you and me believe in the reality of these shows the closer they get to having an effect on the criminal justice system. Society is fascinated with crime and justice. From films, books, newspapers, magazines, television broadcasts, to everyday conversations, we are constantly engaging in crime talk. The mass media plays an important role in the construction of criminality and the criminal justice system. The public’s perception of victims, criminals, deviants, and law enforcement officials is largely determined by their portrayal in the mass media.

Marco, C. (2011, January 1). Due Process Paper. StudyMode. Retrieved May 24, 2014, from

McNeely, C. (n.d.). PERCEPTIONS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: Television Imagery and Public Knowledge in the United States - JCJPC - Volume 3, Issue 1. Connie L. McNeely - PERCEPTIONS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: Television Imagery and Public Knowledge in the United States - JCJPC - Volume 3, Issue 1. Retrieved May 24, 2014, from

Stott, K. (2011, January 1). Primetime Crime and Its Influence on Public Perception. . Retrieved May 24, 2014, from

Dowler, K. (2003, January 1). Media consumption and public attitudes toward crime and justice- JCJPC, Volume 10, Issue 2. Media consumption and public attitudes toward crime and justice- JCJPC, Volume 10, Issue 2. Retrieved May 24, 2014, from

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Slippery Slopes

    ...What is a slippery slope argument? Critically discuss the use of such arguments in one area of biomedical ethical controversy. The slippery slope argument is amongst the strongest voiced and possibly the most emotive of arguments in opposition to legalising voluntary active euthanasia (VAE, the act of accelerating the death of another, usual...

    Read More
  • How Slippery is the Slope?

    ... How Slippery is the Slope? “There is no ‘slippery slope’ toward loss of liberties, only a long staircase where each step downward must first be tolerated by the American people and their leaders.” Alan K. Simpson. The essay, Chapter 6: The Slippery Slope, is a break down on how ineffective and illogical the slippery slope fallacy is ...

    Read More
  • The Slippery Slope to Corruption and the Public Corruption of Police Officers

    ...For the Running Header: THE SLIPPERY SLOPE TO CORRUPTION The Slippery Slope to Corruption and the Public Corruption of Police Officers Ricky A Price, Col. U.S.A.F. (Ret) Kaplan University Online CJ340-02: Applied Criminal Justice Ethics Professor Kevin Stoehr 10 July 2012 The law enforcement agent, that represents government, bears th...

    Read More
  • Slippery Slope Argument

    ... Slippery Slope Argument Phil 103 19 April 2006 When one argues against an idea or action, one form often used is called the slippery slope argument. In a slippery slope argument, one takes a consequentialist view on the action in question, then extrapolates the further outcome sometimes based on evidence, sometimes not. For example, ...

    Read More
  • Computer Modeling of Slope Stability in Mining the Tar Sands of South Western Nigeria


    Read More
  • Point Slope, Intercept method

    ...-3 y=10 (0,10) The Slope-Intercept Method: - The Slope-Intercept form of a line is y=mx+b, where b is the y-intercept ( a point ) and m is the slope. - Slope is a quotient of two numbers. ∆=“delta”(change) Slope Definition: m= Rise –––– Run ∆y y 2 - y1 ––– = ––––––– ∆x x 2 - x1 1- S...

    Read More
  • Slope and Question

    ... Slope Gaby Ruiz Table of Contents I. Introduction – Big Idea II. Clinical interview 2 analysis III. Rationale for your instructional design: IV.  Part 1 – Pre-Assessment Sub-Part 1 – Quantitative Analysis of Pre-Assessments Sub-Part 2 – Qualitative Analysis of Pre-Assessments V. Forming Our Lesson VI. The Lesson VII. Post-assess...

    Read More
  • Slope Deflection Method

    ...Slope deflection method From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The slope deflection method is a structural analysis method for beams and frames introduced in 1914 by George A. Maney.[1] The slope deflection method was widely used for more than a decade until the moment distribution method was developed. Contents [hide] 1 Introducti...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.