Criminology Discussion Questions

Question 1

What are some of the benefits of having U.S. courts operate under an adversarial system? What are some of the drawbacks?

The legal system of the United States operates under an adversary system. This system occurs when parties of a controversy in court give their arguments and provide evident to support them, and also interrogate witnesses (Siegel et al, 2015). Sometimes the parties are allowed to control the process. In this case, the judge of the court remains impartial during the entire process. Therefore, it is primarily based on solving controversies. There are certain benefits and drawbacks associated with this system.

The first benefit that the courts of United States derive from using an adversarial system is that it ensures procedural law is followed adequately. Both sides of a controversy are heard, and given the opportunity to provide their arguments in the right manner as required by law (Siegel et al, 2015). The rights of all individuals involved are therefore protected and their privacy is guaranteed. The jury or judge also remains neutral or impartial so that justice is done without any bias on one side of the controversy in court. The courts of United States therefore benefit from this system because by using it, procedural law of the land is followed and \the principles of justice and fairness that are recognized in the constitution are protected by the courts. The pace of adjudication of justice in the courts is also slow in the adversary system because the courts have to listen to the arguments and evidence from both sides. This enhances careful deliberation of cases, and results in effective decision making. It gives the court’s juries enough time to study the presentations and arguments of both sides carefully in order to make fair and just ruling; hence enhancing the protection of individual rights. The adversary system could also allow parties to control the processes of gathering and presenting evidence, leading to justice and fairness of the court proceedings on a controversy or case.

One of the major drawbacks of the adversary system is that its slow pace may lead to slow determination of cases and make the legal procedures in court to be slow, leading to delays and wasting of time in court (Siegel et al, 2015). Justice is denied due to the slow process because the offended parties may become demoralized and lose hope in the process of finding justice. The use of adversary system in USA courts also leads to high costs which may not be affordable by poor people. The parties are required to provide their evidence and defend their arguments. This requires legal advice that may be too costly for poor people.

Question 2

Describe the bail process and the different types of bail.

Your response should be at least 200 words in length. You are required to use at least your textbook as source material for your response. All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations.

When a person commits crime, he or she is taken to a police station where he is checked and booked. The suspect is then put in cell where he awaits whether he or she can be released on  bail. The suspect may be allowed to post bail immediately after  booking, but in most cases he or she should wait for less than 48 hours while a bail hearing is held in court for the judge to determine whether the suspect can be released on bail or not, and if so, at what cost (Siegel et al, 2015). The amount of bail depends on the nature and magnitude of crime committed, and the discretion of the judge. The suspect is then released on bail if the judge rules so.

The different amounts of bail to be paid by suspects depend on the type of bail. There are different types of bail the first type is the cash bond which refers to the bail which is paid for in full  by cash. The second type is the immigration bail bond. This refers to the type of bails paid by individuals who have committed foreign national crime (Siegel et al, 2015). Surety bond is issued by a bail agent, and is issued when a person uses a bail company to get their loved ones or relatives released from jail. Federal bail is the type of bail which is determined by the judge of a court. Lastly, property bond is a type of bail which is secured through property or a house.

Question 3

What issues surround the discovery process?

Your response should be at least 200 words in length. You are required to use at least your textbook as source material for your response. All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations.

The discovery process occurs when the preparation for trial begins. It involves the exchange of information between the parties of a trial about their witnesses and evidence before the trial begins (Siegel et al, 2015). The discovery process allows the parties involved to understand or discover the evidence that the other party has for the case. It allows each party the time to develop or gather answering evidence during trial and questioning or interrogation. A suspect or witness can use the discovery process to obtain counsel from his or her lawyer on whether to object or not. The discovery process also involves document production whereby a party is given the opportunity to see the documents that are relevant, and to be used in the case. The court may also allow access to the computer files if the information sought is voluminous.

Another issue involved in the discovery process is deposition. These are statements made as a result of answering questions of an attorney, and the words are sworn and transcribed (Siegel et al, 2015). This allows attorneys to ensure that people stick to their stories and see the contents of the other side. During the discovery process, anything can emerge. Therefore, it is important for both parties to be honest with their lawyers about the issues involved.

References List

Siegel, L.J., Schmalleger, F., & Worrall, J. L. (2015). Courts and criminal justice in America (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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