Criminal Justice System

Criminal Procedure
8th Edition Joel Samaha

Wadsworth Publishing

Crime Control in a Constitutional Democracy
Chapter 1

Constitutional Democracy
We live in a constitutional democracy, where neither a single dictator nor an overwhelming majority of the people has total power.

A majority of elected representatives have wide latitude to create criminal laws, but in enforcing the criminal law, officials are much more restricted by the law of criminal procedure.

Balancing Values in Constitutional Democracy
Our constitutional democracy balances the need to provide for the public’s safety and security against other equally important values—individual liberty, privacy, and dignity. Weighed on one side of the balance is the amount of government power needed to control crime for everybody’s safety and security. Weighed on the other side is the amount of control individuals have over their own lives.

The Pendulum
It has been argued that the history of criminal justice in the Western world has been like a pendulum swinging back and forth between periods of result and process alternately holding the upper hand. When one becomes excessive, the pendulum swings back toward the other.

Most of the history of criminal procedure, especially state criminal procedure since the Civil War, developed in response to racial discrimination. However, equal justice under law also deals with equality in class, gender, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.

The Bill of Rights as a Code of Criminal Procedure
The Bill of Rights limits the power of the government to enforce criminal law by guaranteeing the fair and equal administration of criminal justice to everybody, including criminal suspects, defendants, and convicted offenders.

The Fourteenth Amendment
Two clauses in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantee fairness and equality.

“Due process of the law” “Equal protection of the laws”

Balancing Values in...