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Due process and Crime

Updated on June 18, 2013

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Crime is part of human behavior just as there is good on mankind there will also be bad. Criminal behaviors are part of human nature, those bad wills found on men that are to be oriented by some means of correction. Such correction is to be applied in full respect of defendants’ procedural rights, known as due process, in order to secure a fair and proper process.

Due process and crime classifications are derived from a body of law evolved over time called common law. Early methods of trials were senseless and rather brutal; means of correction involved mostly death and outlawry administered neither with the purpose of correction nor the intentions of bringing justice to victims. The entire work of justice was administrated to the best benefit of the governing authorities, who often ripped possessions of accused and claimed themselves as victims of all crimes deserving compensation. Neither the victim nor the accused could enjoy a fair proper justice process. Over time, people developed more rational and proper means of allocate justice. Guaranteeing more rights and reasonable protections to defendants and citizens and ensuring justice for victims.

Criminal acts, in the American justice system, are not defined by the seriousness of the act itself, but for the punishment the act receives. The more harm presented by the action, the more correction is required. Therefore, those harming evil actions, known as mala en se, are to be punished as felonies. Felonies are sanctioned by death, a term in state or federal prison over a year, or a fine and imprisonment over a year. Those actions that may not present an aggressive social harm, often victimless crimes also known as mala prohibita, are expected to be controlled in order to maintain a peaceful and orderly life style. These less severe actions are punished as misdemeanors, deserving a fine, a less than a year term in county jail, or a fine and a less than a year term in county jail. Other even less severe crimes are punishable as infractions, deserving a fine. When it comes to crime classification, the role of justice is to administrate proper correction.

Correction and justice are allocated under full respect of defendants’ due process rights. Due Process rights are tools in possession of individual citizens to defend themselves against false incrimination or potential abuses of a powerful government. Due process rights secure a fair process. Innocence is assumed, until guilt can be proved. The required sufficiency of the evidence, the impartial trial and fair process, the protection against self incrimination and unreasonable searches and seizures, the right against unusual and cruel punishments, and the right to competent legal counsel are the defense features granted to defendants in the american due process.

Correction itself is a mean of social control that is applied to those harming wrongdoings committed, the level of correction defines the degree of crime; Due Process is to secure defense against abuses of a powerful government, and false incrimination, and to guarantee defendants a proper and fair process.

Good to know and be informed


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    • jose7polanco profile image

      Jose Misael Polanco 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Actually i also agree as well, some crimes are define by the victim (child abuse), while some others are defined by the target (property crime) and some other are defined by the type of criminal activity (organized crimes, narcotics, gangs)....Now, the crimes that involve more aggravating factors like large organizations of criminal activity will get more enhancements and punishment than crimes committed by less severe more private individuals.

    • Lifes 2nd Chances profile image

      Colleen Lyon 5 years ago from Kansas City, Missouri

      Jose, while I agree with you that due process has had it's growing pains over the centuries of its development, I believe it still has a long way to go. The legal system still has flaws, in my most opinion, the most irritating one being the value of harming people is often lower than the value placed on property damage, and theft. There are still too many cases where the defendant's trial takes place in the media now, and the court is highly influenced by this. Also there are cases that society loves to hate, such as child abuse cases, and in those cases, the defendant is guilty until proven innocent. It is hard to remain uninfluenced on a case, with all of the publicity, and one's own personal opinions, to actually wait until the truth is told before coming to a conclusion. I am sure there will be much debate about your hub, thanks for writing it. C.