Criminal Justice Agency Accountability & Liability

The Federal Tort Claims Act, a statue that has been enacted by the Congress of the USA, was done so in 1946. It empowers people with the ability to sue the United States in a federal court for torts that have been committed by agents of the state. However, it still practices a waiver, though limited, of Sovereign immunity. The Act was established following the 1945 B-25 Mitchell bomber crash, where due to thick fog, the aircraft crashed into the Empire State building.

The US government offered compensation to the families of the victims ten months after the occurance. Whilst some accepted the money offered, others decided upon the initiation of a lawsuit. This resulted in a new legislation being formed which gave American citizens the power to sue the federal governments for torts as if it was a private individual. It is important to note that the case was not the initial reason for the bill, as it had been pending within Congress for a while. However, it did prove to act as a catalyst, nonetheless.

The Act does have its limitations as it states “circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with the law of the place where the act or omission occurred. ” 28 U. S. C. ss 1346(b) (1946). It also exempts those claims that are based on the performance or the failure to perform ”discretionary function or duty” 28 U. S. C. § 2680(a) (1946). The FTCA also exempts a number of intentional torts, although the United States is liable for specific intentional torts such as assault, battery, and false imprisonment, if committed by federal law enforcement officers 28 U. S. C.

§ 2680(h) (1946). Juxtaposed to the above mentioned legislation is the Civil rights Act 1871, which is considered a federal statue. Arguably the most significant section of the Act is 42 U. S. C. ss 1983. The Act was origin ally conceived after the American Civil war to protect southern blacks from the Ku Klux Klan by providing a civil remedy for abuse inflicted upon them. It essentially provides protection for all US citizens, regardless of class colour or creed that is deprived of their “rights, privileges or immunities” provided by the constitution or law, would be liable to the injured party in either a law suit or even in equity.

However, unlike the Federal Torts Claims Act, this doesn’t extend to a judicial officer. It is more so a means to protect oneself from other individuals who violate one’s civil rights. To conclude, both protect the individual, however, one does so from state officers, whilst the other does so from the discrimination from civilians. References Federal Tort Claims Act 1946, http://www. lectlaw. com/def/f071. htm retrieved 2009 Civil Rights Act 1871, http://law. justia. com/us/codes/title42/42usc1983. html retrieved 2009