The criminal justice system is an essential aspect of American society as well as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The purpose of laws is to protect society from harm, ensure everyone’s safety, and equally treated. The criminal justice system works to protect the innocent and punish the guilty without violating the rights the criminal suspect to avoid any injustices. As society evolves the criminal justice system needs to evolve so it is important to create new laws to keep up with the evolution and new trends.
As new trends and contemporary issues develop in society, they can have a direct impact on the different functions of the criminal justice system, such as technology, sentencing policies, and capital punishment, which have tremendous effects the criminal justice system. In addition the police, courts, and corrections also play an essential role ensuring justice. Recent and future trends will and have had direct effect functions of the criminal justice system, such as technology, sentencing policies, and death penalty. Technology has been recently affecting the criminal justice system and will continue to do so.
In a new world technology is evolving each day and essential for the criminal justice system to keep up with the new changes. The new technology has created a whole new category for many levels of crimes, which investigation requires law enforcement to develop similar technological capabilities to stay ahead of future offenders. The new technology development has improved the law enforcement ability to identify and arrest guilty offenders as well as provide evidence that will enable the courts to prove the guilt of the offender.
New information systems have improved the communication capabilities between the police and members of the public with better tools for their safety, such as the Amber Alert and the Adam Walsh Act are laws in effect across the United States and Canada. These programs help provide immediate information about child abductions to the public, enabling the entire community to assist with the law enforcement. The future technology capabilities of the criminal offender and the criminal justice will expand and develop.
Criminals will take advantage of the new technologies to commit crimes in society and the criminal justice system will benefit from the new innovations by solving future crimes. The criminal justice system will improve their ability to share information and establish systems that will enable better integration of criminal justice databases. DNA is another new technology that has developed a major impact on the aspects of the criminal justice system.
The discovery of DNA is a unique genetic code to identify individuals from blood, hair, and even fingerprint samples for solving crimes. Police investigators and forensic experts will be able to use this data in matching DNA found on the crime scene with the DNA of criminals and suspects (Erwin, 2011). Once the DNA has a match to a criminal suspect, the DNA used in the court process to prove the guilt of the offender to an almost 100% certainty. DNA technology has proven the identity and guilt of many offenders, which has affected the population of the correctional system.
The DNA capability did improve the investigatory capabilities of the police and the criminal justice system because more criminal offenders are found guilty through the court system, and sent to prison to add to the population. The benefits of DNA outweigh any possible negatives when DNA may exonerate the innocent and identify the true criminal offender. DNA exonerations are unmistakably clear that mistaken identifications are more prevalent than generally perceived (Floyd, 2011). The ability to free an innocent person from an undeserving prison sentence is one of the greatest benefits of this new scientific discovery.
The future technological DNA capabilities continue to improve and expand the ability of the criminal justice system to identify, arrest, and successfully prosecute offenders who commit crimes. Every day DNA technology becomes more advanced and innovative, for example can match the smallest amounts of biological evidence to a criminal offender. Future DNA techniques will be applied to existing systems and testing methods that will become more automated and will be more effective and less time consuming.
Instead of waiting months of DNA results the future will provide instantaneous means for DNA profile development. Repeat offenders have become a dilemma for the criminal justice system because the repeat offenders are unresponsive to incarceration. Supporters of Proposition 184, known as Three Strike Initiative, insisted lengthy sentences for repeat offenders would reduce crime (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2005). New sentencing policies Three Strike laws will have a major impact on society and the criminal justice system in the future.
The state of Washington was the first state to adopt the new three strikes policy in 1993 in response to the high recidivism rates and the murder of Polly Klaus by a repeat and violent criminal offender. California followed suit and is to have the harshest three-strike laws, which classifies felonies violent and serious. Soon after California adopted the three strikes law about two dozen other states joined. The law mandates if a person has two or more previous serious or violent felony convictions, sentence of 25 years to life would be a mandatory (Law Info, 2012).
The goal of the Three Strikes policy is to deter repeat felony offenders, reduce crime rate, and improve public safety. The result in the state of California is not what legislative expected instead the overcrowding in the prisons, lack of a deterrent, and challenges over the constitutionality of the law. The overcrowding issue has put a tremendous strain on the correctional system, such as inhumane conditions, necessary mental health, and medical care for the prisoners. With these conditions the Supreme Court ordered the state to release thousands of prisoners back into Californian society.
The three strikes law is in question with society over the ability to deter crime, although research has shown the enactment from over 10 years ago the law has had little effect on deterring crime or reducing the crime rate. In fact, it has created greater public safety because the denial of the violent criminal offenders’ parole prevents future violent crimes. Also when a felony offender is serving 25 years to life the citizens do not have to live in fear of recidivists.
The three strike laws in the state of California has had a few legal challenges pertaining to the federal Constitution’s Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment because individuals were receiving three strikes sentencing for nonserious or nonviolent felony, such as petty theft and misdemeanors (Legislative Analyst’s Office, 2005). The future implications of the three strikes laws in states, such as California will need to make changes to the legislation to ensure a fairer and more equal distribution of the law.
Building new prisons will help alleviate the overcrowding problems that have been the result of the three strike laws and changes will need to occur to the third strike to limit the potential constitutional violation. Even though the Supreme Court currently has refused to address the constitutionality of the Three Strike laws in the future this question will need to be addressed if the law is not reformed to include only the more serious and violent felony offenses for the third strike law.
Presently the United States uses death penalty and capital punishment and has much controversy. There are numerous distinctive methods that exist that have advanced from beheading with either an axe or a guillotine to electrocution and lethal injection technology. The earlier methods were originally forbidden as cruel and barbaric, unlike the present methods still in use today in various states. The United States has different states that allow to govern their policies and use capital punishment legally, although some states have chosen to do away with the practice altogether.
The death penalty has been an issue in the past, currently, and will continue into the future. The death penalty remains to be a topic that many people have divided opinions on some are against it and others have fought to keep the death penalty. In the future and same as the past the death penalty will continue to be an issue that exists within the criminal justice system, such as the execution and ending the existence, which is such a final decision that has moral and spiritual implications. Many people believe that no person or entity has the right to make that decision.
As the United States moves forward this topic will continue to be an ongoing debate within the criminal justice system and society. Conclusion The criminal justice system is set in place to represent a moral authority to protect those from harm and to prevent others from harm and punish those who have broken the laws. A criminal justice system is a set of legal and social institutions for enforcing the criminal law in accordance with a defined set of procedural rules and limitations and essential to have value in a society, which is constantly changing and constantly evolving (Law Jrank, n. . ).
The criminal justice system will also continue to be an absolutely essential aspect of society that ensures that guilty offenders pay for their crimes and that victims get justice. As new technologies emerge or the threat of terrorism requires the criminal justice system to adapt the value of the justice system will not change but will continue to be a necessary aspect of society. Without an effective criminal justice system in place there would not be social control and the criminal element would reign.
Also, the need for legislation to keep pace with the new technologies that develop in society and create effective preventative measures to stop crime before it happens, respond to crime situations when they occur, and deter crime. The criminal justice system should continue to protect the rights of the suspect and the victim as well as ensure that justice served and members of the public are safe.