Due Process v. Crime Control

Due Process Vs. Crime ControlThe “crime control” model is defined as a process that uses every effort to repress and reduce crime. It has emphasis on speed, efficiency, and finality. This gives it the ability to apprehend, try, and convict a high number of offenders.(Cole, Smith, & DeJong, 2013, p. 13) Anyone familiar with “Judge Dredd” is also familiar with the crime control model. Due process is defined as a model where every effort must be made ensuring that decisions are made on reliable information, which shows extreme importance on the adversarial process (the legal system of the United States), the rights of the defendants, and the formal process for making decisions as defined by the U.S. Constitution. (Cole et al., 2013, p. 13) Neither model by itself will prevent crime in the United States, the answer lie in the proper proportioning of both models.

The main fault of the crime control model is that it places too much emphasis on controlling crime. By doing this an individual’s constitutional rights are most often infringed upon. The due process model places its emphasis on the individual’s rights. Both the offender and the victim have constitutional rights and those rights should be protected. While the due process model is the basis for our Criminal Justice system it is not infallible. Many complain that is places too much emphasis on individual liberties and instead protects the offender and ignores the victim. (Perron, n.d., para. 3)

The crime control module is most effective when used at the lowest level. It affords an individual officer the ability to use discretion when writing citations or arresting an offender. If the officer feels that arresting an individual is needed and instead gives a warning he/she is using discretion and helping to increase efficiency and productivity of the respective department. An elected official cannot lean heavily on the crime control module, though. If they were to utilize crime control solely, the individuals that they represent would be neglected and often times would result in political backlash.

What we try to accomplish is a balance or harmony of the two processes.Crime control is used at the lowest level to try and ease the stresses upon our court system. Then due process is set into motion once an offender reaches a certain point in our criminal justice system. We as citizens of the United States of America all have rights guaranteed unto us by God and our Constitution. If we were to strip individuals of these rights in order to facilitate an expedite trial and ruling where would the line be drawn? Who then would determine what rights a perpetrator should be stripped of and what would stop a person with that power from striping other rights from other individuals.

There is no cut and paste answer to the “best” model. There are recommended practices and guidelines that Law Enforcement and other members of the Judiciary branch adhere to in order to carry out our liberties as best as possible. While the 4th Amendment prohibits unreasonable search and seizures are there instances when this right should be infringed upon? We, as a nation, are searching for the best answer to a very in depth and important question. That question is what can we do to curb crime and yet still guarantee the rights of individuals?

Our political leaders must be held accountable for their decisions and the effects they have upon us, their constituents. Society can place emphasis on a certain model depending on current issues. Remember Sept 11, 2001? We left due process behind and ran screaming to the crime control module. Bills were passed that infringed upon the individual’s right to privacy. People wanted to feel secure so we allowed every manner of deterrent to be used on us as we tried to travel our own nation. Now here we are twelve years later suffering with our earlier decisions. Our phones are still being tapped in the name of security. A balance was not kept and we are now suffering from our hasty decisions.

We must remember that our liberties are of the utmost importance, not just our individual safety. Maintaining a balance of the two models is no easy task, if it were crime would be at an all-time low right now.