Law as a Living Body

According to Palmer (2000) the Anglo-American way of addressing and conceiving the law has greatly changed over a period of time. The law was in the beginning viewed as a perfect tool which if applied in the right way would lead to unfolding the hidden truth in any situation. The law was viewed as an instrument which would lead to the right decision making, the opinion and perception of the judge not withstanding. Within time, it was discovered that other external factors apart from the legal process influenced the way in which cases were decided.

The Anglo-Americans have appreciated that the law is a body which changes and grows with time. The law reflects the needs of the society which it serves and changes with the change in opinion and perception of the society (Robert, 2006).

A Comparison of Law as Found in Theory and in Practice The legal undertakings dictate that the process of conducting cases in court should be guided by legal instruments strictly, such as the rules of evidence and the law which is applied in the specific case. This is not the true position in the practical life. Leo (1999) stated that scholars had found that other factors touching on the surrounding of the case in real life affects the ruling of the case. Political atmosphere as an example can influence the courtroom process, the perception and belief of the judge can also influence the ruling of the case outside of the legal process.

This brings in the difference from what one expects to experience in the legal process and what actually takes place in the day to day activities in the court system. The external influence to the law creates a gap which needs to be addressed if a perfect due process is to be achieved.

The Law Objectives The objective of the law is mainly to govern and control the process and decisions made in the courts in every proceedings. With the use of the common law applied in almost all the courts, the purpose of the law is not accomplished in reality. The judges are given powers that are discretionary to rule over the cases where they form their opinion of what is right and wrong and decide how the judgment should be made. This results to judges being the controllers of the court process instead of the law itself attaining this objective in real life.

Due Process Researchers have stated that no clear definition has been found to the due process that takes place in our court system (Robert, 2006). It has been emphasized that the legal activities in the court over along period of time need to be closely analyzed before a universal definition of the word is reached at. The purpose of due process is to protect human beings from state powers and ensure that the state has a responsibility and is answerable to the society for its actions. The process protects rights of people and ensures fairness.

The illustration of how theoretical law has differed from written law has been brought out clearly in the emergency and development of the due process aspect on the 11th of September. What is referred to as due process in one regime differs from another. A good explanation is in the 1868 where the bill which evolved then recognized the right of a person to own a human slave as his own property. With the fifth amendment, the bill was changed when the practice of slave trade was viewed as inhuman.

The year 1993 saw the developments of the due process where an amendment was done the fourteenth time, where the bills which advocated for same rights for all people were said to apply to all states including the federal state and the US government. The due process has been effective in ensuring that justice is carried out on the part of the citizens and the state as the one which forms the laws. The giving of excess powers however leads to unfair rulings for some of the cases as the decision makers may get misguided by external factors.

There is therefore need to look at mechanisms to perfect the process. Rights Given to the accused The court ruled in the case of Miranda vs Arizon that in the proceedings the accuse persons should be made aware of their rights which included deciding to maintain silence when the proceedings were taking place, to inform the accused that their testimony can be used against them, the right to get a legal person to represent them in court, a right to request that a legal person be appointed to do presentation on behalf of the suspect if he cannot afford to higher one.

The rights of the accused have been looked at in two ways, as having positive effects and as negative at the same time. It is recognized that an accused must be treated as innocent until proved guilty. It is only after treating the accused with care that the truth can be established, otherwise the accused may be coerced to say things which are not true and end up being wrongly convicted.

The problem is that stubborn accused persons who need some force in order to give out information may go free. September 11th saw a principle passed that the accused must always be informed about their rights before trial (Leo, 1999). The 11th of September shows how the law changes and develops with changes in the society. Word Count: 921

References Leo, p. (1999). Consequences of false confessions: Deprivations of of Liberties and Miscarriages of Justice: Oxford: Oxford University Press. Palmer, E. (2000). The Execution of the Innocent: Law and Contemporary Problems. New York: Routledge Publishers. Robert, F. (2006). After Arrest: Law, the Court and Post Arrest Procedures. Oxford: Oxford University Press.