Police in a Democratic Society

The primary role of the police, obviously, is to preserve and promote order and peace within their respective areas of responsibility. More so, police are always expected to be at the forefront of every crime investigations and efforts for the immediate resolution of any crime that took place. Alongside, police are also expected to be persistent enough to solve any case that would be assigned to them as the people are intently watching everything that they are doing—or if they are doing something, in the first place.

The role of the police does not end in identifying who the suspects are in a crime; their ultimate and most important role is to put the criminals inside the jail to prevent the further perpetuation of related and other crimes. This is, of course, to ensure the safety of the people that they tasked to protect. One controversial case that measured the persistence and the abilities of the American police force is the murder case committed against Martha Moxley. This is one murder case that could be considered a milestone in the history of the American police since the case run for 32 years.

Looking Back Martha was just only fifteen years old when she was brutally murdered by then an unknown assailant. She was walking a few yards away from her home from the Skakel’s residence but never made it to her home. She was found dead a day after bathing in her own blood, crushed with a 6-iron pipe that was blown apart. Some pieces of pipe were used to pierce her through the neck that eventually killed her on the spot. The Greenwich police did a cursory search of the house since her body was found under a tree in their backyard.

The supposed thorough search never succeeded instantly since there was no warrant issued. The absence of warrant of search and arrest against the suspected individuals then was attributed to the connections and power that the Shakel family has. The Skakels are connected with family Kennedy since Ethel Skakel-Kennedy is the widow of Robert F. Kennedy (Alessi, 2007). In 1976, the case was closed because the Skakels stopped cooperating with the Greenwich police and constantly refused to be interviewed.

After several years of waiting, the case was again opened when a writer named Len Levitt who was assigned to write an article about the case by the Greenwich Time in 1983. Due to the impact made by Levitt’s article, the issue once again gained national attention (Alessi, 2007). Frank Gurr who was a retiree from the Greenwich Police Department took the case and began his investigation in 1994. Gurr was supported by Mark Fuhrman, former detective from the Los Angeles Police, who wrote a book about the case. Fuhrman was evidently interested and dedicated on seeking justice for Moxley.

He conducted and helped in the investigation of the crime. The New York Police District also eyed on the case as it offered help in the investigation of the case (Levitt, 2003). According to Fuhrman, hiding old mistakes were the main reason of jeopardizing the investigation. Leaving it that way will cause a bigger mistake and eventually result to a disastrous mistake. It started positively since the grand jury interviewed more than fifty witnesses and undergone hearings with supports from the residents and staff.

In June 7, 2002, the grand jury proclaimed Michael Skakel guilty of murder and sentenced him to twenty years life imprisonment in August 29 of the same year (Levitt, 2003). Even some cases are unresolved for very long time, it will show and give justice in due time. Through cooperation and responsibility of friends, police and the jury, the case was solved which performed a breakthrough for the police to act and gain confidence in pursuing a case accounted to the rule of law and the desire to attain order and liberty. Controlling Crimes

Along with their aim of upholding the welfare and safety of their constituents, police in the United States are collaborating with each other in detecting and investigating that was and would be committed. A crime that happened with a particular state would be reported to the other police agencies, especially in cases where the suspects would jump from one state to another. Simultaneous are usually held if one state if found to be of great help in the resolution of a particular case. Police in a Democratic Society The police force plays a vital role in a democratic society.

Although, they are often hounded with issues pertaining to human rights, they are practically needed in the maintenance of peace and order in every area. The case of Moxley shows how police operates in a democratic society. While investigators have already identified suspects who are linked to the crime committed, they did not immediately arrest the suspect due to the absence of warrant of arrest as the law would require. Different System If not a democratic society, the case would definitely be treated in a different way or approach.

A democratic society guarantees the rights of suspect to his own human rights. Unless convicted, the suspect should not be treated as a criminal. If the case happened in other countries, the suspect, without any support of a written warrant, may be arrested as the police deem it imperative.


Alessi, T. (2007). The  Recently Solved  Mystery of "Who Murdered Martha Moxley? " [Electronic Version]. Retrieved July 8 from http://www. marthamoxley. com/. Levitt, L. (2003). Skakel may seek a new trial [Electronic Version]. Retrieved July 8 from http://nypdconfidential. com/columns/2003/030908. html.