Finally, because crime is unevenly applied and too broadly defined, a constitutional crisis is emerging as a result of the fact that corporate actors can more easily commit criminal acts without punishment while other individuals are expected to follow criminal laws. In terms of the consequences of this differential treatment, for example, one Stanford University scholar asks rhetorically What is happening to our children when they are placed in delinquent institutions in faraway states?
Why are poor people spending months in jail because they cannot afford the fees of private probation companies while rich people literally escape because they could afford the initial traffic fine? Why do courts tolerate such abysmal attorneys for poor people accused of criminal offenses? (Montross & Mulvaney, 2009, p. 1439) The future of criminal justice is therefore dependent on its present design to control the masses while at the same time allowing the masses to suffer from inadequate resources and an inadequate type of qualitative access to the criminal justice system.
Due process rights for juveniles are being ignored in favor of simply transferring them to adult jurisdiction and throwing away the key. As private contractors invest in private jails this trend is exacerbated as the contractors seeks to maximize profits and the governments seek to increase employment through incarceration. There is talk of eliminating constitutional rights to an attorney for certain classes of alleged terrorists, whether foreign-born or homegrown, and even for illegal immigrants.
Corporate actors not only evade criminal liability in many respects but also monopolize legal resources whenever an arrest is made. The American criminal justice system is hypocritical and this hypocrisy is increasingly predicated on wealth. Rather than redressing these problems, post-arrest constitutional rights such as the right to effective assistance of counsel are ignored or downplayed because of overcrowded dockets, public opinion about common criminals, and budgetary constraints.
The clear implication for the future is that at the same time that corporate actors are committing increasingly violent crimes for which they escape punishment, common people are being subjected to more severe types of criminal punishments because of a deterioration of post-arrest constitutional rights. This, in turn, will likely lead to a constitutional crisis in which the masses will perceive the criminal justice system as being fundamentally biased, unfair, and in need of a drastic overhaul.
It has been argued in this respect that “Constitutional crises arise out of the failure, or strong risk of failure, of a constitution to perform its central functions” (Whittington, 2002, p. 2099). State and federal constitutions are failing to ensure justice and logical consistency; they are consequently failing to perform their intended functions. The future criminal justice system is likely to become more unstable and more fiercely criticized as this constitutional crisis evolves with respect to the disparate treatment accorded individuals and corporate actors. Conclusion
In the final analysis, crime needs to be defined more specifically in terms of the harm caused rather than by the person or the organization causing the harm. Whether the harm is caused by an individual or a corporate actor should be irrelevant. Profit cannot be raised as a defense to otherwise criminal motivations and actions. A constitutional crisis is looming on the horizon, this crisis is evolving from the perceived inadequacy of the criminal justice system, and these perceptions are factually justifiable given the physical harm increasingly being caused by corporate actors.
The criminal justice system needs to destroy the corporate fiction which protects corporate actors of the legitimacy of the criminal justice system is to be reintroduced and constitutional crisis is to be averted. References Gallo, J. N. (1998). Effective Law-Enforcement Techniques for Reducing Crime. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 88(4), 1475. Retrieved May 21, 2010, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=5001411178
Lanier, M. M. , & Henry, S. (1998). Essential Criminology. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Retrieved May 21, 2010, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=97313137 Montross, W. R. , & Mulvaney, P. (2009). Virtue and Vice: Who Will Report on the Failings of the American Criminal Justice System?. Stanford Law Review, 61(6), 1429+. Retrieved May 21, 2010, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=5031294271