Two Models of the Criminal Process

Subject of controversy and lively debates, is an apparent dichotomy in the objectives of the criminal justice system. One of the two goals is the responsibility to implement and enforce laws to ensure peace and order in a society (Peak, 2001). On the other hand, the second goal is to protect the people from being victims of injustice (Peak, 2001). In the 1960s, it was Herbert Packer who devised the crime control model which emphasizes the arrest, prosecution and conviction of the guilty (Schmalleger, 1999).

This model defends and supports the act of police officers and prosecutorial officials in their fight against crime. Thus, activities like profiling, patrolling areas known to have criminal activity, sting operations are justified under the crime control model. These activities signify aggressive identification of possible criminals, hot pursuit of fleeing suspects, and bringing the criminals to court for prosecution and imposition of appropriate penalties and punishment (Schmalleger, 1999).

The crime control model justifies and admits of collateral damage or losses which are deemed acceptable including the loss of human lives life (Perron, n. d.). It accepts as credible the police fact finding processes as absolute as well as justifies the use of deadly force by the police in order to prevent crime. The central issue in the Due Process Model is the protection of the rights and liberties of the defendant in criminal proceedings. The primordial goal of this model is protect the innocent from wrongful conviction (Perron, n. d.).

This models holds the view that it is better to set a guilty person free than to incarcerate an innocent man. It recognizes the innocence of the accused and makes it imperative the respect and observance of the rights of persons under criminal investigation and prosecution as provided for under the Bill of Rights of the U. S. Constitution (Perron, n. d. ). Both models have inspired and shaped criminal procedure policies through time. For instance, the Due Process Model was read into the exclusionary rule prior to 1961 (Thomas III, 2005).

This was evident in the criminal procedure policy as applied in the case of Boyd v. U. S. , where no valid subpoena or search warrant could be directed against any private document unless the government showed that it possesses a “superior legal interest in the property” (Thomas III, 2005). An evolution in time occurred and soon the Fourth Amendment Exclusionary rule was restricted as to erode its true essence and meaning. Thus, “the Fourth Amendment should, but largely fails to, protect the innocent.

The Court has constructed a Fourth Amendment that not only has parsimonious protection but also lacks a coherent theory” (Thomas III, 2005). A succinct example was when the Court justified the police in preventing a crime even if the police did not have probable cause [Terry v. Ohio, 392 US 1 (1968)]. The Due Process Model inspired the change in the decision in the case of Gideon v. Wainwright where the Court ruled that even an indigent accused is entitled to have an appointed counsel (Thomas III, 2005).

This case actually modified its previous ruling of having it to apply only to state cases involving non capital offenses. Affording the accused a presumption that he is innocent until proven guilty underlies the rationale for this legal precedent. Wambaugh, in his book “Onion Field” clearly depicts the justification in the use of police force in criminal investigations. During the apprehension of one of the accused, he was thrown down the floor by the police who called him ‘cop killer’ (Wambaugh, 2007). The accused were informed of their Miranda rights but waived them.

The Miranda rights are deeply entrenched in the Bill of Rights to protect the accused from the power of the police authorities in securing confessions. However, it is reported that 80% are actually convicted and their confessions used against them because of their waiver. The rationale of the law is for the accused to make his ‘free choice’ during police interrogation (Thomas III, 2005). These two models greatly shape the direction on the criminal procedure policies which largely depend on the interpretation of the courts in cases brought before it.

Experience tells us that policies change, some are restricting the rights of those under criminal investigations while in others, these rights are enlarged and expanded to protect the innocent. The greatest challenge that is facing the criminal justice system is finding balance between the constitutional rights of the defendant in criminal prosecutions and the interest of the people in the society to impose punishment on the guilty. References Peak, K. Justice Administration, third edition 2001, Prentice Hall. Perron, B. ‘The crime control and due process models’ The Criminal Defense Training Council.

Retrieved on February 15, 2007, from http://www. defenseinvestigator. com/article10. html#_ftnref4 Schmalleger, F. , Criminal Justice Today, fifth edition, Prentice Hall 1999. Terry v. Ohio, 392 US 1 (1968). Thomas III, G. Criminal procedure road not taken: due process and the protection of innocence. Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. Vol. 3:169. Retrieved on February 15, 2008, from http://moritzlaw. osu. edu/osjcl/Articles/Volume3_1/Symposium/Thomas_3-1. pdf. Wambaugh, F. The Onion Field, London: Quercus 21 Bloomsbury Square, 2007 edition.