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Toulmin Method can be used in analyzing criminal justice systems, for instance, in the United States of America. The application of Toulmin’s method of analysis to criminal justice system can be explored under the following sub-headings: introduction with the claim, data, reasons/warrant, evidence, rebuttal/response, and conclusion.
Introduction with the Claim
Criminal justice systems vary from one country to another depending on the people’s culture, religion, and level of liberalization. In the legal practice, in the United States, the lawyers make decision on the most convenient way to deal with criminal cases according to the legal provisions of the Federal Constitution. All the decisions about punishment for offenders in the USA do not disregard the provisions of the law and/or the code of ethics of the profession (Belco and Garrison 39).
In criminal cases, a lawyer must make informed decisions when judging on the kind of punishment offenders should receive. Besides, it would be appropriate for lawyers and judges to demonstrate ethical and professional zeal. Furthermore, given the possibility that a lawyer or a judge might be summoned for the tort of negligence, it becomes clear that the decision he/she makes on punishing criminals may breach the ethical principles, cultural practice, religious belief, and/or the legal provisions of the country (Belco and Garrison 49).
During this process, a criminal is faced with an objective to prove that he or she is innocent beyond reasonable doubt. On the other hand, the prosecutor’s job is to prove to the jury that the criminal is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Upon hearing the confessions and witnesses’ observations of either side, the jury holds a sitting with a judge and they reason together. A determination based on the information provided by either side is passed. In the next hearing, the judge passes the final judgment. If the criminal is found guilty, a sentence is passed; and if he or she is found innocent, then he or she is set free. This is the basic theory underlying the criminal procedure (Belco and Garrison 63).
The only way of ensuring that people adhere to the rule of law is through punishment of offenders. Indeed, when offenders are severely punished, it deters criminal activities; but when left in freedom, it increases the rate of crime. In this regard, there should be zero tolerance to crime and criminal activities must be punished adequately and severely, depending on the nature of an unlawful act. Ethical consideration in the legal practice is currently dominant and demands that lawyers would observe the code of ethics in their respective areas of practice. However, the process would be marked by several challenges, for example, the lawyer’s insincerity in applying the specific legal provisions in relation to the code of ethics in the practice (Dorpat 57). This legal aspect should address the political, social, cultural, and economic challenges that a legal suit should consider. Increasing diversity of the people under such legal suits should not compromise the final judgment, because it is another major challenge facing the profession of magistrates, judges, and lawyers. Therefore, punishment for offenders is justifiable in any country or cultural setup.
In executing punishment of offenders, the public interest may be expressed, though in most cases, such interests may be unconstitutional. Therefore, the public interest should only be considered if it adheres to the constitution and common good. In the process of criminal proceedings, there are several moves that the government can make to investigate a case, and they might violate the public interest. For instance, the government can intrude when looking for the justification of a case and so on. There is a relation between the degree of government intrusion and the objective basis to justify the intrusion. Whenever a government makes a move to intrude in a case in court, there are several ways to which that move’s magnitude can be viewed. For instance, a government may choose to let free a suspect under trial regardless of the court’s standing orders. Also, the government may choose to pardon several sentences passed to those found guilty (Belco and Garrison 68).
The objective of the government’s move is normally national security or other individual behavioral considerations. The government is justified to objectively let go a criminal under custody for reasons of classified national security interests. This justification could be also possibly made by an individual’s offer to buy their freedom in exchange of information of interest to the government. Besides, the government may choose to pardon the individual sentenced. Most probably, an individual is pardoned on the basis of his/her psychological attributes, previous records of misconduct, and age (Dorpat 85).
It is also evident that “the Justice Department website lists numerous types of fraud charges, from “mortgage fraud,” to “visa fraud,” to “securities fraud,” to “hedge fund fraud,” and beyond” (Anderson 4 ). This is a clear indication that there are several criminal activities, which take place in financial institutions. In this regard, stiffer regulatory frameworks are necessary in the financial sector.
The goal of initiating punishment programs is to create deterrent to criminal behavior. Due to severe punishment, offenders might not be tempted to commit similar or other crimes. Punishment also restores sanity in the community by changing the perception of the people about unlawful acts. Moreover, it might increase morality among the people, thereby making them capable of coexisting harmoniously (Dorpat 94).
Focusing on the criminal legal system application, the proponents of deterrent theory believe that harsh punishment is the best option of deterring crime. Often, deterrence is applied to prevent the recurrence of crime. Deterrence could be in form of sanctions against the offenders to control deviance. Research has shown that the severity of punishment is the most effective way of creating deterrence among the hard-core criminals. In addition, severe punishment creates fear among the offenders, and this is necessary for ensuring deterrence to crime, while enhancing ethical conduct (Belco and Garrison 87).
When a person is left to exercise the freedom of choice, it would be possible for him or her to engage in activities which compromise the integrity of others. In this regard, it is easier for such people to commit a crime. However, when people are aware of ruthless punishment for a crime, this would act as a deterrent and reduce the level at which a person might engage in an unruly behavior. Some of the punishments include monetary, corporal, and informal. Therefore, when such punishments are executed with the highest level of harshness, they have the capability of deterring such behavior among the people (Dorpat 91).
The United States, for example, has adopted the principle of “get tough” in dealing with criminal engaged in capital offence. In this regards, the United States federal law classifies crimes such as terrorism and drug trafficking as capital, thus attracting very harsh penalties to create a deterrent to the behavior. Though deterrent punishment is responsible for limiting the rate of crime in the United States, there are people who have a passion for deviant behavior (Dorpat 102).
The increasing level of crime in the United States is an indication that the criminal activities are based on the moral and ethical principles of a person and have limited regards to the law. This is because the USA has harsh laws in dealing with the criminals, but they have witnessed severe consequences of criminal activities, for instance, the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon in the United States, on September 11, 2001. Moreover, “twenty of the 22 recorded instances of terrorism and the three terrorist preventions in the United States and its territories in 2000 and 2001 were perpetrated by domestic terrorists, predominantly by special interest extremists active in the animal rights and environmental movements” (Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) 1).
Administration of punishment is wrong since in some criminal cases, a judge might not deliver judgment according to the ethical responsibilities outlined in the code of ethics, in practice standards, and constitution. In addition, the judge might violate several values of the profession in deciding to base judgment on assumptions rather than tabling and considering the facts. In criminal cases, a lawyer representing an accused should explain concisely to him or her about the charges so that they speak in the same language during a defense. Otherwise, the accused might be wrongly sentenced (Belco and Garrison 77).
In summary, crime management should be implemented as an on-going process to facilitate improvements in criminal justice in the United States. In this regard, monitoring and review process should include the following. The effectiveness of the existing control measures should be evaluated regularly. New control measure should thus be formulated to replace ineffective ones. Data should be collected regularly to identify emerging crimes. Scheduled inspections should also be conducted regularly by independent organizations to give the USA a better understanding of crimes. To this end, the punishment in the USA follows the rule of law and adheres to the provisions of the Federal Constitution. Therefore, punishment may vary according to the government’s discretion and cultural attributes of people.