Share
Explore BrainMass

Criminal Justice: Policing, trials & structured sentencing

1. What are some of the civil liability issues associated with policing? How can civil liability be reduced?

2. In what kinds of situations are police officers most likely use forces? When has too much force been used?

3. How did the American court system develop? What are some of the unique features of American court history? What is the dual-court system? Why do we have a dual-court system in America?

4. What are the various stages of the criminal trial? Describe each one.

5. What is structured sentencing? What structured sentencing models are in use today? Which model holds the best promise for long-term crime reduction? Why?

6. What is probation? What purpose does it serve?

Solution Preview

What are some of the civil liability issues associated with policing? How can civil liability be reduced?
Civil liability issues are of great importance in law enforcement. Law enforcement and other policing agencies may demonstrate power to act inappropriately regarding due process rights of criminal suspects. Many allegations of police brutality (such as assault, racial profiling, battery, etc.) have become more known to the public. Other problems facing law enforcement include corruption, combined with the influences in the use of discretion by officers.
There are many instances of civil liability. Federal suits based on allegations that officers disregarded a suspect's due process rights may ignite a 1983 lawsuit which is based on Section 1983 of Title 42 of the U.S. Code, an act passed by Congress to safeguard against the civil rights of men and women of all races, including constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property being inappropriately disturbed. The Bivens action deals with due process issues concerning Federal Agents. Recent court cases have restricted the opportunity for law enforcement agencies and officers to bring claims of immunity when due process rights are involved.
Civil liability can be reduced by police officers using more discretion in which certain situations are handled such as an arrest, frisk, question, and stop or using force with a suspect. It has been stated that lawmakers intended to make some laws vague so that police officers can interpret the laws and decide when to enforce them.

In what kinds of situations are police officers most likely use force? When has too much force been used?
Police use force mainly in hostile or exigent situations. Police officers may have to chase a suspect and tackle her to the ground. Police may also have to apply force by spraying mace toward a suspect or hitting the suspect to gain control. Excessive force has been used in many instances and has been seen involving race, hate or gender cases. A great example of excessive force was the Rodney King trial. King was beaten almost to death by Los Angeles police officers. Footage was shown around the world of the officers repetitively striking King with their wands while other officers stood by watching, without taking any action to stop the beating. This a landmark case for excessive force and hate crimes. Another prominent case to explore is MONROE v. PAPE 365 U.S. 167 (1961).

How did the American court system develop? What are some of the unique features of American court history? What is the dual-court system? Why do we have a dual-court system in America?
In 1787, the US Constitution was established. The framers ratified a part of the Constitution to include the 14th Amendment which deals with privileges and immunities of citizens of the new United States, leading to the court system. The American Court System is similar to ...

Solution Summary

Many states have replaced intermediate sentencing with structure sentencing systems. Structured sentencing classifies offenders on the basis of the severity of their crime and their criminal record. This provides judges with sentencing options. Structured sentencing usually applies to all felony and misdemeanor crimes with some exceptions.

$2.19