Share
Explore BrainMass

Foundation of Criminal Justice: Rights of Individuals and Social Obligations

Details:

Do you agree that for police action to be "just," it must recognize the rights of individuals while at the same time hold them accountable to the social obligations defined by law? Support your position.

Have the courts provided adequate protection to citizens against overzealous police officers? In which areas of search and seizure and interrogation law do you think the courts have not gone far enough? In which areas do you think the courts have gone too far? Support your answers.

Solution Preview

Hi,

Interesting questions!

1. Do you agree that for police action to be "just," it must recognize the rights of individuals while at the same time hold them accountable to the social obligations defined by law? Support your position.

This question is quite straightforward. Have you given it some thought?

There are opponents on both sides of this debate, depending on the theory of crime and punishment that they hold. In other words, some argue that social obligations (e.g., be accountable and pay back society for the wrong that you have caused by committing a crime and not abiding by the laws of the land) override individual rights. For example, the retribution theory proposes that the person needs to be punished for the crime, which makes the offenders accountable and punishment holds them accountable to the social obligations defined by law. Individual rights take a lesser role. Police officers, under this model of crime, are often more concerned about holding people accountable to the social obligations defined by law, and sometimes-overzealous police officers ignore individual rights. I think there needs to be a balance to protect citizens from police abuses. Second, the person, under the law, is innocent, until proven guilty. Police officers need rules to follow in executing the law, just like other professions and this should recognize the rights of individuals in balance of holding her or him accountable to the social obligations defined by law. Sometimes, though, police officers need to use their professional judgment (which is subject to error) and I think they need to be given some leeway, as there are always exceptions to the rule. However, to protect society and offenders form the over-zealous officers, there also needs to be reprimands for obvious violations of personal rights when it would not have been necessary. There need to be legal remedies for these officer actions that are often outside of the law, as well.

This is supported empirically. For example, much of Amnesty International's research has clearly demonstrated that discrimination (e.g. the systematic denial of rights to certain people) which often leads to human rights abuses. Ignoring human rights and discrimination by police officers also often leads to a lack of official action, such as investigations into alleged abuses ...

Solution Summary

This solution evaluates if for police action to be "just," it must recognize the rights of individuals while at the same time hold them accountable to the social obligations defined by law. It also discusses if the courts provide adequate protection to citizens against overzealous police officers and if, in the areas of search and seizure and interrogation law, the courts have gone far enough and if there are areas that the courts have gone too far. This solution is approximately 1500 words.

$2.19