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Legal System

In your opinion how would you modify or improve the present legal system. Why?

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Please refer to file response attached for best formatting and complete response with active links (some of which is presented below). I have attached two sources as well, mostly. I hope this helps and take care.


1. "In your opinion how would you modify or improve the present legal system. Why?"

I think I would move toward a restorative Justice System, although one has to consider the limitations as well ( There are two major problems fueling the growth of the restorative model. The first of these is the inability of our justice system to positively affect crime rates. Our current practices and philosophies have done little to relieve overwhelming fear of crime. A second motivation is that the legal process has become less and less concerned with the victim. Focus is no longer on the person who is affected the most by an offender's wrongdoing; instead focus is placed on the state. Victim satisfaction with the overall outcome has been ignored. The restorative model proposes to resolve these issues using techniques, which involve the victim and contribute to offender rehabilitation and reintegration.

I would move away from the present day Retributive Justice System toward a Restorative Justice system. However, both systems have a place within the system. I would reform the system away from the problems researcher have pointed out and that are inherent in the present system:

1. Retribution

Bazemore and Umbreit suggest that while "retributive justice is focussed on determining guilt and delivering appropriate punishment ("just deserts") through an adversarial process, restorative justice is concerned with the broader relationship between offender, victim and the community" (Bazemore & Umbreit, 1995, p. 302). A justice system based on retribution is troublesome for both philosophical and practical reasons.

Cragg (1992) argues that religions often denounce the practice of punishment. In one example, the New Testament (John 8:1-11) contends that a system of justice based on punishment is not possible since only people free from sin should impose punishment. Since nobody can ever fully live up to moral law, a sinless imposer of punishment does not exist.
In addition, most forms of punishment are actually acts, which have been determined to be unlawful (ie. confinement and corporal punishment). To impose harm in response to harms done is revenge, not resolution.
Beyond the philosophical arguments, there are several practical concerns with retribution. First, retribution is difficult to distinguish from vengeance (which suggests excessiveness). Even without the element of emotionality and revenge, the use of punishment is both morally impractical and practically immoral, given the existence of a feasible alternative. Furthermore, in order to justify imposing punishment, one must be absolutely certain of guilt and intent. ...

Solution Summary

This solution shows how a person might modify or improve the present legal system and why. Specifically it discusses the types of justice systems and then proposes a move towards a different type of model, while retaining some of the tenets of the present system. Supplemented with two highly informative article on principles for a restorative justice system.