The term "Criminal justice"

Essay by xkaluvCollege, UndergraduateA+, August 1996

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Every action or decision we make is either justifiable or unjustifiable.

Justice is usually decided by society or the 'norm.' The 'norm' changes

from one society to another. However, there are always laws that can be

broken, consequences that must follow, and punishment that must be

imparted. Justice can be seen in two different ways, social and criminal.

Justice is in the eye of the beholder because we all have different attitudes

about right and wrong.

Criminal justice is a term that refers to the area of social laws which a

group of people deem valuable in order for the day-to-day mechanics of

society to function. When these laws are broken, the infrastructure of a

society breaks down, and this deviance from the 'norm' must be corrected.

Personal feelings, morality, religious beliefs, and inflammatory, biased

feelings towards certain laws cannot supersede the concrete social laws. This

type of high emotion was apparent when dealing with the facts in the murder

of a Topeka police officer.

In the recent trial Steven Shively was prosecuted

for shooting a police officer. The prosecutor was caught up in the media and

emotional hype of this case. She apparently thought that she could win

simply because a police officer was shot and the public was behind her. It

was a case of public revenge where the mind-set was 'We're going to get the

guy that did this horrible crime. It doesn't matter that he was defending his

home.' This type of public revenge could include the execution of Shively.

No matter what verdict would have been handed-down, someone, somewhere

would have been unsatisfied. If Shively were sentenced to be executed, then

his family and friends would have had to fight for justice until the day he

died. As the verdict of 'not guilty' arrived, Paterson's...