Criminal Convictions and Public Attitudes

Criminal Justice Article Review

The current paper dwells on the implications inherent in the existing criminal justice system and public opinion regarding numerous categories of convictions. Moreover, the paper aims to identify the core reasons for wrongful convictions and their effect on the community and criminal justice. The current wrongful conviction policy is analyzed and critiqued in line with the literature review conducted within the framework of this paper.

In their article, Kent and Carmichael (2015) discussed the problem of an increased number of wrongful convictions. They also found that throughout the last decade, the number of resultant exonerations also underwent a substantial increase. Kent and Carmichael (2015) identified that public confidence in the existing criminal justice and its authoritative power directly depended on the number of convictions (regardless of whether they were rightful or wrongful). According to the authors of the article, the core problem of the current criminal justice system consists of the fact that there are states that choose not to adopt the laws that accept the due process clause.

In perspective, this limits the level of protection against an increased number of wrongful convictions. Kent and Carmichael (2015) successfully identified that the due process clause was commonly disregarded in the Republican-based states while the so-called “innocence movement” was adopted by Democratic-based states. It is safe to say that the authors of the article thoroughly discussed how the policy affects the criminal justice system, its structure, and its organization. It is reflected by the problems that interfere with the implementation of a crime prevention strategy intended to reduce the number of wrongful convictions within both social and political contexts.

Garoupa and Rizzolli (2012) conducted another research in which they analyzed the impact of wrongful convictions on crime deterrence. Not surprisingly, it was found that the enforcement of this policy led to increased deterrence rates. The authors of the article mentioned that this supposition is widely criticized regardless of the practical evidence. According to Garoupa and Rizzolli (2012), wrongful convictions may have a negative influence on the criminal justice system in case if they adversely affect the balance between the innocent and the guilty. Overall, deterrence is moderately influenced by wrongful convictions because the latter exposes the public to the jeopardies of committing crimes. There are numerous circumstances that should be taken into consideration when discussing deterrence and its influence on different social layers.

The relationship between the stakeholders (local, state, and federal) can be explained by the breakdown of the data obtained by Kent and Carmichael (2015). They claimed that this relationship is highly contingent on public opinion and there are critical implications that should be taken into account. Throughout the process of investigating the relationships between the three key stakeholders, it was found that there are variables inherent in these relationships that contributed to an increase in the number of wrongful convictions (Mallicoat, 2016). This supposition is supported by the extensive evidence presented by the authors of the reviewed articles. According to Garoupa and Rizzolli (2012), the relationships between the stakeholders contain several predictors of wrongful convictions and are positively associated with the social context.

One of the constitutional issues that should be addressed by the US policymakers is poor implementation of the due process clause. Therefore, the existing criminal justice system is contingent on the need to reduce the number of wrongful convictions by means of transformation of the fundamental principles of the US criminal justice (Marion & Oliver, 2015). An in-depth review of this constitutional issue showed that there is a need to apply the due process clause more often. Nonetheless, it is not necessary to oppose any of the political parties or other governmental structures to increase the flexibility of the current approach to the wrongful conviction policy.

The criminal justice policy regarding wrongful convictions should be revised to correlate with the findings of the reviewed articles and minimize the occurrence of wrongful convictions (Miles & Raynor, 2014). One of the most significant criminal justice issues is the distinction of the existing policy. It is also important to mention that the changes in the wrongful conviction policy may have a huge impact on the internal criminal justice operations. It is important to address the issue of indefinite and ineffective local measures against wrongful convictions.

Moreover, the majority of the measures that are currently taking place are not even aimed at reducing the number of wrongful convictions at all. The effect of the revised policy on social justice can be presented as a unified approach to the problem of wrongful convictions. This point is of pivotal importance to the existing criminal justice system because the contemporary legislation presupposes that each state in the US applies its own approach to dealing with wrongful convictions (Siegel, 2015). On a bigger scale, the current policy should be revised to get in line with the evidence presented in this paper. The current US criminal justice system lacks flexibility, so it is crucial to address the issue of wrongful convictions to restore the balance of justice between the innocent and the guilty and increase the occurrence of use of the due process clause in every state.

References

Garoupa, N., & Rizzolli, M. (2012). Wrongful convictions do lower deterrence. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 168(2), 224-231. Web.

Kent, S., & Carmichael, J. (2015). Legislative responses to wrongful conviction: Do partisan principals and advocacy efforts influence state-level criminal justice policy? Social Science Research, 52(2), 147-160. Web.

Mallicoat, S. (2016). Crime and criminal justice: Concepts and controversies. New York, NY: SAGE.

Marion, N. E., & Oliver, W. (2015). Public policy of crime and criminal justice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Miles, H., & Raynor, P. (2014). Reintegrative justice in practice: The informal management of crime in an island community. Farnham, UK: Ashgate.

Siegel, L. J. (2015). Criminology: The core (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.