Criminal Procedure Policy: Due Process of Law and Crime Control Model

Subject: Law
Pages: 4
Words: 1094
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College


According to Mathewson (2009), the American nation has its foundation rooted in the premise of freedom for all and a justice system that seeks to empower all citizens and safeguard their interests. In addition, it is alleged that the American Constitution applies to every individual within the United States without any form of discrimination. All instruments of law including the Constitution, amendments made to it, and the Bill of Rights are crafted with the rights and privileges of every single American in mind (Mathewson, 2009).

This paper provides an analysis of the due process of law and the crime control model. Besides discussing the similarities that exist between the two approaches to criminal justice, the study will also look at how the two models have affected the criminal procedure policies in America. The discussion will also touch on the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth amendments of the United States Constitution. According to Packer (1968), both the due process model and the crime control models aim to provide a framework for understanding the complex values that lie beneath what is commonly understood as criminal law. Historically though, each of the models has had a chance to dominate the American criminal justice system (Limbaugh, 2010).

Due Process Model

Due process is founded on the fact that both law and legal proceedings must be fair. It is concerned with protecting the basic rights of every American citizen and seeks to ensure that the government does not deny justice to its people (Mathewson, 2009). This is generally in line with the Fourth Amendment which states in part that individual rights to different privileges can not be interfered with by anyone, let alone the government. Past court rulings have served a great deal to protect this amendment. Due process also conforms to the requirement of the Fifth Amendment that a person is innocent until proved guilty. In a way, the Fifth Amendment reaffirms what is stated in the Fourth Amendment (Mathewson, 2009). As a result, any person arrested by law enforcement officers can not be immediately subjected to punishment until after the jury has done its work. According to the Fourteenth Amendment, no single state in the United States of America is allowed to tamper with the rights and privileges accorded to the American citizens.

As argued by Mathewson (2009), the Constitution of the United States does indeed safeguard the rights of all its citizens, regardless of how they acquired their citizenship status. The due process of law, therefore, guarantees the security of everyone and for those in the criminal justice world, it holds a lot of benefits. It just can not be neglected and must be remembered at all times.

Crime Control Model

Underlying the crime control model is the belief that suppression of criminal behavior in society is a very critical undertaking of the criminal process (Packer, 1968). Under this model, law enforcers are entirely to blame for the lack of freedom for all citizens. Without strictly enforcing the laws of the land, contempt for the existing legal controls eventually creeps in and innocent law-abiding citizens are the ones who are made to suffer the consequences (Parker, 1968). The crime control model, therefore, requires great attention to be paid to the entire criminal process for the benefit of all Americans. Screening of suspects and the determination of guilt must be done diligently. In general, the crime control model has the focus of getting rid of any antisocial behavior that denies freedom to the general public. It is supported by the Sixth Amendment which demands that every suspect be accorded a fair and speedy trial.

Similarities and Differences between the Due Process and Crime Control Model

According to Limbaugh (2010), the two models have ideals that are of benefit to the entire criminal justice system in the United States as well as to individuals, and the society as a whole. Whilst the due process model is concerned with protecting all citizens regardless of whether they are criminals or not, the major focus of the crime control model is to safeguard the interests of society through strict law enforcement procedures (Limbaugh, 2010). To achieve its objectives, due process stresses the need to strictly adhere to all the set procedures at any time when a criminal case has to be established. However, both models expect all law enforcers to remain impartial when dealing with any criminal situation. Another significant difference between the two models is that whereas one is considered guilty even before appearing in court under the crime control model, this is not supported under the due process of law. Furthermore, the crime control model requires suspects to be moved through the entire criminal justice system, making it possible for the courts to deal with and try a high number of criminal cases (Limbaugh, 2010). This is regarded by many as of great benefit to the criminal justice system considering that many criminals are dealt with in a timely fashion. On the contrary, the due process model is blamed for its slowness and hence, it is seen as an obstacle to the justice system in the United States (Limbaugh, 2010). However, proponents of the due process model are convinced that it is more human and avoids the unfair treatment of suspected individuals.

Over time, the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments have generally been shaped by criminal case rulings based on the two approaches to criminal law. Under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, citizens are accorded various levels of protection. For example, a person’s property or premises can not be searched by any law enforcement officer without proper authority. Detaining individuals for any period longer than 48 hours after an arrest is also not acceptable under the Fourth Amendment (Limbaugh, 2010). The Fifth Amendment requires all law enforcement officers to ensure that a suspect is properly educated about his or her constitutional rights. The Amendment also prohibits offenders from being tried twice for the same offense. Among other rights, the Sixth Amendment demands speedy trial as well as the right to be tried by a panel of judges. Finally, the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States requires that all individuals across the United States be treated equally (Limbaugh, 2010).


A careful analysis of the two models indicates that each has some benefits to the American justice system. Despite the weaknesses associated with both systems, it is important to note that a dependable criminal justice system is a major requirement for citizens in any country to live in a more organized society.


Limbaugh, S. (2010). Due Process of Law and Crime Control: Criminal Procedure Policy. Web.

Mathewson, J. (2009). Due Process: How Does The Constitution Apply To This Principle? Web.

Packer, H. L. (1968).Two Models of the Criminal Process. Web.