The criminal justice system can be defined as a process that encompasses numerous semi autonomous organizations starting with a criminal investigation and ending with the conviction or release of the convicted offender. However, the justice process varies from state to state as well as from the federal justice system. The subsequent application of the justice system will help offer a general overview of the criminal justice process with reference to murder.
Overview of the crime
Ryan Lane is alleged of killing his ex-wife (Rachel Lane) and her lover (Alex Rodney). The bodies of the deceased were found in Ms. Lane’s residence after a neighbor (Mr. Wolf) notified the men in blue of shouting and yelling and seeing Mr. Ryan’s car speeding off. The previous day before her death, Ms. Lane had taken a restraining order on his ex-husband alleging physical, psychological abuse and threats against her and her new love, Alex. When interrogated, Mr. Lane denied all accusation but he never had any alibi to confirm his story. Thus, a search warrant was issued to Mr. Lanes apartment where a 6’ knife was found a cloth soaked in blood. A forensic report manifested the blood on both the knife and clothing to match the DNA of Ms. Lane and Mr. Rodney.
Criminal justice process
Arrest:- Based on the warrant search on Mr. Lane’s apartment and an eye witness account, there is probable cause for a judge to issue an arrest warrant for Mr. Lane. Depending on the state, the police have up to 48hours to charge Mr. Lane with an offense or release him.
Indictment: -the criminal justice process is often set in motion by a information filed by prosecutor, indictment by a grand jury or compliant filed by police. In this case, Mr. lane is likely to be charged with murder and arraigned by a judge since murder is a capital punishments punishable by death.
Arraignment: – these are the formal appearance of charges to a delinquent in court. During his arraignment, Mr. Lane will be read his charges and asked if he plead guilty or innocent to the charges. Chances are high that a bail plea will be denied considering h has been indicted with a capital offense. If he plead guilty, the plea is going to be represented in open court and Mr. Lane will be charged with murder and advance to trial.
Trial: -this stage is reached once the plea agreement has not been reached. The offender (Mr. Lane) has a right to a speedy trial which is held in front of a judge or jury. In such cases, a public trial will be chosen. Mr. Lane together with his defense team have the mandate to challenge any juror they want based on the pre-existing knowledge of the case or any relationship ties between him/her and the prosecutor or defendant.
Verdict:- after the jury has heard all the facts, opening statements, evidence and closing argument, they will gather and deliberate in secrecy on what the verdict will be. Once the jury reaches its verdict, their finding will be presented to the defendant in court. For the case of Mr. Lane he will be found guilty of all charges as the evidence was extremely strong and he had no alibi.
Punishment:- Once convicted either by plea of after a trail, a sentence will be imposed to the offender by the trial court. Depending on the state, the sentence to murder is often life without parole or death penalty. For the case of Mr. Lane it will be life without parole because of the strong evidence found linking him to the case.
In summation, the criminal justice process helps asses if an offender is guilty or not guilty and what punishments he or she will be given. With such a process at our disposal, chances for mistakes are highly reduced.