Academic Master

Laws and International Laws

evaluating The effectiveness of the current criminal prosecution system and some suggestions for improving its fairness

The Steps Between Arrest, Pre-Trial, Trial, And Appeals

It all starts when an officer arrests someone and the person who is accused is first taken into custody. The same happens when the grand jury is at work and returning with an indictment or the prosecutor is filing information.  Similarly, when the judge issues a warrant for the person’s arrest, the person is then subsequently taken into custody. At times, there are citations that are used in some cases when the nature of the offense is a bit less serious.  The first thing they said before the trial was that they would be able to exercise their rights at any time. Now, the key difference in terms of the Federal and the state is the way the treatment of juveniles is carried out.

In some states, juveniles are merely warned if there is a case that the court has waived jurisdiction over them.  Now, the way the whole thing proceeds further is that if the arrest has been made without a warrant, there are some conditions. Law enforcement is holding that person and is supposed to take him into custody for the given time period. It is an important phase due to the fact that certain administrative tasks are needed to be handled. For instance, checking the fingerprints or determining if there is a case that the person is subject to any outstanding warrants.

Another thing that is noted is how the case might vary depending on different facts about when the person was acquainted.  In some states, the time is on the higher side for the whole process compared to the other, but the maximum time for someone to be taken into custody is about 48 hours (Sheidaeian et al. 2017).  It has to be noted that this person might not be held for the time period that goes beyond that, especially if it is the case when the whole thing is carried out before any initial appearance, to say the least (Padfield & Bild, 2015). The role of the magistrate is very important during the course of the whole process (Sheidaeian et al. 2017).  The interesting thing is how the right of appeal usually works (Padfield & Bild, 2015).  If the person is convicted, there is the likelihood that a petition could be filed in the trial court that some legal error has been carried out during the course of the legal process (Padfield & Bild, 2015). If the defense is able to prove the trial court’s error, the reversal of the conviction is carried out. Again, this whole thing varies between states (Padfield & Bild, 2015).

Contingencies For Each Stage Of The Proceedings

During the process, it must be noted that many contingencies should be taken care of (Hartley et al. 2017). The whole process starts with filing the plea bargain during the initiation process when the defendant chooses to plead guilty even before the trial in the case of the charged offenses (Hartley et al. 2017).  There are instances when more lenient sentences are carried out or the dismissal of the related charges can be carried out in an adequate manner (Padfield & Bild, 2015). When the arrest has been made, if the suspect has committed some sort of a less serious offense, the policy might issue a citation to the subject (Hartley et al. 2017).  There are some contingencies in terms of the way the bail process is supposed to work out as well (Hartley et al. 2017). Most of the time, bail is granted to the suspect when a promise is made immediately to ensure they are available in all the corresponding court appearances (Hartley et al. 2017). At the same time, the same thing could be done during the course of the way later on when the bail review hearing is carried out (Padfield & Bild, 2015). Some cases involve the suspect being released on their recognizance (Hartley et al. 2017).

After the arraignment, when the first court appearance is made, the judge in most cases charges the filed against the defendant especially when the complaint is lodged against that person and the defendant chooses to plead guilty (Hartley et al. 2017). Even if there is a case in which no contest is going to be held, the charges are going to be pressed nevertheless (Padfield & Bild, 2015). The judges are also likely to review the defendant’s bail the dates that are set for the future proceedings and the way they are carried out (Hartley et al. 2017).  As far as the preliminary hearing is supposedly called out, the grand jury might call their witness, and based on that, there is the likelihood that they would make the decision, the evidence is especially based on the fact that how the whole case is presented to the defendant in most of the cases (Hartley et al. 2017).  At times, if there is a case in which the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the judge in these cases might be in a position to make sure that they declare a mistrial (Hartley et al. 2017).  Another important contingency during sentencing is when the court determines the appropriate punishment (Hartley et al. 2017). It happens especially when the convicted acts as a defendant and in the right manner to determine a suitable sentence (Hartley et al. 2017).

Constitutional Protections For The Defendant

The basic constitutional rights of the criminal defendant are based on how the criminal justice process is carried out (Hartley et al. 2017).  That does not matter when the accused are indicted at the level of Federal, State, or Tribal jurisdiction (Hartley et al. 2017).  How this law works at each level is interesting, to say the least. The first phase is when the due process of the law is supposed to be carried out (Padfield & Bild, 2015).  In that phase, the right of equal protection is given to the person (Elmquist et al. 2015). What it means most of the time is that the rights and privileges of the person will stay the same regardless of how a person’s ethnic or social background is (Jafari et al. 2017). During the next phase, it is shown how they are free from unreasonable treatment during any time period (Elmquist et al. 2015).  There can be no unreasonable search and seizure of the person during the given time period (Jafari et al. 2017). Self-incrimination is also not carried out during the given time period (Hartley et al. 2017). Especially if there is a case in which they are forced to testify against themselves (Hartley et al. 2017). The right against double jeopardy also stays similar (Jafari et al. 2017). It is especially important during the phase when the person is tried for one charge more than one time (Elmquist et al. 2015).

After the legal proceedings and the person has been arrested, there are many other rights the convict or the person arrested has at their disposal (Hartley et al. 2017). The first one is how they have the right to legal counsel (Elmquist et al. 2015). At the same time, the speedy public trial and the jury trial are other aspects that need to be kept in mind (Elmquist et al. 2015). The witnesses should be able to confront the witnesses standing before them (Hartley et al. 2017). They also have the right to call for support witnessed during the whole period and the right to be free from punishment that might be too cruel or unusual in some way (Jafari et al. 2017). There is also a case in which prohibition is supposed to be carried out against how ex post facto laws should be presented in the given time period (Elmquist et al. 2015).   When the court judgment is passed, they also have the right to manage the federal felony proceedings.  Then there is also this right through which they are able to contact a criminal lawyer at any point in time.  Asking for a criminal lawyer during the whole trial is one of the person’s basic rights during the judicial process (Elmquist et al. 2015).

Effectiveness of the Current Criminal Prosecution System

There are several reasons why the current criminal prosecution system is far from ideal when dealing with criminals (Elmquist et al. 2015). One of the most widely acknowledged problems is the fact of the waiting time that one gets to see for the defendants (Elmquist et al. 2015).  There are many instances when the defendants have to wait for a considerably longer period of time as they wait for the trial (Hartley et al. 2017).  Another thing that happens most of the time is that it is not always easy to determine whether the decision that one gets to see during the course of the criminal prosecution is justified. That is not the end of the game though, even if the judgment is carried out, there is a likelihood that the case that is given in the sentence will be carried out at a rate that is much later (Hartley et al. 2017). There are instances that it does not happen because the offender itself cannot be found out (Jafari et al. 2017).  Thus, there are a lot of time-consuming processes which means that the criminal cases that could have been handled quickly are managed for a much longer period of time (Elmquist et al. 2015). Some important conclusions can also be made regarding how the audit report should be developed, especially if there is a case when the report is published in the Netherlands Court of Audit later in 2012.  It goes a long way in making sure that the performance of the Criminal Justice System can be determined for a longer period of time (Hartley et al. 2017).  So, some important considerations must be considered during the whole process (Elmquist et al. 2015). There are some instances when people have raised question marks about the way the justice system in the United States is supposed to work what are some of the actions that need to be taken at the broader level to make sure that there is improvement in the overall justice system (Hartley et al. 2017). At the moment, there is also this lingering feeling among people that at times, the way the justice system works, there is the likelihood that much more concrete efforts must be carried out (Elmquist et al. 2015). There is a feeling that the sense of accountability one gets to see in the other justice systems across the world is somewhat missing when one talks about how America’s Justice System is working (Elmquist et al. 2015).

Recommendations To Make The System Fairer

One of the first things that need to be done is to make sure that the policing system that one gets to see these days needs to be improved (Hartley et al. 2017). There are some ongoing concerns about the way the police department is functioning at the moment, and a lot of effort is needed to be carried out to make sure that the relevant transformation system in the legal system can be carried out one way or another (Hartley et al. 2017).  To ensure it happens, one of the first things that needs to be done is to ensure that the national use of the Force Guidelines is carried out correctly (Elmquist et al. 2015). What should be happening is that Congress or some departments must be working in a manner that they should make the usage of the National Force Handbook much more extensive (Elmquist et al. 2015).  At the same time, there is a need to make sure that the level of accountability that one sees in the current policing system needs to be managed correctly.  Not only at the state level but also at the Federal level, there are question marks about the long-term performance of the police force, so amends are needed to be made in this regard for a longer period of time (Elmquist et al. 2015).  There is also a need to make sure that some perspective is developed regarding the long-term performance of the insurance companies as well (Hartley et al. 2017).  Where insurance companies pay for the civil judgments from police misconduct lawsuits, legislatures should allow insurance claims to seek compensation from police departments that should have known that the police officer(s) in question would use excessive force (Hartley et al. 2017).  At the same time, the legislatures would be providing the negligent hiring cause of action against the police departments (Elmquist et al. 2015). It is important to ensure that the officer and the other person are employed in a manner that makes sure they are unlikely to be engaging in excessive force (Elmquist et al. 2015).  The other problem that is commonly witnessed most of the time is how racial implications are witnessed in the cases of police cases (Hartley et al. 2017). There is a need for a clear policy to be developed to ensure that the bias in the way decision-making is carried out should be looked at (Hartley et al. 2017). Also, it has to be made sure that there is a need to develop a clear policy to determine the officer’s racial bias level (Elmquist et al. 2015).


Elmquist, J., Shorey, R. C., Febres, J., Zapor, H., Klostermann, K., Schratter, A., & Stuart, G. L. (2015). A review of Children’s Advocacy Centers’(CACs) response to cases of child maltreatment in the United States. Aggression and violent behavior, 25, 26-34.

Hartley, R. D., Rabe, G. A., & Champion, D. J. (2017). Criminal courts: Structure, process, and issues. Pearson.

Jafari, F., Mousavi, S. R., & Eslamie Hamedani, A. (2017). Comparative Study of the Right to Legal Counsel in the Prosecution Process in Law and International Criminal Courts Instruments and Procedures. Comparative Law Researches, 20(4), 25-52.

Padfield, N., & Bild, J. (2015). Text and materials on the criminal justice process. Routledge.

Sheidaeian, M., Fathi, M. J., Mansourabadi, A., & Nosrati, Y. (2017). The Challenges of Developing the Alternative to Criminal Prosecution by Taking the England Laws into Consideration. Journal of History Culture and Art Research, 6(1), 195-2




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