How Does The Fear Of Crime Influence Criminal Justice

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This paper will be focusing on the courts as the specific sub-system in the criminal justice system. As said in the book the court system is responsible for charging criminal suspects, carrying out trials, and sentencing a person convicted of a crime. The fear of crime influences criminal justice policies in the court system. One way it does this is with the courts sentencing. Courts are able to give out severe punishments as a method of deterrence. This specific type of deterrence would be general deterrence. The book says that general deterrence theory should work if the punishment is clear, severe, and done swiftly. According to this theory, crime rate should drop because people will fear the punishment. The other way fear of crime influences …show more content…

This would again tie into general deterrence because as we talked about in class, a severe punishment would make an example out of the criminal and make other people hesitant to do the same in the future. The idea would be to incapacitate the criminal and make everyone feel safe. However, the problem with incapacitation is that someone will take the place of the criminal. Another way court’s policy decisions are influenced is through their jurisdiction. As we talked about in class a court’s jurisdiction is the physical location it is responsible for, it’s duty and responsibility. There are five levels of courts that each have their own jurisdiction they are responsible for. The five courts from the lowest level to highest level are the following; magistrate, state, district, circuit, and the Supreme Court. As we talked about in class, state court’s jurisdiction would be the state it is located in. While courts like Circuit court’s jurisdiction cover a much larger geographical area. Finally, the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction would cover the entire country and could take cases from any state. As stated in class, an example of jurisdiction would be New Hampshire’s single death row

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