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Pros And Cons Of The Criminal Justice System

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So, in a time of social, political and economic change it makes sense that how we enforce the law and systems of punishment would begin to shift into the public eye. Gunther claims that we have a criminal processing system, rather than a criminal justice system; But what makes a criminal justice system an impartial justice oriented system rather than the harsh, biased and unfair processing mechanism that Gunther saw? For this, we look to Packer’s four assumptions of a justice system. This first assumption pertains to who does what in a justice system, as well as who the key players are in making and enforcing laws. Without these pieces, the flow of justice is interrupted, and the system becomes less about individuals and accountability, and…show more content…
Because members of the middle and upper classes feared losing their jobs, they relied on stereotypes to paint criminals, especially the poor or minorities as the symbolic assailant in society. This was especially prevalent in the “southern strategy,” which played on conservative values to buy votes for prominent southern politicians. Because these votes depended on the maintenance of these stereotypes, it became politically advantageous to demonize this group and to perpetuate these ideas through policy and through rhetoric. After Brown V. Board of Education in 1954, southern strategy became particularly influential, as republicans began to promise to slow desegregation in schools, playing off of the moral panic that ensued when schools were mandated to desegregate. Because the key actors in this case were the majority, rather than the politicians, members of parties who wanted votes had to play to what would gain votes, rather than what worked best for society. Packer’s second assumption of a criminal justice system is that none of the areas of a justice system overlap, allowing there to be effective checks and balances within a system. This allows for discretion between cases, which can ensure that sentencing and punishment are tailored to the individual, as well as keeping a hold on the power of the government. Tailoring sentences to an individual ensures that the system does not become focused on general deterrence, and that power does not begin to cascade to one area of the government, making the system unfairly
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