Essay on The Investigation Of The Criminal Justice System

Essay on The Investigation Of The Criminal Justice System

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My first exposure to the criminal justice system was while in high school when I was fortunate to be chosen for an internship with a District Judge John Vance in Dallas, Texas. Judge Vance made certain I had a rich and varied experience. He had me to sit in on several high profile cases in his court and to participate in preparing cases for trial with a prosecutor and defense attorney. In addition, he encouraged me to visit other courtrooms and courthouses to observe the proceedings. This along with him coordinating visits at local jails and law enforcement agencies gave me a broad and well-rounded perspective of the criminal justice system. I recall fondly, sitting in on closing arguments at the federal courthouse; the prosecutors practiced orators making a compelling case to the jury. It was fresh and exciting; their zest for the law, exhilarating. I was in love with what I saw.
A few years later while in college, I had an internship with a county court at law judge in Dallas. There, perusing the file cabinet of cases on the docket, I observed several of the case filings I examined, did not have the requisite and basic elements for each charge. When I asked the
prosecutors, their responses were less than ideal. I was told repeatedly, the defendants would likely plead to the cases, so there was really no need to ensure the paperwork was accurate or complete. These young lawyers seemed bored with their work and strongly suggested they were “doing their time, so they could move on to a private practice of criminal law. The cases in this court were rather mundane, the prosecutors visibly disinterested. My love affair waned. My next ‘paramour’ was law enforcement, where I worked for several years in various capaciti...


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...any, arrest and prosecution are somewhat random and arbitrary. Unfortunately, the general views on the criminal justice system seem sour. In particular, within the court system, these views are based on the idea defendants of means can and do beat charges with the ‘best defense money can buy’, while poorer defendants plead to charges and serve their sentences. Repeated exonerations using DNA evidence, highly publicized incidents involving police shootings, with unindicted officers have done little to discourage these ideas.
The future of criminal law rests with committed professionals, those with a passion for the law, justice and the protection of our freedoms. This similar to those committed individuals I was privileged as a youth to see at work and who I hope still work diligently using their belief in the process of criminal law and it’s need by society.

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