The USA Patriot Act Essay

The USA Patriot Act Essay

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The USA Patriot Act


     The United States of America is a country that is based upon a principle of balancing the rights of an individual, while still preserving public order. The U.S. Constitution (specifically the Bill of Rights) guarantees every American certain Individual rights. Some of these rights include; freedom from unreasonable search and seizures, a right to due process of law, and protection against cruel and unusual punishment (The 4th, 5th and 8th Amendments). Historically the criminal justice system has preserved these rights of peopled accused of crimes. However on September 11, 2001, the United States became the victim of the largest terrorist attack the World has ever seen. According to Schmalleger in 2003, that attack cost almost three thousand people their lives, and an estimated two trillion dollars in damages. However since September 11 2001, several critics have claimed that the United States of America no longer protects these rights. They argue that the United and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001, violates the rights of suspected terrorists, and those of every single American. Supporters of the USA PATRIOT Act argue that the bill has been vital in arresting suspected terrorists, and it has helped deter future terrorist attacks.

     The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism ACT of 2001, was signed into law on October 26, 2001, shortly after the September 11th attacks. The act was passed in a direct response to the attacks, as a way for Law Enforcement to combat and deter terrorism. Schmalleger (2003) on page 8 summarizes the USA PATRIOT ACT. ?A federal law (Public Law 107-56) enacted in response to terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon occurring on September 11, 2001. The Law, officially titled the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, substantially broadens the investigative authority of Law enforcements agencies throughout America and is applicable to many crimes other than terrorism.?

     Shmalleger (2003) in pages 300-301 further listed specific sections of the act that law enforcement can use to investigate terrorist activities. ?Title II-Enhanced Sur...


... middle of paper ...


...ost-9/11 calm.
     HoustonChronicle.com. Retrieved August 25, 2003,
from http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/nation/2056725

Associated Press (2003, August 20). Ashcroft mounts Patriot Act defense.
     MSNBC.com. Retrieved August 25, 2003,
     http://www.msnbc.com/news/954389.asp?0sl=-12

Associated Press (2003, July 21). Patriot Act Complaints Reviewed.
     WiredNews.com. Retrieved August 25, 2003,
     http://www.wired.com/news/print/0,1294,59709,00.html

Schmalleger, F. (2003). Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the 21st
Century.
Taylor, G. (2003, July 21). Communities Shun Patriot Act.
     www.washingtontimes.com. Retrieved August 25, 2003,
     http://dynamics.washtimes.com/print_story.cfm?StoryID=20030720-115938-
     3269r

Taylor, G. (2003, July 24). FBI chief praises the Patriot Act.
     www.washingtontimes.com. Retrieved August 25, 2003,
     http://dynamic.washtimes.com/print_story.cfm?StoryID=20030723-111557-
     2975r

Ward, J. (2003, June 18). Ashcroft defends Patriot Act in visit.
     www.washingtontimes.com. Retrieved August 25, 2003,
http://dynamics.washtimes.com/print_story.cfm?StoryID=20030617-10458-
2731r

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