Public Policy And The Criminal Justice System Essay

Public Policy And The Criminal Justice System Essay

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Public policy plays a major role on the lives of citizens in the United States. It determines many aspects of education, welfare, health care, and even the criminal justice system. When it comes to the criminal justice system, some people may find it frightening due to its image as a ‘life-disrupting’ agency; however, others view it as an opportunity to get revenge or to correct a situation that seems wrong. No matter what the viewpoint is, the criminal justice system is an important part of society because it ties into everyone’s world in one way or another.
Both the federal and state government are actively involved in public policy making. One of the most important elements of policy making is played by the role of the U.S. Supreme Court. With its 9 justices, the Court often makes crucial final decisions on many policy matters, including those effecting the criminal justice system. Most cases heard by the Supreme Court are appeals from lower courts around the country. This means that the highest court of the land has appellate jurisdiction; it “has the authority to review the decisions of lower courts to determine whether legal principles and court procedures were followed correctly” (Champagne and Harpham 279). Due to the vast number of cases filed with the Supreme Court each year, only a select few are chosen to be heard. Criminal justice cases often challenge constitutional issues or human rights, giving them high priority (“U.S. Supreme Court”). The state governmental role in the criminal justice system varies state by state. In Texas, the highest court to hear criminal cases is the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (Champagne and Harpham 279). Like the U.S. Supreme Court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has appellate j...


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...o not want to see their loved ones executed, otherwise they will be overwhelmed with grief.
In conclusion, the government’s actions toward this issue have been appropriate. They have continued to make valid decisions on moral dilemmas, including the mental stability and age of offenders, involved in death penalty cases. Furthermore, state governments have maintained a great deal of control when it comes to deciding which type of crimes are susceptible to the death sentence. One element of change concerning the government is that they should be doing more to present the subject in a positive light. This would set the minds of abolition interest groups and opposing public opinions at ease regarding the issue. The actions one takes can be the deciding factor in how or when they die. After all, whether death comes expected or unexpected, it is inevitable at some point.

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