Many nations and cultures have come up with official laws to protect their citizens from crimes. Over the years these laws have been in force, to help keep society from becoming anarchy. Different forms of punishments have been used to detour would be criminals. However you will find citizens still tends to break the laws. These days all countries have a justice system and a prison for locking up their threats to society. Many countries do sentence someone to death for an extreme form of punishment. The Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (Encarta, 2007) was the first legal record found in the Middle East. However, the Western nations seem to follow laws started by Ancient Rome (Encarta, 2007). Before long each city had a court and had established their own laws, to protect the citizens. Soon after the Roman Empire established the Law of Twelve Tables, to confirm their society. But most people believe that the earliest form of law can be found in the twelve centuries which is known as the Justinian Code (Encarta, 2007).
For many centuries people have died or been punished for committing theft, rape, or unspeakable crimes. In 1532, the Holy Roman Empire created the Constitio Criminalis to punish criminals. But not every county followed that law, so these countries created their own legal system, where each county would deal with its criminals in their countries, when they needed to. For the most part, punishment was used to punish or deter these would be criminals. Life became more civilized with each passing century, as new punishments were created. Many people felt safer with laws that could protect them.
Centuries later the Pennsylvania System was created by the Quakers, Pennsylvania became the center of prison reform worldwide. This happen when William Penn, Penn who had been confined in England for his Quaker beliefs abolished the Duke of York’s several criminal code which was in effect in other parts of British North America, where among other offenses, the penalty of death was applied for murder, denying “the true God” homosexual acts and kidnapping, severe physical punishments were used for what were considered lesser crimes. The true root of the Quaker system was to create more humane treatment for criminals, they decided that criminals needed more constructive punishment and a place where they can be alone to repent and turn back to God rather than such cruel punishment.
The Quakers believe that criminals could reformed and return to society as a change people. Prisoners were put to work in the prison so that their time could be used wisely. In the 1820s the Auburn System was in full swing, this system was different from the Quakers they believe in complete silence, smaller cells and any economic advantage over the Pennsylvania System. In the long run both of these prison system failed, then came along the Auburn System which modern corrections used their old method of old cells blocks and solitary confinement.
Each county began hiring sheriffs and creating legal systems to deal out the punishments. Most people welcome the new laws and sense of safety, yet some refuse to follow them. Some criminals were lightly punished and some were killed, for the crimes they committed. The justice system grew into a major part of society; however, it was not perfect. . But not long many citizens felt that the criminals deserved what punishments they received. More jails were built and more criminals began challenging the new laws that had been established by the courts. Unfortunately, societies were being victimized by the criminals or gangs or criminals. So, many new sheriffs and detective agencies were established to help police the growing neighborhoods. Many people supported the role of the sheriffs and they volunteered to help as deputies.
In the old times, criminals were tortured as a form of punishment, by the Roman Empire. Some criminals hang on crosses, killed by torture, and place in dungeons to die. For this reason many began to revolt against the Roman rule and they were punished as criminals too. Soon the Roman Empire fell and many separate societies began growing throughout the world. Before long, the Modern ages began and many prisons were built in the 19th century. Many countries were ruled by the King and Queen of Britain at the turn of the 19th century.
Severely changes have happened to the justice system during that time. Which made life much easier for the citizens; criminals were locked away and punished for the crimes that they committed. Each criminal had to be found guilty by the court first, before they could be punished. Many new laws were created, in order to help the citizen feel safe and keep the peace. However, some citizens still felt that capital punishment was to hash.
By the 20th century, the British rule began to fade, as the revolution grew and many fled to the New World. Due to prison overcrowding, many courts systems were looking for ways to deal with criminals. Many courts began giving probation to petty thieves and criminals; besides locking them up. Soon young offenders were removed from the adult court system and dealt with in juvenile court. Then the court began looking for ways, to rehabilitate the juvenile offenders. Many schools and programs were created, in order to stop the troubled youth from becoming adult offenders. Also many adult programs began popping up; with the intentions to help rehabilitate small crime offenders. Some criminals were able to change and become productive part of society (National Archives, 2007). Alexander Maconochie came up with the concept of early release for hard work and good behavior, also parole which was created by Sir Walter Crofton and the Irish system, which we in the United State use today.
Om the late 1800s reformatory system was established, some were given education classes, and early release and punishment was not the focus. However, some adults were unable to be rehabilitating by the programs, so eventually more prisons had to be built to house youth and adult offenders that were unable to be rehabilitated. After the justice system realized that punishments were not stopping criminals from committing crimes. Many scientist and doctors began studying the behavior of criminals, especially their childhood. Some scientist has found that many criminals have had troubled childhood, which may lead to their behavior. However, some criminals are raised in a good home; yet they still commit horrible crimes to date no one has come up with a magic pill that can stop these criminals from committing crimes. Many societies have tried to find a way to stop criminals, from creating a justice system to building prisons.
However, no matter how history has tried to stop the criminals, they still seem to victimize helpless people. Maybe, with further study and a better understanding of why they commit crimes, future generations can stop them. But, at this point only prisons seem to help those, who have become habitual offenders. Hopefully, one day we can create a magic pill or a way to stop criminals from hurting others. Until then, we must let the justice system work for us and our society The correction system in the United States have changed many times over the past years, many theories went from retaliation, physical punishment, reforming and back. The population of inmates in the United States and Federal prisons and jails has grown at an unprecedented rate in the past thirty years. Since 2000, the census of prisoners being detained in state and federal prisons has risen 13%. Since 1990, the census has grown 100% the census has grown a staggering 366%.
The thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was passed by the senate on April 8th, 1864 and approved by the House on January 31st, 1865 and ratified on December 6th, 1865 abolish slavery as a legal institution. The thirteenth Amendment stated.” Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, nor any place subject to their jurisdiction”. Right after the 13th Amendment was passed, the Black Code was created, the Black Code were laws in the United States after the Civil War with the effect of limiting the basic human right and civil liberties of blacks. As newly freed slaves would soon learn, freedom was not as they had anticipated. White southerners were anxious to regain power over them and used the law in order to achieve that objective, the code served as a way to control and inhibit the freedom of ex-slaves.
The Code controlled almost all aspect of their lives and prohibited African Americans from the freedoms that had been won. Not only did the whites wanted to control ex-slaves but they need laborers. While things could no longer be exactly the same as in slavery, the whites found a way to guarantee that blacks would serve as their laborers. The whites encompassed some of the antebellum restrictions on free blacks, northern apprenticeship laws, they took their civil and legal rights, from marriage to the right to hold and sell property. Laws were different in each state but most embodied the same kind of restrictions. Commonly, codes compelled freedman to work. But in many states if unemployed, African American faced being arrested and charged with vagrancy. Many of those that did work had their days regulated.
Codes dictated their hours of labor, duties and the behavior assigned to them as agricultural workers. Almost every aspect of their lives was regulated, including the freedom to roam; blacks were not permitted to enter towns without permission. In 1866 black codes were suspended by Federal officials who noted that the codes were too harsh and bias they decided that blacks should be subjected to the same penalties and regulations as whites. Along with the black code came the convict leasing system, this was the leasing of prisoners to private companies who would pay the state a fee for the service. Prisoners would work for these companies day after day returning to their cells each night while business profit from free prisoners labors. These black prisoners would survive less than six years; the death rate among these inmates was almost 45% for those in the south.
Another way to keep free blacks in slavery was Sharecropping for those man who did not want to go to prison, sharecropping was the only way former slaves could survive . But the high prices and interest rate charged by store and land owners caused these blacks to be in constant debt. Another way blacks were kept was by chain gangs, the crimes was breach of a contract, even today there are some states that still adopt chain gangs like, Florida, Alabama and Arizona. Amnesty International one of the leading humanitarian groups said that the practice of chain gangs is inhumane, to use handcuffs, and chains etc. on prisoners is a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Today prisoners have another dilemma to deal with privatization of prisons; privatization of prison is not new it has been around for centuries, private corporations are once again owning and operating prisons for profit.
A controversial issue which dates back to the days that followed the Emancipation Proclamation, private prisons owners and manage prisoners making thousands of millions of dollars from prisoner’s labor while the prisoners earn nothing. The 13th amendment allows a form of slavery to exist legally, when we look at people who are jailed for nonviolent crimes within the criminal justice system, like the Black Code, Sharecropping and Chain Gangs and then privatizing of prisons the 13th Amendment shape slavery through the penal system.
President Lincoln abolished the cruel and unusual punishment, but if we look there is a small part which we may call a clause that states, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, nor any place subjected to their jurisdiction”. The Amendment did not specify what crimes, felony, misdemeanor or even a traffic ticket; it just said crime and all of these are crimes. Yet we see many people not convicted of crimes and they are punished, placed in prison, locked up and work for fee. The 13th Amendment has reshaped and defined slavery the moment it was placed on paper.
The 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution is a guarantee of state right. The Tenth Amendment is similar to an earlier provision of the Articles of Confederation. “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled. When the 10th Amendment was introduced in congress, James Madison explained that many states were anxious to ratify this amendment, despite critics who deemed the amendment superfluous or unnecessary. The constitution designed the federal government to be a government of limited and enumerated powers. This is saying that the federal government only has power over the things that are specifically given to it in the constitution, all other powers is given to the state.
The 10th Amendment noted that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, or by the states are reserved to the states respectively or to the people”. I believe the founding fathers created this Amendment because they did not want the central government which is the federal government to become too powerful and did not want that government to tell them how they should live their lives daily. They wanted to give the local state power to control their own affairs to make laws and rules that their people can live by and not have the federal government total control of their affair. The 10th Amendment when it comes to the Florida criminal justice system and prison is this. Advocate can bring more cases under the 10th Amendment, which will have huge positive implication for freedom so long as the current constitution of the courts holds. “Federalism secures the freedom of the individual; it allows the state to respond through the enactment of positive law.
As we see the 10th Amendment have been weakens somewhat by the by congress, you could hardly hear about the 10th Amendment in court cases in the years it was adopted but not so today you find that a lot of cases using the 10th Amendment for their bases for filing an appeal. There were states that were protected under the 10th Amendment. Which the American Civil was noted was not workable so the 14th Amendment was created to extend the Bill of Rights and made it applicable to both state and federal government. We can see the 10th Amendment no longer holds the power that it once did, but today in Florida law makers is trying to use the 10th Amendment to privatize prisons. The 10th Amendment was written to reassure the state that they would remain largely in charge of their people; the 10th Amendment was always used to prevent federal regulation of everything including taxation. I believe the 8th should control the criminal justice system in Florida. The Amendment states that “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.
The 8th Amendment to the Constitution established in 1791, have three provisions; The cruel and unusual punishment clause, which restrict the severity of punishments that state and federal government may impose upon someone who have been convicted of a crime. The Excessive Fine Clause limits the amount that state and federal governments may fine a person for a particular crime. Then there is the Excessive Bail Clause which restricts judicial discretion in setting bail for the release of persons accused of a criminal activity during the period following their arrest but preceding their trial. Courts are given wide latitude under the Excessive Fine Clause of the 8th Amendment, fines which is imposed by ta trial court judge or magistrate will not be overturned on appeal unless the judge or magistrate abuse his or her discretion in assessing them. But the trial court judge is given less latitude under the Excessive Bail Clause.
If the defendants meets bail or is able to pay the amount set by the court, the defendant is entitled to recover the pledged amount at the conclusion of the criminal proceeding, however, if the defendant fails to appear as scheduled during the prosecution, then he or she forfeits the amount pledge and still faces further criminal penalties if convicted of the offense or offenses charged. Since most of our defendants are indigent excessive fine is handling in a calm manner I believe. To me the most critical part of the 8th Amendment is the cruel and unusual punishment. In the case Furman v. Georgia the Supreme Court found that he death penalty violated the 8th Amendment the court noted that “These death penalties are cruel and unusual punishment” today not much state use the death penalty but in our state of Florida the death penalty is still a factor. Recently the state declared a moratorium on lethal injection and a de facto moratorium on the death penalty.
Finally I believe our criminal justice has come a long way but there is still work to be done especially with defendants being arrested and being treated as the olden days when slavery was in place. We still find our slavery taking place indirectly especially for black minority’s. We need our elected government leaders to stop playing politics and start working for the people who elected them into office. Judges and lawyers need to stop taking bribes and let the justice system work for the people. We as criminal justice majors must stop looking at the money we may make when we finish school and get our degree. And see how we can put what we have learned into practice to help our fellow neighbors or our community. Our justice system needs people with heart and backbones and I believe we as the leaders of tomorrow can do that.
Courtney from Study Moose
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