The existence of a political body can be framed on account the need to regulate human actions. Just the same, the force of criminal process is in place to protect the society from malicious intents of erring individuals. Two models of criminal process – the Crime Control and Due Process – therefore merit attention in this discussion. On the one hand, Crime Control emphasizes swift action undertaken to remedy crisis situations. On the other hand, Due Process underscores the need to protect the rights of all persons, including suspected criminals.
Both models, it shall be seen, aim at seeking nothing less than to serve the greater interest of the general populace. Introduction Thomas Hobbes contends that what essentially warrants the existence of a political body is the crooked nature of man; i. e. , man being a “wolf” towards his kind necessitates a sovereign to regulate him (cited in Marias, 1964, p. 251). By way of analogy, we can argue what merits the existence of a system of criminal justice lays the plain assumption that human persons, while far from being absolutely crooked, can nevertheless commit detestable actions outside the legal and reasonable parameters set by law.
But as to how and in what manner should justice be served to the community is certainly a different question. Herein the issue no longer simply dwells into the necessity of a criminal justice body. Far more critical, the issue appeals to the controlling need to adopt a criminal justice theory that serves well the interest not only of the society which laws seek to protect, but also the offender which possesses intrinsic and inalienable rights.
Rationale and Scope In view of the foregoing, this paper seeks place two major theories of criminal justice – the Crime Control and Due Process models – in ponderous juxtaposition with one another.
In so doing, this paper hopes to draw strains of identifiable resemblances that may be gleaned from the two theories, against the larger backdrop of their patent differences. Briefly it needs to be likewise noted that the methods with which this paper employs are expository and analytical. In the final analysis, the thrust of this paper seeks not to judge which theory is better than the other as to unravel the differing aspects proper to both models. Crime Control and Due Process Models: A Comparison and Contrast
Being that these two theories serve only as models for criminal procedures, and not the be all end all approaches to solving crime-related incidences, Kent Roach (1999) contends that we cannot reduce the entire process of criminal justice informed by only a single window to the ‘truth’ – i. e. , using a single model. As models therefore, a careful collocation of both the Crime Control and Due Process paradigms must be sustained so as to “guide to judge the actual or positive operation of the criminal justice system” (Roach, 1999, p. 672).
That being said, it merits noting that the spanning gulf between these two theories is demonstrable. And taking cue from Herbert Packer, who in 1968 attempted to draw the fine line which separates the two criminal justice theories, it helps to note that the difference between the Crime Control and Due Process models stem basically from their diverging but equally controlling motives: “the crime control model was based on societal interest in security and order, while (the) due process model was based on the primacy of rights of the individual in relation to the state (Roach, 1999, p.
672). On the one hand, the Crime Control model (as the term suggests) considers the effective prevention of crimes as the defining thrust of and sustaining basis for any criminal justice body. Benner and Belknap thus suggest that “the primary function of a criminal justice system (is) the apprehension and punishment of the guilty” (cited in Bodenhamer & Ely, 2008, p. 169).
On account of such goal, the theory of Crime Control puts higher premium than most on the meting out swift law-enforcement actions to effectively prevent and/or control the damages which can ensue from the commission of crimes. All things considered, crime deterrence belongs at the heart of this theory on social justice. In ways more than one, this model considers maintaining an acceptable level of safety and security in the society as a task second to none.
Precisely on account of the desire to rectify errors and thereby put the community back into its peaceable state without delay, the theory of Crime Control considers that working within a relatively short time frame is of critical importance. Time, it might as well be argued, is always of the essence in procedures involving the pursuit of justice. As indeed, responding to address an “immediate crisis” reflects the “short-term view” of Crime Control (Benner & Belknap, 2008, p. 169).
Under normal circumstances, this model warrants that the swift establishment of factual guilt be met as soon as possible. Roach succinctly phrases the same contention in saying: Given the reality of limited law enforcement resources, the criminal process must place “a premium on speed and finality…(and) this is achieved by allowing expert administrators, the police and persecutors, to screen out the innocent and secure as expeditiously as possible, the conviction of the rest, with a minimum occasion for challenge. (Roach, 1999, pp. 677-678).
Thus, where evidences are available, the police must exhaust all means necessary to arrest and apprehend people whose involvement in crimes is virtually apparent and logically demonstrable; all within a short span of time, or just before trials in judicial bodies commence. On the other hand, the Due Process model of criminal process sees the supreme importance of protecting the interest of the offender in light of his or her rights, not only in relation to the state, but by virtue of his or her being a person. Unlike the Crime Control model, Due Process proceeds from the standpoint of individual rights in the pursuit of justice.
At the very least, this model supports the tacit recognition of a person’s “rights to liberty, privacy and self-determination”, being that these rights are constitutive components that build a free and democratic society (Benner & Belknap, 2008, p. 169). While the felt need to maintain a considerable peacefulness and security in a society is a pivotal ingredient to serving justice, the Due Process model nevertheless seeks to protect individuals from being violated against by the desire to swiftly serve justice on corrective and retributive grounds.
Moreover, unlike Crime Control, the Due Process model takes time as an ally rather than an enemy. This is because proponents of Due Process model contends that factual guilt – which can be established in a relative short span of time – cannot be taken as an absolute determinant for condemning a person prior to the establishment of his or her “legal guilt” – i. e. , guilt as proven by the courts, or guilt established only after necessary hearings, done under the parameters of law, have been accomplished (Fishman and Dinitz, 1989, p.
111). Thus, where Crime Control desires the swift determination of factual guilt using crime-scene evidences, the Due Process model believes in the lengthy process of evaluation and verification of all circumstantial evidences. As Packer himself notes, “people are notoriously poor observers of disturbing events” (1968, p. 7). As a consequence, the possibility of mistakes in construing evidences cannot be dismissed. To dispense with justice correctly, it goes without saying that due process is therefore necessary.
Notwithstanding differences, it is surely wise to glean on certain aspects of correspondences between the Crime Control and Due Process models in criminal justice. First, it is good to know that both theories, however divergent in their respective approaches, are based on the same controlling vision – i. e. , to serve the noble interest of justice. In order to do this, both approaches are adopted in view of the definitive goal to “prevent crimes and deviance” (Fishman and Dinitz, 1989, p. 111).
Whether the purpose is to immediately put elusive criminals behind bars, and thereby isolate their capacity to hurt the society in, or to patiently endure legal trials, and thereby remove all errors in judgment and meting out punishment, all these serve only to give the society a peaceable community it deserves. As indeed, all these are done in the service and for the sake of the common good; i. e. , where all people share common rights, without prejudice to any status, save for being judged for what one has done or has committed.
Second, it is also correct to say that these two models in criminal process neither preclude nor supplant the ultimate discretionary powers reserved only to the courts, specifically in respect to their capacity to pronounce definitive verdicts on erring individuals. This means that both the Crime Control and Due Process models cannot be construed as final arbiters to judge whether sufficient reasons exist to establish a person’s guilt. This, in essence, is what Herbert Packer contends in saying:
The criminal process ordinarily ought to be invoked by those charged with the responsibility for doing so when it appears that a crime has been committed and that there is a reasonable prospect of apprehending and convicting its perpetrator. Although police and prosecutors are allowed broad discretion for deciding not to invoke the criminal process, it is commonly agreed that these officials have no general dispensing power (Packer, 1968, p. 2). Put in other words, any model of criminal process cannot assume upon itself the power to determine, in a manner being definitive, the legal guilt of a presumed offender.
Conclusion To conclude, this paper ends with a thought which affirms the identifiable correspondence that can be established between the Crime Control and Due Process models of criminal process; this, despite patent differences in both theories’ emphases and approaches. In the discussion that were developed, it was learned that Crime Control model puts higher premium than most on protecting public safety, through the reasoned employment of law-enforcing activities that effectively curtails the capacity of suspected criminals to sow terror.
Meanwhile, the Due Process model draws inspiration from the primacy of human rights against the state’s otherwise passionate drive to serve retributive justice. In the final analysis however, it merits noting that the two criminal processes aim only to serve nothing but the best interest of the greater populace.
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