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Crime Control Perspective & the Due Process Perspective Essay

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Updated: May 10th, 2022

Contemporary criminological scholarship suggests that both crime control and due process legal perspectives aspire to provide positive descriptions of the functioning of the criminal justice system, normative proclamations about value prepositions that should spearhead efforts in criminal justice, and descriptions of the discourses which envelop the criminal justice (Roach, 1999; Van Zyl-Smit, 2000). The present paper aims to discuss what police should do to protect or enforce the two models of the criminal process.

Extant research demonstrates that the crime control model is operated by the police and prosecutors, with the view to achieve a guilty plea from the accused without considering their rights and freedoms. In contrast, the due process perspective places minimal emphasis on efficiency of the police and guilty pleas, in large part because its validating authority is the Supreme Court and the limitations that courts interpreting the constitution place on the state’s conception and pursuit of crime (Albanese, 2013; Roach, 1999).

Following these descriptions, it can be argued that one major way used by police to protect the due process is to ensure equality of representation and fundamental fairness of the accused (Albanese, 2013), by safeguarding their rights and freedoms as enshrined in the constitution and other judicial and legal statutes (Roach, 1999). This model takes cognizance of the fact that the accused should be allowed access to lawyers and should not be subjected to convictions resulting from ‘factual’ evidence put together by police in the streets and station-houses (Van Zyl-Smit, 2000).

The second way that could be used to protect the due process is for the relevant policing agencies to exercise restraint in dealing with the accused and cease from making arbitrary arrests or detaining perceived criminal elements in order to develop their case (Roach, 1999). The criminal justice system should have leeway to label acts of police abuses as a violation of the fundamental rights of the accused, and hence penalize the police agencies for such abuses. This way, it is only the judges who could be relied upon to comprehensively establish that a prima facie case exists (Albanese, 2013).

Moving on to the crime control model, it is clear that that the police can enforce crime control by using their investigative powers to arrest people for questioning without taking any due consideration to their rights and defenses. Here, most of the fact-finding is “…conducted by the police in the streets and station-houses, not by lawyers and judges in the courts” (Roach, 1999 p. 678). In such a scenario, the police are not exceedingly concerned with the ‘legal guilt’ that could be established in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt through admissible evidence; rather they are concerned with the ‘factual guilt’ in the sense that the accused undoubtedly committed the criminal act (CliffsNotes, n.d.; Albanese, 2013).

The second way for the police to enforce crime control revolves around using prosecutors to dispense criminal cases expeditiously because the accused people are always presumed guilty and the police are more likely to achieve guilty pleas due to the reliability of their fact-finding methods (Van Zyl-Smit, 2000). This view reinforces the belief that the criminal justice system should not be overly interested in protecting the rights of the accused; rather it should be concerned with vindicating the rights of the victims (CliffsNotes, n.d.; Albanese, 2013).

To conclude, it can be suggested that both models are important and should compliment each other in the criminal justice system. However, in the event of selecting one model over the other, there is ample evidence suggesting that the due process is more efficient than the crime control process due to its capacity to check police excesses (Roach, 1999), as well as its orientation towards the realization of consistency, rationality and fairness in criminal justice (Albanese, 2013).

References

Albanese, J.S. (2013). Criminal justice (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

CliffsNotes. (n.d.). Which model: Crime control or due process. Web.

Roach, K. (1999). Four models of the criminal process. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 89(2), 671-716.

Van Zyl-Smit, D. (2000). The place of criminal law in contemporary crime control strategies. European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law & Criminal Justice, 8(4), 361-376.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Crime Control Perspective & the Due Process Perspective." May 10, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/crime-control-perspective-amp-the-due-process-perspective/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Crime Control Perspective & the Due Process Perspective'. 10 May.

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