They will record all personal information such address, height, weight, physical characteristics and much more. The next step, after processing the delinquent, is to place a bail or bond on the person. In Ms.
Watson case, she will probably have to wait to see the Judge the next morning to determine whether or not placing a bail or bond on her is an alternative. This decision often depends on the severity of the crime. After the bail or bond has been placed, it will be followed by the arraignment. An arraignment is the first appearance an offender will have in court.
It is here where they go from being a suspect to being a defendant in a criminal case. During the arraignment, the Judge reads the criminal charges bestowed upon the offender, and makes sure the offender understand them. If at that moment the accused does not have a lawyer, present or hired, the Judge will offer to provide one appointed by the court. In our case of study, during this audience Ms. Watson will be told that she is being charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent of distribute, and the Judge will ask her if she understands the charges.
The arraignment is followed by the plea bargaining. As we studied during the course of this class and, in my case in particular, in my mini paper 2, about 95% of cases are disposed by plea bargaining every year. In this case Ms. Watson has the opportunity to plea bargaining to lesser he charges; however, for the purpose of this paper I will state that Ms. Watson does not wish to plea bargaining and request criminal trial. After plea bargaining, comes the preliminary hearing. In this process, the prosecutor tries to convince the Judge that there is enough evidence to demonstrate that a crime was committed.
It is at this stage of the case when the prosecutor will prove to the Judge that Ms. Watson committed the crime of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. A criminal trial follows after the preliminary hearing has taken place. If Ms. Watson is not satisfied with any plea deals offered to her, she would go to a criminal trial where a Jury decides her fate. During the course of this trail the prosecution must prove beyond any reasonable doubt to the Jury that Ms. Watson committed the crime.
The last step in the process is the sentencing. If an offender plead guilty or was found guilty by a Jury, he or she will be sentenced according to the severity of the crime committed. Here is where Ms. Watson will be sentenced for committing the crime of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. The mandatory minimum sentences pertaining to federal narcotics locations have been object of many criticisms. In 1991 the United States Sentencing Commission released a document with the mandatory minimum requirements.
The statutes described in the aforementioned document were widely criticized because they were considered unjustifiable in some cases were the offender had minimum participation and were barely over the statutory floor (Lynch, 2001). However, in this particular study case, is demonstrated that Ms. Watson was part of a crime that triggered a five to ten year mandatory minimum because she was in possession of a significant amount of cocaine. The sentence that Ms. Watson will probably receive is institutionalizing. A charge of possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute is a very serious offence in all the states of the U.
S. We have to consider many factors for this charge and sentence, such as the criminal history of the offender, the possibility of someone getting hurt, the psychological background of the accused and others. Because Ms. Watson already had a warrant for her arrest, which makes us think that she had a criminal history, I believe that she should receive a sentence of seven to ten years in prison without the possibility of parole. Crack cocaine is lassie as a Schedule II drug, which means it is highly addictive. Thousands of Americans die each year because of this drug, especially young people.
How can we expect someone to reenter society or reduce recidivism if we don’t help them gain a helpful skill before they are released from prison? Most of the inmate population originates from the lowest social strata of the country, and have only experienced low quality education, poverty, substance abuse, mental health and many other social issues. If we invest time and reform the educational programs offered in the prison system, we could improve rehabilitation outcomes and as a consequence the number of recidivism cases will drop drastically.
Making a mistake is human, rehabilitating someone and preventing them from going back to prison is wise. What’s the strongest link in the criminal Justice system? I think that plea bargaining is the strongest link of the criminal Justice system. Because new state and federal laws have hardened sentencing for criminals, prosecutors have gained greater power to get guilty pleas from defendants, and reduce the number of cases that go to trial. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2003 there were 75,573 cases disposed of in federal district court by trial or plea. Of these, about 95 percent were disposed by plea bargaining.
While there are no exact estimates of the proportion of cases that are resolved through plea bargaining, scholars estimate that about 90 to 95 percent of both federal and state court cases are resolved through this process (Divers, 2011, p. 3). It is an effective system when dealing with overcrowded courts, and the lengthy expensive processes. Besides, prosecutorial discretion usually finds a way to avoid dramatic injustices. During the course of this class I learned a lot about the American criminal Justice system. I could understand a little better the complexity of the system as a whole.