Lecture 6 5 criminal justice rights of criminal suspects
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Lecture 6.5--criminal justice--rights of criminal suspects. Crime Explosion. Growth in violent crimes per 100,000 1960-1990. Declining Crime since ‘93--why?. improved economy? get tough policies? mandatory minimums, “broken windows” better policing? changing attitudes? demographics?

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Lecture 6.5--criminal justice--rights of criminal suspects

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Lecture 6.5--criminal justice--rights of criminal suspects

Crime Explosion

  • Growth in violent crimes per 100,000 1960-1990

Declining Crime since ‘93--why?

  • improved economy?

  • get tough policies?

  • mandatory minimums, “broken windows”

  • better policing?

  • changing attitudes?

  • demographics?

  • crack “fad” diminishing?

  • Legalized abortion?

A search warrant is:

  • Authorized by a judge on the basis of “probable cause”

  • specifies the place to be searched, a period of time in which the search will take place, and often the specific item sought.

Police don’t need warrant when:

  • permission given

  • following an arrest, in the area in the immediate control of the arrested suspect

  • object is within plain view of police from a place they have a right to be

  • necessary to prevent harm to people or property

“stop and frisk”

  • Police may “stop” (reasonable person feels not free to go) a citizen on grounds of “reasonable suspicion”

  • Police may then “pat down” citizen

Rights of the Accused

  • Mapp v Ohio (‘61)--4th amend search n’seize

  • extending “exclusionary rule” to the states, and “fruits of the poisoned tree”

  • since then, “good faith rule”, “inevitable discovery”

  • Miranda v Arizona (‘64)--5th amend self-incrimination

  • must be advised of rights once “in custody, prior to interrogation”

  • since then, two-tier interviews, etc.

Gideon v Wainwright (‘63)--6th amend right to counsel

  • Transcript: The COURT: Mr. Gideon, I am sorry, but I cannot appoint Counsel to represent you in this case. Under the laws of the State of Florida, the only time the Court can appoint Counsel to represent a Defendant is when that person is charged with a capital offense. I am sorry, but I will have to deny your request to appoint Counsel to defend you in this case.

  • state must provide attorney for the indigent

  • but not necessarily high quality defenses

  • in CA over 90% of felonies are plead out

Hardening line in 80’s and 90’s

  • Fed and State mandatory minimum sentences

  • increased incarceration for drug offenses

  • especially by minorities, women, minor offenders


Three strikes laws

  • 1994 CA prop 184 passed overwhelmingly, half the states followed

  • in CA: after two “serious” felonies, third leads to 25-life--but counties differ in their use of 3 strikes

  • about 60% of CA’s 7000 3 strikers for “non-serious” 3rd offense

  • USSC said not cruel and unusual--state has right to punish a pattern of crime

  • 2004 CA ballot initiative to require 3rd strike to be violent or serious lost

  • Next November, another try at reform probable

A vast social experiment: the carceral state

  • US prison population grows 600% in past 30 years, world’s largest

  • California, much the same

  • incarceration rate about average of other states

  • but much higher recidivism rate

California’s experiment with drug courts and Prop 36

  • 1990s CA began diverting some non-violent drug offenders to courts offering treatment

  • 2000 Prop 36 created expanded additional program

  • 30,000 diverted per year, saving CA money, studies have shown more successful than prison at combating recidivism

juvenile justice

  • Most states create separate system for juveniles in early 20th century

  • juveniles typically face “hearings” not trials, until 1960’s, received few adult protections

  • 1990’s: growth in violent juvenile crime, and movement to try juveniles as adults--in CA, prop 21 passed in 2000

CYA cages--http://www.californiaconnected.org/wp/archives/194

VIII Amendment--Capital Punishment

  • Furman v Georgia (1972)

  • cruel and unusual punishment due to inconsistent application

  • Gregg v Georgia (1976)

  • capital punishment can be constitutional

  • Protected categories reflecting “national consensus of evolving standards”:

  • mentally retarded (2002)

  • minors under age 18 at time of crime (2003)

DP in CA

  • Reinstated after the Gregg case, by voter initiative

  • Since then 14 executions

  • Biggest death row in U.S.

  • But rate of new death sentences slowing dramatically

Method of execution

  • most states with dp now offer lethal injection as sole or primary method

  • Recently: U.S. District Ct: must be applied humanely

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