West of Memphis.doc - Running head EFFECT OF SOCIAL FACTORS ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE Effect of Social Factors on Criminal Justice Name Course Instructor Date

West of Memphis.doc - Running head EFFECT OF SOCIAL FACTORS...

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Running head: EFFECT OF SOCIAL FACTORS ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE 1 Effect of Social Factors on Criminal Justice Name: Course: Instructor: Date:
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EFFECT OF SOCIAL FACTORS ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE 2 Effect of Social Factors on Criminal Justice In West of Memphis , Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley, and Damien Echols spent years in prison for murders they did not commit. When the bodies of three eight-year old boys were found in Robin Hood Hills, West Memphis, police hurriedly decided that Echols, full of teenage attitude and a lover of heavy metal, was involved. They also went after his friend, Baldwin (16 years), as well as Misskelley (17 years). The latter was not even close to the other boys. As the case developed, it was evident that a number of social factors greatly influenced every little development. Watching the video opens one’s eyes as to the role played by factors like age, social class, social status, media, and popular culture in the criminal justice system. After the mutilation and killing of children, it is only natural that their parents and families at large be provided with answers. In fact, natural justice dictates that the murderers are locked up. But in the same breath of justice, the wrong people should not be held accountable and made to take responsibilities for crimes they do not commit. It is clear that the police and prosecution committed numerous errors of omission or action, without which the case would have certainly been concluded differently. Even prior to their investigation, the law enforcers had decided that the killing was a satanic ritual. They did this even before focusing on Echols. In this context, popular culture affected the progress of the case since such a move was instigated by widely popular lectures at the time on how to identify and spot satanic behavior or activity. It was common knowledge that a teenage cult operated in the area. Special emphasis was on ‘teenage’ since this influenced the
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