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SHirchert-ElementsoftheLegalSystem-Unit9.doc - Elements of...

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Elements of the Legal System Shellie Hirchert LS308 Law and Society Alan Daniel December 21, 2011 The criminal justice system in the United States often endures a lot of criticism from American society. Some feel it is bias to the wealthy, some feel that it is bias to the white race; others feel that is the combination of the two that it caters too. Nearly every side of the argument can be justified
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with an example, in essence not making any one person’s opinion wrong. The criminal courts main function in today’s society is “to preserve individual freedom by protecting civil rights and civil liberties” (Barkan, 2009) of the accused. There are four different models in which courts in our society function. When people think about court, they often in vision the drawn out, back and forth banter between the defense and prosecution. This model is referred to as the adversarial model. “In this system the parties to a controversy develop and present their arguments, gather and submit evidence, call and question witnesses, and within the confines of certain rules, control the process. The fact finder, usually judge or jury, remains neutral and passive throughout the proceeding” ( http://www.legal- dictionary.thefreedictionsary.com/Advesary+System ) Although the adversarial model does characterize the criminal courts to some degree, and more so than for those in other Western nations, social scientist says the adversarial model is largely a myth for the bulk of criminal cases. In most cases, a consensual model, characterized by a good deal of
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