HSIN-CHIEH LINBLACK STUDIES 100JANUARY 13, 1997 In order to keep a safe society, it is important to establish a nation withgood education to teach people judging from right or wrong , excellent policeforce to keep our street safe, and most of all, a good criminal justice systemto carry out the justice. United States is a place with little crimes, a nationwith nice houses, beautiful beaches, and expensive shops without property justlike what I seen in the American movies in my opinion before I arrived here. Thevery moment I stood in my dream street, Hollywood boulevard, I was shocked atthe scenario. I then realized that this is a place no different from othercountries The United States has many problems too, especially in crimes and itscriminal justice system.
The major feature of the U.S. criminal justice system is the jury systemwhich is found nowhere else in the world except here in the America. The jurysystem originally was designed such that a decision of whether a person isguilty or innocent will not fall only into one individual’s hand but a group ofpeople. This feature gives the U.S.
criminal justice system a lot of strength ina way that in order for 10 people to agree on a person being guilty or not, thecourt must supply sufficient amount of evidence so that no one will be punishedby mistake. Moreover, since the jury selection is done so secretly and strictthat it is not possible to judge any one in court in the favor of any side, itis the decision of the jurors who were selected from regular citizens to findany guilty or innocent. However, the major weakness of the jury system is thatwill the defendant get the fair trial if jurors are being prejudice. As Iobserve several years in the United States, racism do still exist in the UnitedStates unlike what I though before coming here. It is impossible to get a fairtrial for African Americans who is being trial in a white neighbor and viceversa.
This weakness of this U.S. criminal justice system has cause manyproblems that the jury system must be reformed.
A rule should always be modifiedand updated along with the change of the time and society, and jury system isone of the rules that needs change. Another major weakness in the criminal justice system of the United States Iobserved is the slow speed of the process. Before coming to the United States, Inever know it would take about ten years for a death sentence to carry out.
Ifany person is given death sentence and fail to appeal, he should be executedright away without hesitation, instead of wasting tax payer’s money on feedingand keeping them alive. Trials are also taking too much time too; for an example,the famous O.J. Simpson trial which took more than 1 year to get a conclusion.The longer a trial takes, the more tax money is wasted.
Over 10 million dollarsspent on the O.J. trial has been estimated While making sure any one won’t bepunished if he is innocent, the U.S. criminal justice system should be change insuch a way that it will speed up the process. Another major problem with the U.S.
criminal justice system is that thepunishments are not strict enough to stop or decrease the crimes. I saw theother day in the news that a drunk driver who killed a kid was only sentenced to1 year in prison with a fine of five thousand dollars. I was shocked at how aprecious life is only worth five thousand dollars and how many drunk drivers arestill out there. A rapist would get out of prison easily in just a few years;for example, Mike Tyson. I was also surprised when I saw that ninety percent ofthe rapists are those who committed the same crimes before. If all these rapistsare sentenced to life in prison, there will be ninety percent less of women whowill get rape out there. What is the use of law and a criminal justice system ifpeople keep repeating the crimes after punishment.
When I was back in theSingapore which is also called garden city, I was deeply impressed with theclean and the low rate of crimes of the nation. The country is so clean that yourarely find trash on the floor, and you rarely see murder on the news for thewhole year. I later found out that the law of Singapore is so strict that nobodydares to break easily; for examples, dumping trash will cause a minimum fine offive hundred U.S. dollars and death is the only punishment for importing drugslike cocaine and killing anyone. These laws has work well that Singapore is oneof the safest and cleanest countries in the world now.
Thus, a reform in thisarea of the system is necessary and inevitable in order to improve Americansociety which is unsafe and fill with crimes. No criminal justice system is perfect and designed to last forever. As thecrime rate in the cities in this nation is rising at a steady rate, it provesthat the original criminal justice system is already out of the date andrequires change. The government should first evaluate the jury system carefully ,,and then reform it. Second, the justice branch should speed up all the processin order to meet the needs and on the other hand save tax payer’s money. Lastbut not least, we should tighten the existing law in order to keep the seriouscriminals locked away from the society, and prevent people from committingcrimes.
Nevertheless, for the U.S. criminal system which has been establishedfor a while, a major modification and reform is needed eagerly in order toimprove the society and protect the innocents.