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Purposes of the American Court System

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Due process, rehabilitation, crime control, and bureaucracy are the four key principles of the courts (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 252). Due process keeps the rights of the defendant safe during trial (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 252). Crime control deals with the sentencing of the accused (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 252). The accused needs the receive the correct punishment. Rehabilitation is when accused is sick and the court must decide what their “treatment” is (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 252). Bureaucracy is how fast a case is carried out (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 252). Men’s Rea focuses on the mental well-being of the criminal when the crime happened (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 109). Preliminary hearings are when the judges see if the evidence shows that the person being convicted of the crime, really did commit it. (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 296). A plea bargain is done before, and there is no trial and this is when a defendant pleads guilty to get their sentence reduced (Plea Bargains and Pretrial Motions, 2012).

Men’s Rea has categories that play into the well-being of the accused. These include purpose, knowledge, negligence, and recklessness (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 109). When a person commits a crime on purpose, they do so because they wanted to, and the person knows that it is illegal and believes the act is illegal and still commits the crime (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 109). Negligence is when a person takes a risk that is unjustifiable and because they took this risk, harm was caused in some way (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 109). Recklessness is “the state of being aware that a risk does or will exist and nevertheless acting in a way that consciously disregards this risk” (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 109). All the factors help in the process of determining what crime was committed. Often crime exists when the actus rues and men’s rea occur at the same time (Types of Crime, 2001).

Preliminary hearings give the prosecutor a chance to show evidence that they think ties the accused to the crime (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 296). In preliminary hearings, the defendant’s attorney begins discovery. This allows defence to the prosecutor’s evidence and use it to aid in their argument (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 296). With this the defence can prepare for the trial with hopes of proving their client is innocent. The defence attorney can also question witnesses from both witness lists (Pretrial Procedures, 2012).

Plea bargaining is when a defendant’s punishment is less than what they were originally charged with because they plead guilty (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 302). If the defendant accepts the plea bargain, then they have some decision over their fate (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 303). Mark Sorsaia, a prosecuting attorney, states if after the accused takes a plea agreement and the judge can carry out justice while still being fair that it’s good (Plea Bargains and Pretrial Motions, 2012). Entering a plea bargain, the defendant can say they are guilty (Plea Bargains and Pretrial Motions, 2012). If the defendant doesn’t take a plea then the case goes to trial.

The American Court System does a good job upholding its purposes. Without these and the procedures that happen, the court system would be a mess. The system works faster and better with the use of the court room procedures. The accused has a better chance at a fair trial like the law promises and that they deserve. The judge can also ensure that the accused gets a fair trial. The court system plays an important role in the way the justice system works, and helps it run smoother.

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