Criminology/ Justice term paper 12485

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What is justice? Justice is defined as administering a deserved reward and rightfulness or lawness, according to Funk & Wagnall's Standard Dictionary. Although this definition proves to be true in most cases, it is not always used correctly. If justice is supposed to be fair, then why are so many people found innocent-after already serving a sentence for a crime they didn't commit. Jon Benet Ramsey's killer is still on the loose. However, twins received justice after their molestation. On the other hand, 3 men are serving time in jail because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Justice in the court system is usually unfair.

The application of justice should be a fair and simple one. Justice should be used the same way on everyone. However, fairness is not always used. Justice should not be based upon a person's age, sex, race, or family background. Teenagers get pulled over more frequently, and in turn are hassled more. Men usually receive harsher punishments than women in the court system. In the United States, a predominantly white country, minorities such as blacks and Asians receive unfair discrimination. It's interesting, however, that these rules bypass celebrities. It seems that if a person has a lot of money and influence, the justice rules do not apply. For instance, the family of Jon Benet Ramsey is very wealthy. From evidence drawn from detectives that is published in various newspapers, Jon Benet's parents murdered her. Years passed, still there are not any new suspects, and her parents have not faced any charges. On the other hand, if a person's family has an unflattering background with the court, that person is prejudged based on his family's actions.

Admittedly, justice is accurate in some situations. A 13-year old neighbor sexually assaulted a pair of twins, a boy and a girl. The neighbor, Danielle, occasionally cared for the twins for short periods of time. After the molestation occurred several times, the twins told their mother. The situation was investigated. The twins and Danielle were questioned separately. Danielle admitted to molesting both of the twins on multiple occasions. The twins talked with a social worker and received counseling at the expense of Danielle's parents. Danielle also received counseling and is not allowed to be unsupervised with children. Now the twins are 5 and their horrible nightmare has faded away. Even though what happened is inexcusable, the twins obtained justice. Both the twins and Danielle received the help they needed. Most importantly, Danielle received punishment for her wrong actions.

Nevertheless, justice is not always accurate. A case of gamma-hydroxybutyrate, or GHB, poisoning occurred in January of 1999. Three 15-year old girls went to a man's apartment with guys 3-11 years older than them. All 3 of the girls lied to their parents about their whereabouts and engaged in smoking marijuana and consuming alcohol. Somehow, throughout the course of the evening, one of the girls unknowingly drank a beverage that contained GHB. Two of the girls fell asleep only to awake later violently vomiting. Eventually, 2 of the guys and the remaining conscious girl took the unconscious girls to the hospital. None of them knew what was going on; they thought the 2 girls were just drunk and high. That was a misconception. One girl died and the other suffered through a coma, but later recovered. When sentencing came for the 4 men, the trial went on for over a year. The man who owned the apartment and the GHB faced the highest sentence. He, however, told the police who supplied him with the GHB, thus lowering his sentence to 2 years in jail. The other 3 men were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The ruling equaled 4 years in jail for each of them. Was this fair? Should the girls' parents accept responsibility for not knowing where they were? It is not right that the liable man for what happened on his property received the lowest sentence. This was not a just decision. Three girls with the reputation of "partiers" and a man housing illegal happening on his property permanently changed 3 young men's lives for the worse.

Justice in the court system is usually unfair. Innocent men are in jail. In the case of the molestation, however, justice was served. Jon Benet's killer is still roaming free. The process of justice should be applied the same to everyone, but that's hardly the case. Many innocent people are punished for crimes they didn't commit. There are also situational ethnics to consider. Is something okay to do in one situation but not another? The legal system is not always fair, question it, and do something to change it.

Word Count: 785


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