“The American Criminal Justice System” Timeline: Key events in the historical development of capital and corporal punishment In 1692, the Salem Witch Trials began and is considered a great tragedy in history involving religion and beliefs. Many people suffered during this time if they were identified as a witch and the consequences were enforced by the minister of Salem, Samuel Parris, and his followers. A few punishments involved unlawful search and seizure’s, trials, and if convicted, executed.
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The Salem witch trials continued for eight months after Cotton Mather argued the mass convictions against the accused suspects and after the clergy began to question the evidence, Governor Phips, put a stop to the executions and all accused. A total of twenty people and two dogs lost their lives during this event in time. In 1934, the military prison closes on Alcatraz Island due to a rise in operational cost and the Federal government opens a Federal Prison on the Island to incarcerate high profile inmates.
This location was ideal to hold unmanageable offenders in isolation and officials hope it would deter committed crime to those individuals in society. Fourteen attempted escapes occurred within the twenty-nine years of operation. In March 1963, Alcatraz closed due to the building slowly deterring and security measures diminished due to budget cuts. After the escape of Frank Morris and the Angelin Brothers, many scrutinized the prison for its security. In 1987, the United States created the sentencing guidelines under the Sentencing Reform Act in 1987.
The guidelines resulted in a criminalization and sentencing process allows the prosecution control and Judges would have to follow these guidelines with little discretion on the decision. Congress would have the responsibility of creating a structure to avoid “Unwarranted sentencing disparity among defendants who held similar records who have been found guilty. ” The sentencing guidelines initiated a debate involving the legal and social conflicts and consequences. Capital Punishment Methods and Procedures: Lethal Gas and Lethal Injection are the two methods used in the State of California for capital punishment.
The procedure for a Legal Injection execution involves strapping the inmate onto a gurney with restraints in an execution chamber. A cardiac monitor is connected to the inmate and a printer outside the execution chamber. Two I. V. ’s are inserted in the veins and once the Warden signals to start, 5. 0 grams of sodium pentothal is injected. The line is then flushed with sterile saline solution and followed by 50 cc of pancuronium bromide. The line is flushed once more and the last injection consists of 50 cc of potassium chloride. The procedure for Lethal Gas execution is the inmate is restrained in a steel airtight chamber.
Cyanide pellets are held in a container underneath the inmate. A container on the floor contains sulfuric acid and three executors turn one key. The electronic switch causes the container on the floor to open and allows the cyanide to fall in the sulfuric acid to create the lethal gas. The inmate is monitored so the warden knows when the inmate is no longer breathing. Exhaust fans and ammonia are pumped into the chamber, along with two scrubbers that contain water. This process takes about 30 minutes and the death normally occurs within six to eighteen minutes.
Scott Peterson was sentenced to lethal injection in March 2005 for the murder of his wife, Laci Peterson and is currently incarcerated in San Quentin Prison. Scott Peterson is a white male, thirty eight years of age. Richard Ramirez is known as the “Night Stalker” and sentenced to death row in 1989 for killing 14 or more people. Richard Ramirez is a fifty-one years old, Mexican male. Richard Davis was sentenced to death row for the murder of Polly Klaas in 1996 and other convictions include: robbery, burglary, kidnapping and lewd acts upon a child. Richard Davis is a white male, fifty-six years old.
Constitutional Amendments which safeguard inmates: The Eighth, Fifth, and Fourth Amendment protects inmates from cruel and unusual punishment, discrimination, allows inmates eligibility for parole, as well as enforcing due process. The Eighth Amendment requires jails and prisons to adhere to standard living conditions in a humane environment, involving the necessities to live and protection against physical abuse. The Fifth Amendment offers inmates the right to a speedy and unbiased trial, along with a public defender to represent their case in court. Lastly, the
Fourteenth Amendment grants inmates protection and equal discipline from correctional officers. Prison architecture designs in America: The New York State’s Auburn System and the Pennsylvania System were two primary architecture designs in America. Eastern State Penitentiary is known as the first penitentiary designed by John Haviland which opened on October of 1829. The center tower was located in the middle of the penitentiary which attached to single story cell blocks. The single unit cells were 8 x 12 feet x 10 feet high and included running water, a toilet, and asmall individual exercise yard which was the same width as the cell.
The primary purpose for the penitentiary was to place criminals in solitary confinement in hopes that the inmates would use the time to reflect on their deviant ways and change their behaviors which would lead them on the road to redemption. With the inmates in solitary confinement, inmates were unable to provoke or fight with each other while incarcerated and I would hope some would feel intimidated with living conditions with no intentions of returning. Some argued the prison was costly and majority of the guards would torture the inmate physically and psychologically making the living conditions inhumane.
The prison eventually closed and was abandoned in 1971 due to the prison falling apart and currently is operating as a museum. Prison classification is used to asses an inmate’s risk and program needs. The levels are classified as close, medium, minimum 1, minimum 2, and minimum 3. Inmates classified as “close” present the highest risk of and minimum 3 inmates present the lowest risk. Authorities in the division of prisons are responsible for assigning inmate’s classification/level. These measures have been put in place for the purpose of maintaining order, protecting staff, and inmate safety.
Differences between Parole and Probation duties and where the process is used in the Criminal Justice System: Probation is the sentencing during and after incarceration for an individual who committed a crime. Depending on the extent of the crime, a judge orders how much time an individual is incarcerated and once released, orders conditions that need to be followed while on probation. Individuals are responsible for following the rules and a probation officer will closely monitor the individual’s rehabilitation process. Parole is known as an early release from prison and is offered to individuals who follow the rules while incarcerated.
The parole board will make the decision if the inmate is ready to be released back into society and evaluate his behavior while incarcerated. Conditions still do apply to a parole and our closely monitored by a Parole Officer. Probation occurs after a person has committed a crime and Parole occurs while a person is incarcerated. A few responsibilities or duties for a Probation Officer include: Evaluating the offender’s progress and behavior; Assist offenders in finding and maintain work; and responsible for all case management. A Parole Officer monitor’s the released individual to ensure they are following the conditions and restrictions.
Some duties include: maintaining contact with the parole and their families; evaluate and report the parole’s progress; may work with both Juveniles and adults. Differences between rehabilitation and punishment and who might favor each concept: Rehabilitation gives an individual a chance to learn about his actions and offers individuals’ assistance for reentry into society. Rehabilitation programs are available to both adult and juvenile offenders. Drug Addiction Rehab, Alcohol Addiction Rehab, Violent Behavior Rehab are a few programs used in rehabilitating a person.
Incarceration confines an inmate to a small cell with little to no privileges. Unless an inmate is in the process of rehabilitation, Incarceration does not offer help. Incarceration is in place for both juvenile and adult offenders. In California, the average cost for each prisoner is $35,000 per year and $70,000 per year for elderly inmates who require more attention to their health care. Offenders who regret their actions and have strong morals would favor the rehabilitation concept. While repeat offenders who learn to adapt to the prison environment will favor incarceration.