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Fiction Versus Reality In Criminal Justice System Law Essay

In today’s society, we as citizens of the United States of America view our criminal justice system as a rule of law that allows the district attorney to present its case before a trial by jury in a court of law. However, in today’s society, most television shows procedures would like to make a television shows, based on things that going on in today’s society, as to crime, family, hospital, and the military, as well. However, within the last 20 years, procedures had created a very good show called Law & Order with some additional spins off such as Special Victims Unit, Criminal Intent, and Trial by Jury in showing how the police and the criminal justice court system works solves a case, and tried an suspect within an hour, when in reality it can takes the police and the prosecution several months to close a criminal case.

When, I began watching Law & Order and Law & Order Special Victims Unit television show, I really had view that the show as showing a true view as to what the police does and how court proceeding are being conducted in a really court room setting, however, I was wrong. For the police to conduct an investigation, arrest a suspect and tried a person for a crime, within a 1 hour span, is not possible at all in real life. Usually it takes the police 48 to 72 hours to conduct their basic investigation of a crime screen before they determined a suspect in most cases. Once the police arrests a suspect and completes their initial finding, the information is turn over to the prosecution, to begin their work within the case. This process of trying a criminal case, takes several months to conduct, the television does show the general public a good idea, as to how the criminal justice system works, but there are always exceptions in every case, each case is different as to how it been solved and prosecuted by the prosecution.

According to Internet Movie Database (2010), Law & Order is labeled as a drama television show, that tries to give the general overview as to how the “criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups” (Internet Movie Database, 2010). According to Internet Movie Database (2010), it also shows “The police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders” (Law & Order, para 1). The fiction reality show Law & Order is a show that according to Internet Movie Database (2010), “show follows a crime, usually adapted from current headlines, from two separate vantage points” (Law & Order, para 1). In reality, that it is true, that there are two separate vantage points, within the criminal justice system, the police, and the prosecution. According to Internet Movie Database (2010), “The first half of the show concentrates on the investigation of the crime by the police, the second half follows the prosecution of the crime in court” (Law & Order, para 1). According to the Internet Movie Database (2010), the show is approximately “60 minutes, including commercials” (Law & Order, para 1). But, in reality a trial can last for several months.

We as a general society do recognize that most television shows, and movies that show a view of the criminal justice system, do not mention that the minority of the criminal cases never go to trial before a jury. In most reality cases, sentences are handed down to guilty pleas, charges being dropped, and plea bargains are issued, before the case ends up before the jury in court. In Law & Order television shows, shows that the defendants are given attorneys that are will trained and very resourceful, however, in a true criminal court case in reality, most defendants are not very well resourceful. The small majority of the cases in a reality court setting really gets to trial, the criminal justice system do not really encounter the very provocative and punchy opening statements as shown in a fictional court room type setting.

In a fictional television, Law & Order, the show is broken down in part as to the police, the prosecution and the trial part of the case. However, in Law & Order procedures had failed to identify the legal issues at hands such as the rules of evidence, and the legal issues surrounding the case at hands. The appearance of evidence and both cross-examination and examination of the case, things are less theatrical than in the fictional courtroom. In reality attorneys love visuals arts and photosgraphs, when it comes to evidence and autopsy photos are a favorite in murder trials. However, frequently physical evidence is minimal. Defense counsel, most of whom are public defenders, are particularly strapped when it comes to finding or presenting useful evidence.

Almost every case starts in trial courts. The trial courts find out the facts in a case and deciding how the law applies in their particular cases. It is in this court that a trial (and a guilty plea) takes place, and the judge imposes a sentence if the defendant is guilty. This court is responsible for determining what happened and what questions are relevant. In difference, the function of appellate courts is to examining claims that the law were improperly applied or that legal procedures were not correctly followed by the attorneys (Meyer & Grant, 2003).

When watching television’s portral of a courtroom you do not see some of the key contributors in the legal process such as court administrator, bailiffs, court clerks, witness and court interpreters. Court clerks are major players in the courtroom but yet are never shown or seen in the courtroom television shows. In shows like law and order they show witnesses who are scared and forced to take the stand. Witnesses are used in almost every courtroom procedure in the television shows they are often shown as scared and unstable people who are forced into being in a court room when in reality it is just the opposite. Witnesses are use to establish evidence in a case and are never forced into being a part of the court rooms legal process.

The court administrator staff is primary players in the courtroom but are rarely seen. They provide administrative support for the judges, interact with the public and create .statistical reports issued from the court. Bailiffs can perform as staff members of the court, sheriff’s deputies or police officers depending on the jurisdiction they are in. bailiffs provide security and help maintain order in the courtroom. The clerk is used to assist update and inform the judge. The clerk also prepares all the case papers for the judge and make sure they are fully prepared for court. Witnesses are used to give testimony about the facts used in a case that are in dispute. They provide evidence that helps establish what the facts are in a particular case. Court interpreters are used to translate for anyone involved in the legal process. Court interpreters can serve as translators on behalf of deaf participants in the courtroom. They are also used to communicate with people involved in the legal process.

The character witness is an important witness for the defense and prosecution. The character witness will credit or discredit the defendant. If the witness posses a good character of the defendant the prosecution will try and discredit either the witness, defendant, or both to make a better case against the defendant (Meyer & Grant, 2003).

The handling of rights concerning the defendant and victim falls under the sixth amendment. The sixth amendment is that in all "criminal prosecutions. The accused has the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury. The victims also have rights protecting them against domestic abuse or even try in protecting them from someone trying to kill them.

In the fictional courtroom, the judges will make stupid decisions and will put the victim in harm’s way. I think in Florida that every domestic dispute have to be reported to the state attorney’s for record and so they can make a better decision on the case in the future. I found that the victim is still very important in any case whether on a TV shows or real life. The jury still holds what the eyewitness has seen and said in court, to come up with a verdict. The victim is going to be a victim no matter if they are on TV or in real life.

I believe the fictional courtroom gives a better understanding of the actual courtroom system. For those who are not an active part in the courtroom such as jurors, TV is a half way descent source that represents the courtroom and the procedures. I had thought the court proceedings where close to the actual real life court proceedings, I was wrong. To have someone arrested, put on trial, and convicted in one hour is not at all possible (now that’s a speedy trial).

At every step of the way in its history, whether on television or reality, the Court has found itself influenced in some manner by the citizens of the United States of America. As you can see the court rooms on television are similar but not alike in the eyes of the court system.

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