To begin with, the word safeguard comes with a variety of meanings. In this case, especially when used in the legal jargon, one can easily deduce that a safeguard can either be a stand or an action taken in order to protect the parties involved in the legal process. These may include the defendants as well as the suspects.
One of the most common legal safeguards involves offering physical security to the parties involved. This may occur before, during and after the period of trial. In such a case, the defendant or the suspect is treated to a twenty four hour security manning in order to ensure that they are safe from any danger that may be inflicted by an external party in a bid to interfere with the legal process.
The other common legal safeguard is ensuring the privacy of the information given by both the defendant and the suspect. This is because according to the components of the human rights act, an individual has a right to privacy and this ought never to be violated at any one time. During the trial process, some information may be given by one or both of the parties which when exposed to the public might compromise one or more legal requirements. This explains why the parties deserve this privacy.
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The other legal safeguard may involve ensuring the security of any document, material or individual presented to the court either to enhance the evidence or act as a witness. All these should be well kept and their conditions must never be altered up to and even after the end of the trial period.
All the above legal safeguards are vital in that they play a major role in ensuring that the legal trial process is not interfered with in any way. The safeguards also ensure that the final decision made by the judge in charge is not influenced by any external factor but is purely based on the information and evidence obtained during the trial process.
When it comes to plea bargaining, the criminal usually gets a chance to escape the conviction and sentencing. From a natural perspective, the criminals would be expected to give a plea of ‘not guilty’ yet on the contrary most of these criminals do plead guilty. This may be caused majorly by three things. First of all, in a case where the criminal is presented with an option that would lead to a less lenient sentence compared to what they were initially guilty of, most criminals tend to plead guilty. Secondly, a criminal can plead guilty when they honestly lack an appropriate ground upon which they can base the argument that they are not guilty. For instance, when there is so much evidence that a criminal cannot deny. Some do it in order to speed up the legal process and hence get their punishment as early as possible if that comes to pass.
In order to ensure early guilty pleas, there are a number of procedures which are usually put in place. For instance, the criminal is usually presented with the importance of the whole step. At the same time, the criminal gets educated on some of the implications that may accompany a late guilty plea. It can make the process more costly and in one way or the other can interfere with the validity of the required information during the trial process. The criminal is also educated on the available options which in most cases are never attractive hence they are caused to make such early guilty pleas.
These procedures are appropriate in one way or the other. For instance, they go a long way in shortening the trial period. When the trial period is shortened, the cost related to the whole process also reduces relatively. This approach therefore gives the judge enough time to put the information together and issue the judgment based on solid and carefully considered findings.
A magistrate’s court which can also be referred to as the court of petty sessions is usually the lowest level of courts in most legal systems around the globe. The court is usually presided over by a tribunal who are at times simply referred to as the bench. The tribunal may comprise two or three people usually identified as Justices of Piece. The tribunal therefore makes the decisions concerning the cases at this level. In a situation where the case is complex then the services of a district judge usually come in handy.
A number of questions can be asked in line with the credibility of the summary justice as exercised in the magistrate’s court. First of all, the punishment of the suspected offenders is usually done without recourse to a more formal and protracted trial under the legal system. This therefore means that the decisions made are usually never based on absolute evidence and is done so fast, perhaps even before all the necessary information has been obtained. This therefore exposes the fact that some of the processes during the trial at the magistrate’s court, in most cases, fail to administer maximum justice to the parties involved.
The process of criminal trial entails a number of procedures each of which have their vital positions during this legal process. First of all, there is the step involving investigation and this is usually done by the police. This helps in the gathering of evidence to identify a suspect and hence support an arrest. The second stage is the arrest of the suspect after the necessary evidence that supports the step has been obtained. In this case, the suspect is taken to custody for the purpose of holding them until court. Before this one occurs, there is the need for the presence of a probable cause.
The third stage involves the prosecution of a criminal defendant by a district attorney. At this level, the prosecutor after weighing the relevant factors decides whether or not a person ought to be charged with a crime. This stage is followed by indictment done by a grand jury and it involves the filing of information by a prosecutor. After indictment, the next stage involves the arraignment of the criminal by a judge. It happens before the trial where the defendant appears in court and enters a plea.
After arraignment, there is the pretrial detention which is a period of temporary custody and it comes before the trial. This stage is then followed by plea bargaining between the defense attorney and the prosecutor. The next stage involves the adjudication of guilt which is usually done by a judge or jury. The standard of evidence which leads to the conviction of a criminal is the evidence beyond reasonable doubt. After the evidence has been obtained, the criminal is then sentenced. This occurs when the criminal has been found guilty, to ensure justice and legal liberalism, the criminal is given a chance to appeal to the high court. The very last stage is therefore the punishment where, at times, the criminal might just be sent to a rehabilitation center.
The above procedures are detailed enough yet the decision making process can well be influenced by other legal factors. For instance, the case might be reversed by an appellate case in the situation of an appeal. If this happens then the original case becomes moot and the prosecutor can decide whether to refile the case or not. This therefore shows that there are several other legal procedures which may end up affecting the decision making process. However, the process in not only detailed but is also an effective one in enhancing the assessment of guilt.
The process of sentencing can be presided over by various individuals depending on the court in which the case is being handled. For instance, in a normal criminal court, sentencing is done by the Judge. The process involves the judge compiling, interpreting and analyzing the relevant information and evidence obtained during the trial process. The judge then weighs the factors and carries out an effective examination of the data in order to deduce whether the criminal is guilty or not. If the accused is found guilty then the judge goes ahead to mete the sentence.
At this point, the role of the prosecution changes in a tremendous manner in that the judge becomes the only vocal individual in the trial processes. It happens after all the witnesses and evidence have been heard and seen respectively hence at this stage neither the defendant nor the prosecutor is allowed to talk. The only information that becomes available to the court is a re-analysis of the formerly obtained information as stated by the judge and his personal legal opinions and stand concerning this information. This is then followed by the issue of the sentence or rather the judgment.
The society today is plagued with various vices. Most of these vices end up having adverse effects on the society hence causing the citizens to live in insecurity. The criminal justice process therefore ensures that crime is reduced by bringing most of these offences to justice hence raising the public confidence that the system is fair and is set to deliver for the law abiding citizens. The process therefore aids both in preventing crime as well as solving the problems related to the offenses already committed.
In my opinion, this process is so far the most effective response to crime. As much as there may be other alternative responses to crime, the truth of the matter is these responses usually lack the much needed legal safeguards. In other words, in most of these cases, there are usually no rules governing the process involving the resolution of the dispute. The outcomes therefore fail to accord maximum justice to the parties involved.
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