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Political Science
POLS 3250
Tim Mau

1 Discussion Reflection Three Madison Rahal O754606 POLS*3300 DE Governing Criminal Justice C. Derferd Group 3 October 21 , 2012 2 In participating in the Governing Criminal Justice discussions over the past few weeks, I believe that I was able to verify many of my opinions and better understand the perspective from which my group members were sharing their views. Through the integration of new course material, there were many new thoughts and opinions brought into question. These past few units have been centered on the advantages and limitations of the adversarial process, how it influences victim’s rights, and the issue of overcrowding prisons. For example, in my Unit 7 discussion, we talked about the advantages and limitations of the adversarial process and used Jane Doe as an example. When discussion arose about what should be done about the victim and the potential of them jeopardizing the process, I believed it to be unfair for the victim to have to sit outside of the courtroom during their own trial. It was interesting to learn that several of my peers in the discussion disagreed with my views, especially Shannyn Stevens when she replied back to me, “that there will every be a way that the victim is completely happy with the system without jeopardizing the objectiveness of it”. This discussion opened my mind to the course material and particularly The Jane Doe article where she states that she never felt as though anyone was on her side through any of her own trial. In my Unit 5 discussion the feelings I took from the previous week were backed up through the second Jane Doe article. Several of my peers agreed with me on the fact that many of the things that go on in a trial are unjust to the victim. As many of us had a consensus through discussion, it was interesting to learn more details about Jane Doe’s case. Many of us were shocked at the fact that the Victims impact statements were altered before they were used in trial, and that the victim could be cross-examined because of the emotions in their statement. 3 Before this discussion, I did not believe that the process was unjust to victims. Through participating in week 8 posts, I feel as if it altered many of my thoughts on how the victim is treated in their own trial and felt sympathy for Jane Doe and her struggles. In Unit 9, I learned a great deal about contrasting opinions of letting people out of jail early to minimize overcrowding. Many peers in the discussion board felt that through the expressed views of Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, it would never be appropriate to release prisoners early due to overcrowding.  Through my discussion with Alexander Ogilvie, he addressed an important issue when he stated, if overcrowding is such a massive problem then maybe sentences need to be changed. Before he stated this, I never thought of the consequences of changing the way we do things in the Criminal Justice System. To my surprise, through weeks 7-9 group members gave great insight into their views and ultimately changed the way I thought about many initial opinions. In participating within these unit discussions, I believe that many of the questions and arguments posed between the group members verified my beliefs and once again, altered my previous thoughts. In the past few weeks have learned many new ideas and concepts from course material and have incorporated aspects of the readings into the discussion posts. Through the opinions of my peers in the discussion and readings, I believe I have developed different views about the adversarial process. Even though I believe I contributed to the overall discussions effectively, midterms and assignments got in the way of putting enough detail and depth into posting early in the week. Based on this evidence and after reviewing this reflection, I believe that I would give myself an 7.5 out of 10. 4 Total Number of Dates Messages Posted Unit Number Messages Posted 8 Messages October 22 2012 7 October 22 2012 7 October 22 2012 7 st November 1 20st 8 November 1 2012 8 November 7 2012 9 November 7 2012 9 th November 10th012 9 Total Number of 5 Messages October 22 2012 7 Replies to Group October 22 2012 7 Discussion November 1 2012 8 st November 7 201th 9 November 10 2012 9 Unit 7 - Best Post In the Doe article, it is evident that the victim at hand explains many of the characteristics that most if not all of us think a typical court case and room would look like. We think that the court room is going to look different at that “ the police and the Crown attorney, lawyers, the victim- assistance people- all present themselves a your guides, your captains”. In reality, the adversarial process is not like this. Yes it operates as a coherent system, however as understood in the article, it does not account largely for the victims. As she stated in the article, her feelings and thoughts were simply unimportant attachments to the crime. What she experienced was simply grouped into several other women. By the end of the trial she was not satisfied with the plea bargain of a twenty- year sentence. I think in this situation no one is ever going to be happy with the outcome of a trial, especially since its not the death penalty. Regardless of this, victims should be treated with more respect on the basis of their the ones who have been wronged. After being raped by someone, she shouldn’t have had to go through what she did, all due to the legal system. The main problem with the adversarial process is that it does not take into account the impact on the victim. Like in the Doe article, the author explains that the Crown attorney assigned to your case expects you to speak in his language, and any instinctive knowledge you might have known about what happened to you will be ignored. One way of fixing this problem is attempting to move away from simply following the same procedures and caring about the impact of the situation. Explained in the article, its worse enough having something horrific happen to you like being raped, but to not be able to describe the crime in their own words and have to respond to a template designed to protect the rights of the rapist is unjust. Trials could become better suited for protecting the interests of the victims if the people running the system took the time to appreciate the situation and the influence it has on all parties. It was even more surprising to read that through a rape trial, the victim was not able to sit inside the courtroom to listen to 5 how the crown attorney was defending her case. You would think that the decent thing t
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