Sample Essay on Barriers and Challenges of the Criminal Justice System

Barriers and Challenges of the Criminal Justice System

One of the key issues in this case is the size of the jury, considering the disparity in the way that justice is administered. Recently, judges in the United States claimed that a six-person jury is below standard unlike the 12-person, on grounds that the superior one will acquire precise verdict. This is wrong since it is based on the assumption that each member of the jury makes his or her judgment independently, and thereby impacting a poor verdict. Helland et al. (2008, p.259) in a recent study reveal that the number of jurors in a case does not have an effect on the particular kinds of errors that are committed, hence the judge should be the only person charged with the responsibility of decision making. Another argument also claims that reducing the size of the jury may diorite public confidence, reflecting a fair percentage in their communities (Helland et al, 2008, p.260). He claimed that the normal population is usually comprised of a 10% minority, and a 12-person jury will have an estimated 72% chance of seating in at least in the minority, giving a fair chance (Hastie et al, 2002, p.6).

The prevalence of a federal crime influence within the society is more worrying when it is linked to capital punishment (Connor, 2010, p.210). The fact that there is a double jurisdiction over various kinds of capital crimes introduces another window for uncertainty in the plot. In fact, it creates an opportunity for unfair judgment to individual defendants, and with the existence of a death penalty, it is challenging for policy makers from the drafting sessions to the process of legislation. It hinders the ability of the state to clearly see its preference with regards to their penalty structures and the existence of death penalties (Connonr, 2010, p.210).

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A study is conducted to establish whether the number of the jury really matters. There are two categories of errors that can occur. Type 1 is the conviction of an innocent defender while the other, Type 2 is focused on the acquittal of a guilty defendant (Koch et al, 2000 p.379). This is an indication that most jurors do not vote appropriately, instead, vote according to the information that they have obtained privately. According to the findings, the jurors get signals of the guilt or innocence of the defendants independently and then make decisions wholly based on that information. Therefore, the number of jurors listening to a case does not have an impact on the probability of committing crime type 1 or type 2 (Koch et al, 2000, p.380).

Considering the dire penalties for criminal acts, there are measures for reducing imprisonment cases. Commissions have been formed to facilitate the development of data that would assist judges in selecting a low-level non-violent offender without promoting the risk of public safety (Demleitner, 2005, p. 1271). The information is used for the identification of the notorious and dangerous sex criminals or crime reprobates. This has been established to be cost effective. In order to assist ex-convicts from getting back to their older ways, reentry programs, drug rehabilitation have also been set up. This is facilitated by the fact that many inmates find it very hard to readjust back to the community after serving their terms, thereby ending up repeating the same crimes. Besides, there should also be an empathetic discharge of convicts who are experiencing harsh conditions and less hazardous to the community. The prosecution of the most serious offenses and detection of the common crime scenes or locations would also help in curbing crime. The higher poverty levels may weaken lots of people and even tempt them to committing crimes, although the criminal justice system enhances the problem instead of easing it (Connor, 2010, p.2010).

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Hastie, R., Penrod, S., & Pennington, N. (2002). Inside the jury. Union, N.J: Lawbook Exchange.

Helland, E., & Raviv, Y. (2008). The optimal jury size when jury deliberation follows a random walk. Public Choice, 134(3-4), 255-262. doi:

Connor, E. M. (2010). The Undermining Influences of the Federal Death Penalty on Capital Policymaking and Criminal Justice Administration in the States. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 100(1), 149-211. Retrieved from

Demleitner, N. V. (2005). Is There a Future For Leniency In The U.S. Criminal Justice System? Michigan Law Review, 103(6), 1231-1272. Retrieved from

Koch, T., & Ridgley, M. (2000). The condorcet’s jury theorem in a bioethical context: The dynamics of group decision making. Group Decision and Negotiation, 9(5), 379-392. Retrieved from