The American judicial system employs an adversarial process to resolve civil disputes and to determine the guilt or innocence of criminal defendants. A number of legal actors play essential roles in this process: private lawyers, jurors, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, experts, and others. Your task is to evaluate how capable the adversarial process is of determining "the truth" and thus, of achieving "justice." In your discussion, pay attention to the role of these specific legal actors as well as to the institutional constraints under which they operate. What are the particular strengths and weaknesses of the adversarial process? Could there be a more desirable alternative, at least in some instances?.
Your paper should be approximately 5-6 pages in length, typed, double-spaced, with 1" margins, and 12 point font. It is due in class on November 18th. Your paper will be evaluated on the clarity and development of your thesis, the strength of your supporting evidence, the degree of engagement with course materials (including films), and the quality of your writing style. Please cite any sources of information that you include in your paper, using any standard bibliographic format. .
Due Process Model.
An ideal type used to capture one side in the debate over the central values or practices of the criminal justice system. This model gives priority to values and practices that protect the rights of the offenders from the coercive power of the state. This protection would include strict regulation of police enforcement, independent and impartial judicial process, and imposition of proportional and justifiable punishment.
One of Packer's two models of the criminal justice process. It embodies traditional politically liberal values. In this model, the principal goal of criminal justice is at least as much to protect the innocent as it is to convict the guilty. .
The due process model is based on the doctrine of legal guilt and the presumption of innocence.