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The paper defines criminal law and explains why the burden of proof in the American criminal justice system is greater than that of the American civil justice system. The paper discusses how the United States derives the structure of its criminal justice system from the English tradition of common law, and explains how most legal systems agree on certain basic premises. The paper also notes that many of the protections of the Bill of Rights pertaining to the criminal justice system only were extended to the state in the 19th century. Finally, the paper considers the controversies that still exist, including the 'three strikes and you're out' laws and capital punishment.
From the Paper:"First of all, what is criminal law? From the point of view of society, crimes are wrongs or violations for which the offender may be punished. Criminal law involves prosecution by the government for an act classified as a wrongdoing against society at large, for which penalties can be extracted varying from incarceration to fines to both (Criminal law, 2008, Cornell University Law School). The criminal law system stands in contrast to civil law, which involves crimes done to a particular victim. The civil suit is brought against the wrongdoer on behalf of the victim. The offender may have to pay financial compensation in civil court, but cannot be required to pay with his or her life or liberty both (Criminal law, 2008, Cornell University Law School). This is why the burden of proof in the American criminal justice system is greater than that of the American civil justice system. In a civil court, the plaintiff need only prove that the preponderance of the evidence shows a crime was committed, in a criminal court the standard for guilt is that it must be shown that beyond a reasonable doubt, a crime was committed."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Criminal law. (2008). Cornell University Law School. Retrieved December 1, 2008 athttp://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/criminal_law
- Criminal procedure. (2008). Cornell University Law School. Retrieved December 1, 2008 athttp://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/criminal_procedure
- Cruel and unusual Punishment. (2008). Exploring Constitutional Conflicts. Retrieved December 1, 2008 athttp://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/cruelunusual.html
- Gideon reviewed. (2008). NLADA. Retrieved December 1, 2008 athttp://www.nlada.org/DMS/Documents/1047416381.38/
- The Incorporation debate. (2008). Exploring Constitutional Conflicts. Retrieved December 1, 2008 athttp://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/incorp.htm
Cite this Term Paper:
History of Criminal Law (2010, October 22) Retrieved April 02, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/history-of-criminal-law-144996/
"History of Criminal Law" 22 October 2010. Web. 02 April. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/history-of-criminal-law-144996/>