The Criminal Justice System Should Be Equally Individualized Essay

819 Words Feb 11th, 2016 4 Pages
I believe that the criminal justice system should be equally individualized – that is, a mix of both justice models. The individualization better allowing for both mitigating and aggravating discretionary factors to come into play. However, equality should still heavily factor into the justice system, too. Requiring that factors like race and gender (along with sexual orientation, parenting status, and more) should not impact the outcome in conviction or sentencing decisions checks individual biases within the justice system. In all cases, unless a factor directly impacts the actus reus or mens rea of the accused, the proof of the crime itself should be the system’s focus when forming these decisions.
Individualization within the justice system allows for the best kind of punishment there is. Not only does it better prescribe to the requirements of our Eighth Amendment rights, protecting against cruel and unusual punishment, but also it likely would save tax payers’ money. Considering the mens rea of the individual allegedly committing the crime can bring about the fullest understanding of the crime itself. Since each person has their own experience in their lifetime and in the commission of a crime, punishment should only be brought accordingly. For example, a person who steals a painting from a secure, private collection for the thrill should be punished much differently than the person who steals from the grocery store because they haven’t eaten for two days. If…

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