Your Conflict With the Law

Laws are rules of conduct that are accepted by the people and enforced by the state. Even this simple definition gives us problems. One of the problems is that laws, like the mini-skirt or a hair style come and go out of fashion. Behavior that we thought was outrageous a few decades ago is now acceptable.

When laws cease to be appropriate they should be changed. Unfortunately, laws are slow to change and society can move quite quickly. There are some laws, however, that never go out of fashion like robbery and murder. Oscar Wilde was maligned for his homosexuality; he was imprisoned and made a social outcast. If he was alive today he would be a celebrated television personality.

Even more confusing, instead of being black and white, we place laws on a point on a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum, we have murderers and armed robbers; we feel that their behaviour is definitely wrong. At the other end of the spectrum we have someone who accepts €30 for taking a friend to the airport but does not declare the income in his tax return. Both are displaying criminal behaviour but we view them differently.

In addition to state laws, we also have our internal rules of conduct. These were given to us by our parents and other significant people in our lives. We live by these rules, though we pay lip service to the laws of the country.

How many of us have done the “odd job” and been paid for it without declaring it to the tax authorities. This is against the law, but we do not view it that way. Problems arise when our internal rules conflict with the laws of the country.

It is not unusual for people who are guilty of a crime to believe that they have done nothing wrong. A man who has stolen a loaf of bread for his starving family will believe that he has acted within his conscience and punishment by the state would be wrong.

The culture of a society will also determine what constitutes correct behaviour. When differing cultures meet, huge rifts can appear and often violence erupts. Both sides feel that they are behaving correctly. In some cultures, beating a wife “to make her behave properly” is regarding as correct; in others it is frowned upon.

Even within the same culture, problems may arise. In a relationship, partners may have powerfully opposing views on fidelity, violence within the marriage and financial freedom.

It is possible that you have been affected by crime and cannot come to terms with it. What may be happening is that your internal rules cry out for justice, but the culture or laws do not require the punishment that you seek. It will appear to you that there is an injustice.

It is not unusual for us to see offenders bemused and even amused by our outrage because they cannot see the problem. We are angry and want them to admit that they were wrong in order to satisfy our own needs. If they make such an admission, they will not mean it, because they do not believe what they have done is wrong.

Criminal behaviour affects us all. When we experience it face to face, it is hard to accept. Often, it is not the financial loss that that gives us the problem; it is the intrusion into our property and lives that angers us and leaves us with a feeling of insecurity. Our sense of fair play and our internal rules of conduct have been violated leaving us confused, angry and depressed. It can take years to come to terms with such intrusions.

I have produced some therapeutic recordings on a variety of subjects and invite people to make suggestions for additional recordings. The full list can be seen on http://renaissancetherapyprogram.com. This article, for example demonstrates that we feel that the law may not represent our own views. This may cause us problems, and problems with the authorities. People may feel that a therapeutic recording containing some useful suggestions may be appropriate.

Vigilante Justice – When the Law Fails

People take the law for granted, until it fails. We assume that the man who steals our car or breaks into our house will be prosecuted and punished. What happens when that assumption is no longer valid? When the law fails to protect the citizens and punish the lawbreakers?
The small town of Skidmore, Missouri found out on July 10, 1981, when Ken Rex McElroy was shot to death as he sat in his pickup on the main street of town. McElroy had waged a twenty-year reign of terror over all of northwest Missouri, getting away with almost every crime in the book: rape, arson, kidnapping, burglary, theft, assault, you name it. The law seemed powerless to stop him; witnesses changed their stories; judges recused themselves from his cases; prosecutors dismissed indictments; the town marshal resigned.

I told the story of McElroy’s reign of terror, his shooting, and the ensuing silence by the numerous witnesses to the murder in the book In Broad Daylight, which was published by HarperCollins in 1989, and which won an Edgar Award for Best True Crime and was made into a movie starring Brian Denehey. I revisited the story in a twenty-five year anniversary edition of the book published by St. Martins Press in December 2006. This edition contains startling new information on the killing and the identity of the killers.

It is not surprising that after all this time the witnesses to the killing still have not talked about what they saw that hot July morning. You might hear them say something like “McElroy needed killing,” and what they mean is that the town believed it had no choice but to take the law into its own hands. In their view, the town had returned to the lawlessness of the frontier days, when individuals undertook their own protection at the end of a barrel. Indeed, McElroy was stalking, with a weapon, several witnesses who were scheduled to testify against him in a bond revocation hearing the next week.

You can argue whether what happened that day was morally right or wrong. On Larry King Live, King opined that taking a life outside the law was never the right thing to do. Others argue that it should have happened long before it did.

Behind the discussion is a very basic principle of civilized society, a contract between the government and its citizens: you give up the right to enforce the law and punish lawbreakers in exchange for the government’s promise to do it for you. Put your weapons away and the government–in the form of the criminal justice system–will protect you.

In general, when one party fails to a contract fails to live up to his obligations the other party is released from his promise. If the government cannot protect me, I am entitled to protect myself. If the law t cannot protect the town, the town is entitled to protect itself, to “take the law into its own hands,” as the saying goes. It’s a scary notion in many ways, and it certainly sets a dangerous precedent, in effect allowing individual citizens to decide when they are entitled to engage in “self help.”

One of the most intriguing aspects of the story was the very fragile nature of what we call law and order. We might think that the criminal justice system is rooted in reality through law and courts and cops; the fact is, the criminal justice system is rooted in perception. Once the people no longer believe that it works, it no longer works. If witnesses no longer believe the law can protect them, that it can catch and punish the lawbreakers, they won’t come forward to testify. Cops won’t put their lives on the line. Citizens won’t go to their neighbors’ aid.
In the last few weeks of his life, McElroy had reduced the town of Skidmore to a community where it was every man for himself. When McElroy fired his shotgun over a house in the middle of the night, the neighbors turned away. McElroy, of course, finally pushed the town to far. When the people, with good reason, lost their faith in the system, when they felt exposed and vulnerable to the raging of a violent sociopath, they undertook to solve the problem themselves, they exercised the fundamental right of self-protection.

If there is a lesson to be learned in this cautionary tale, it’s that the criminal justice system in the end is about protecting the citizens and when the citizens fail to perceive that the system is doing its job the descent into lawlessness is rapid and certain.

Criminal Defense Lawyers: Life As They Know It

Since the law demands that everyone is innocent right up until verified guilty and you chose to specialize in this field, you have to protect this person by putting up the most effective defense there is available.

When you’re brought in for questioning, the first thing you have to do is request for an attorney. If you could not afford one, take it easy since a state employed attorney will be designated to you. But if you have money, it is best to hire a private attorney since they have far better success rates as compared to public defenders.

Murder is one of the toughest things you could ever be arraigned with. If you’re busted for the criminal offense, it won’t be well before you will be charged in court for that crime but you could prove your innocence with the help of a criminal defense lawyer.

You will also get a duplicate of the people the criminal prosecution will be calling to the witness stand as they too will also be conscious of that so there will be no surprises during trial.

It’s also possible to argue faulty or unreliable BAC outcomes. The BAC stands for blood alcohol test which is often used to check if the individual’s alcohol amount has gotten to the highest limit which makes him or her hazardous to drive a vehicle.

The objective with this proceeding is to get you a not guilty verdict so you don’t have to spend time inside jail. Nevertheless, in case you are guilty and offered the option to create a deal, perhaps you must accept it.

Living as a criminal defense lawyer is difficult when your work is actually to help those who are arrested for a criminal offense. While some of the clients you meet are not guilty, most of them are guilty and have experienced prior run-ins along with the law.

As the criminal defense lawyer will do their share to keep your innocence, you should also do your share so this can happen. You do this by cooperating along with them so they will have the ability to come up with a good defense.

Before the trial begins or even during, you can try to negotiate this matter away from court. You have the right to agree to or turn it down but you must first talk about this together with your client.

The best criminal defense lawyer to get is the one who’s experienced. After all, a criminal trial may last weeks or even months before a verdict is reached. This may cost you a lot of money but if you get a not guilty verdict from the jury, it is surely worth it so you can move on with your life instead of spending the rest of it behind bars.

Once a trial date has been set, you can get a copy of the documents of the case from the district attorney’s office since legally, both sides are supposed to see everything from the police reports to the evidence.

Here, the criminal prosecution will be getting witnesses, police accounts and the evidence. Your criminal defense lawyer may have the chance here to challenge the findings and if she or he is successful, reasonable doubt is achieved and your chances of receiving a not guilty verdict become higher.

What Can You Do With a Criminal Justice Degree?

Tired of fighting the impulse to run screaming from the room during a boring interoffice meeting? Long for the days when you can call the day your own, or at least manage it the way you think it should be productively run? Then think outside the box. What peaks your interest? Solving puzzles, talking to people, perhaps working with a team of like-minded people? Are you of a rugged constitution (at least internally), willing to work long hours with little feedback, and interested in helping to solve crime? Does putting right before wrong turn you on? Do you find blood, suspense, lies, and murder intriguing? Do you like an orderly world, safe from chaos? Then a criminal justice career might be just the right job for you. And once you’ve made up your mind to pursue a criminal justice degree, the sky’s the limit. You can use your criminal justice degree as a stepping stone to numerous lucrative careers. You have just opened the door to a wealth of local, county, state, and federal job opportunities. How far you decide to travel in your career path is up to you. Maybe you want to become a police officer or a corrections officer or a deputy sheriff? Maybe a paralegal or a judge?

Enrolling in an accredited criminal justice program is your first step.There are plenty of educational institutions offering degrees in criminal justice. There will be core course requirements you’ll have to fulfill and once these are out of the way, then choosing your course of expertise should be simple. Lay a firm foundation on which to build your career by starting with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.

Interested in becoming a police officer, dedicated to maintaining law and order, the frontline and public persona of fighting crime? Start with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Know yourself and what you are capable of. It takes a special person who can take the rigorous training, education and dedication required of a police officer. Obtaining a degree in criminal justice will make you fit, educated and open your eyes to crime investigation and prevention, how to deal professionally with people when they are often at their worst and gain the satisfaction of serving the public welfare. Making it through all the rigorous training will test your mettle and nerve. But, once through, you will face a lifetime of fulfillment in protecting and serving.

How about a career as a corrections officer, keeping the bad guys in and the good guys out? You will be watching over the inmates, helping to maintain the security of the facility, transporting inmates when necessary and hopefully, influencing the bad guys to change their wayward ways by being a good role model. This type of work can never be considered easy or routine, but in itself, can be rewarding with the knowledge of a job well-done and the satisfaction of knowing the community at-large is protected.

Perhaps you are interested in becoming a judge, ruling from the bench on important social, economic, moral, and constitutional issues? Many students use their criminal justice degrees as a stepping stone toward earning the Juris Doctor degree for a career as a judge. Judges can either be appointed or elected. The important political and social connections you make during your undergraduate study in criminal justice will go a long way in helping you to obtain your desired goal as a judge of renown.

There are so many reasons why a degree in criminal justice can be of great benefit to you, depending on what you want out of life. Do you want a hum-drum existence or a career that is challenging, consistently changing, and demands the highest integrity of those who serve the public good? Do you want to be part of a team that assists and shelters, able to work in the lonely hours of the night on back country roads or the heated asphalt of the city? Are you up to seeing the ugliness of life and still maintain hope for your fellow man? Whatever you decide to do with your degree in criminal justice, rest assured your choice of careers is of a higher calling, as you are not only serving yourself with a rewarding career, but mankind. You choose wisely when you choose a criminal justice degree as the bedrock on which to build your career.

Criminal Justice Training

Find Criminal Justice Training Programs in the United States and Canada. Criminal justice training is provided at most academic schools and colleges throughout the nation. Modern criminal justice training courses instruct prospective law enforcement candidates in the challenging career path of the criminal justice system. Focusing primarily on the functions of law enforcement, prosecution, trail, and corrections — criminal justice training can lead successful graduates to rewarding and honorable career fields.

When enrolled in a criminal justice training program, individuals acquire education in public safety, juvenile justice, prosecution, victim assistance, law enforcement, crime prevention, loss prevention, corrections, court administration and trial processes; among other subject matter.

Depending on the primary focus of education in a criminal justice training course, there are a variety of occupational options which one can pursue. For example, a number of criminal justice training programs may emphasize corrections and rehabilitation.

Just like many other law enforcement courses, this particular program of study will encompass legal issues and laws (both state and federal) surrounding the respective department of corrections and rehabilitation. In addition, students receive hands-on training in physical defense tactics, supervision of inmates in a correctional setting, effective communication skills, report writing, and other essential instruction.

If you’re drawn to social work, a criminal justice training program would be beneficial in helping you to acquire employment in a variety of local, state and federal government settings. Probation officers, for instance, work closely with local law enforcement agencies, as well as correctional institutions and often require education from a criminal justice training program to be fully prepared to fulfill the duties of this line of work.

Currently, criminal justice training can lead to degrees and/or certification; and may be attained through accredited universities, academies, tech schools and even online courses.

To learn more about criminal justice training, or if you are interested in entering other fields of law enforcement, feel free to search our vocational schools directory.

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Criminal Justice Training
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