Victims are individuals, group of individuals who have suffered harm arising when other people violate society norms contained in the county’s laws. Crime evaluation is the process with the help of which experts or professional officers analyze events in a crime scene to provide information that can be used as the evidence in court for the conviction. The main objective of this essay is to discuss briefly the role and functions of individuals making up the criminal justice system: the public prosecutor, defense attorney, criminal and the victims and how victimization affects each of their roles.
The main role of the prosecutor as a member of the criminal justice system is to seek the punishment of offenders who have violated the societal norms which are constituted in the county’s laws. They are advocates of the society’s interests and ensure that justice prevails. The prosecutor also plays a key role in the investigative phase of a case in conjunction with the police, victims, defendants and judges among other parties involved. They have an obligation to decide on the manner charges are presented. This means that the prosecutor determines if the defendant has a case to answer to warrant a prosecution. In addition, they give a summary of charges, determine the evidence to be presented and recommend a sentence for the offender. In case federal criminal laws are violated, federal state prosecutors will carry out the prosecutions. Therefore, the prosecutor plays an important role of enforcing the law (Jenkins, 2011).
In American criminal justice system a public attorney is sometimes given the responsibility of prosecuting criminal suspects and hence denying the prosecutors’ role. This is a form of prosecutor victimization. The goal of the prosecution’s investigation of a case is to uncover all facts which later are used to make a decision. Their cases must enclose with a strong conviction. Their thorough investigation is meant to ensure that the offenders are sentenced while the innocent are set free is (Cole and Smith, 2009). The public prosecutor can impose alternative sanctions such as a prison term which is a principal sanction. The goal of the alternative sanctions is to reintegrate the perpetrators into constructive activity in a working environment such as arsonists working for the fire brigade. The alternative sanctions are also educative, for example, offering courses on how misuse of drugs, gambling can be prevented as well as on vandalism and reduction of sexual crimes (Nwankwo, 2011).
According to Ronald Carlson (2005), one of the duties of a defense attorney is to counsel a client properly so as to be in a position to plead or not to plead guilty. If the client chooses the later, then the defense attorney has the second responsibility of pursuing the defense until the trial is over. In fact, the defense is the defendants’ rights advocate. Their role is however victimized when seen by the crime victim as second only to the perpetrator despite their role being significant in the judicial system. The lawyer advocates for the innocence of their clients although under limited professional obligations. Therefore, their main goal is to ensure their client is either acquitted, given probation or charges reduced. He or she is determined to see the client resuming back to productive life as soon as possible after the trial. They do this by bargaining for alternative sanctions for their clients that confer positive on the sentence arrived at by the judge (Prafullah, 2006).
A criminal is the defendant in the criminal justice system who is accused of violating the criminal law. Sometimes, the criminals are victimized, if their victims had acted in a manner that triggered the harms they later suffer from, that is, they make themselves vulnerable. Sentence will provide a forum of not only punishing the wrongdoer but also teaching people to keep distance from criminal discrimination risks. This will also promote moral goals of upholding social standards. In this sharing, the offender is required to apologize, find a way to compensate the victim as well as the family and if necessary the wider community who may have been affected by his or her crime. The criminal justice is more focused on restoring the offender rather than censuring him/her (Cole and Smith, 2009).
The victims in the criminal judicial system play a role in securing prosecution so that justice can be done to end or reduce any form of suffering they may be going through. For a long time, it is the duty of the victim to report the offenses committed against him or her, relate the details concerning the crime committed as well providing all the evidence to criminal justice system institutions and organizations and also to the police. The victims also help in identification of the criminals, contribute to restore justice and also take part in mediation teams. Finally, the victims provide evidence as well as responding to questions in the court. The victim impact statement provides an opportunity for the victims to express their pain and also gives their families an opportunity to take part in the criminal justice system. Finally, victimization of the victims arises from the treatment of criminal justice system officials’ which is not only demeaning, unfair, indifferent to their rights, feelings, interest and needs, but also very stressful and this can be more victimizing than the crime that they report to these institutions. Sentencing has increased the rights of the victims in the criminal judicial system whereby they are permitted to witness in the court concerning an offence. It has as well brought together the victim, the offender, if possible there families and also the community to agree on the best way to attend to the crime (Das, 1997).
Concerning the victims’ rights, it is recommended that the courts must change their manner of operating and protect the rights of victims instead of protecting defendants’ rights. Some laws must also be changed to prevent an easy escape of defendants from court during its many processes. Some court procedures need restructuring to enhance the victims’ witnessing. Finally victims must be assured of protection from threats, harm, harassment and intimidation as well as be allowed to contribute in the court proceedings from inception to sentencing of the court cases.
The criminal justice system is such an important organ of any society just as the individuals that comprise it. Its main role is to restore and maintain justice through law enforcement on criminals, victims who are harmed through criminal act, their families as well as the community at large. The prosecutor mainly serves to investigate and charge a case, the defense attorney is obligated to advise the clients and if necessary defend the case from the beginning to the end, the victim is required to report an offense as soon as it occurs together with sufficient evidence and finally the criminal needs to allow investigation to be carried out and to cooperate with the court orders. The four individuals are vulnerable to victimization, hence each must play his/her role well with substantive evidence to ensure the objective of the achieved system. Finally the criminal justice system is vital for the society, as it ensures that the law adherence and prevailing of the justice at all times.