Response to Discussion

Please respond to the current four parts with your opinion based on what you read by that post. I will post the questions below so you could get an understanding of the topic. Your response to each have to be 50 words, but you can write more if you choose.

Parts A & B Question

Do you identify more with what the book calls the individual-rights perspective or the public-order perspective? What experiences have you had that might explain your affinity for that perspective?

What are the relative merits of the individual-rights perspective, and what are the merits of the public-order point of view? How can the goals of both perspectives be balanced in contemporary society?

Do you see a trend in our society in favor of individual rights or public-order interests? What recent examples support your opinion?

Part C & D Question

According to the readings, do you think that our system of justice works towards balance? Why or why not? What would be some examples of balance or imbalance?

Part A: Respond (50 word minimum)

In my defense, I in turn favor more towards a public-order perspective rather than an individual-rights perspective. I understand that in a court of law that most of the time it focuses on a criminal defendant for the crimes he or she has committed and must face the criminal justice system with the rights that they are guaranteed to have for their trial. Based off of crimes that have occurred during the pass couple of years, I fear as though if we continue towards protecting an more individual freedoms then society would be faced with more greater problems. I am not saying that individual rights are wrong, I am stating that when given the option I rather put my trust in a whole society rather than a single individual, for as they say I would rather focus on the big picture rather than a single part.

Even though I do favor the public-order perspective, It still has its flaws. Before talking about the merits of the public-order point of view, I will begin with the relative merits of the individual-rights perspective. An individual should never be stripped of their rights, for if they are then they are not getting a ‘fair’ trial nor does it have any justice. However, if more crimes are committed from individuals and they are released without any form of punishment due to them being protected by their own rights, then many would follow in their footsteps. In a public-order perspective, groups are united and have reasoning behind their rights whether it be religious reasons, sexuality reasons, or minority reasons. The major problem I see with this is many would challenge these types of groups for more ‘equality’ for their group and a decrease of rights of another which in turn causes tension. The simplest way for some sort of middle ground is to lower bias, come to terms with groups, and most importantly have acceptance for those who are innocent.

As years past, the balance between individual rights and public-order interests shifts every year. One example I can immediately think of is the baker who refuses to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, and the reason for this is because it was against his religion. In an interview he states that had no hostility towards the couple nor towards the LGBT community and he adores making wedding cakes, yet because of his religion he could not make the couple the cake. Here was a battle between his rights going against those of the public-order.

Part B: Respond (50 word minimum)

While I believe both of the perspectives have their merits, I am more closely aligned with the perspective of the public order. While I know individual right is very important and the US Constitution was created to protect that, there are certainly cases where caring about an individual right can be very detrimental especially if a very dangerous situation is involved. I believe sacrificing individual rights for the greater good of the society is very important. If we are all willing to sacrifice a bit of our privacy, some tragic events can probably be prevented before they occur.

For example, the reason gun laws are so hard to be repelled is because of Second Amendment. It is widely believed Second Amendment was designed to protect individuals’ rights to carry guns but I believe if repealing Second Amendment will lead to a great reduction in mass shootings it should be repealed. In fact, the Second Amendment itself is left very vague according to a professor from UCLA. But since the US put a very emphasis on individual rights, the amendment was interpreted to protect individuals’ right to carry guns; I believe once people realize how much they are suffering from all the mass shootings, they will happily give up their rights and interpret the Second Amendment in a way that would support public order.

Part C: Respond (50 word minimum)

Justice is defined as the principles of fairness, or the ideal moral equity. In terms of that definition, the American criminal justice system does not always reflect the idea of fairness in cases. When society hears a particular case different opinions arise on how justice should actually be given, especially depending on the case being heard. For instance a sexual assault case made national headlines in 2016 for the rape of a twenty-three year old female who attended a fraternity party at Stanford University back in 2015. What made the case so shocking was the defendant receiving a lenient sentence of six months in jail and three years probation. The defendant, Brock Turner, was eventually released after serving three months in jail. The judge who preceded over the case received major backlash for his decision and people accused him of bias since he was a Standford alumni. People did come to Brock’s defense however their statements only sparked even more outrage. Brock Turner’s father stated “a long sentence is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 years of life” as if his son hadn’t committed a horrendous act. Cases that spark the most outrage when a sense of bias or unfairness shows reflects negatively on the criminal justice system because people feel as though it could be beneficial to only few people. The criminal justice system overall needs to be changed for there to be some type of balance of fairness.

Part D: Respond (50 word minimum)

I genuinely believe that the system of justice tries to work toward balance, however recently and in the past especially there have been many different examples of its imbalance. There is an order to how things are done in the system of justice, the process isn’t so much the problem as the people who are facilitators in the system. I personally believe that some of our justice system has been based off race, creed, religion, and personal beliefs. An example of this comes from close to two decades ago called the “three-strikes” which was included in the “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994“ many African Americans were imprisoned for small crimes such as having small amounts of marijuana, which when we reflect about it in present seems especially unfair considering that now that same state legalized recreational usage of marijuana (although it did take two decades) regardless there was a significant rise in African Americans being imprisoned for a second or third strike. I firmly believe that this was a case of imbalance in the system of justice.


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