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The U.S. legal system is based heavily on English common law. Courts interpret law, passed by the legislature, in ways that shift from emphasizing individual rights to emphasizing societal needs.
The individual rights shift aligns with the due process model. The societal needs focus aligns with the crime control model. Public policy and philosophical underpinnings often influence court decisions. Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court bind everyone in our nation. State rulings bind everyone in the state. This process and its implications are important for those working in the criminal justice field.
For your main post, research one case that tipped the scales in favor of societal needs and one case that tipped the scales in favor of individual rights in criminal law and/or criminal procedure. Choose cases that you deem to a career you are exploring in criminal justice. Include the following:
- An overview of the cases.
- The rulings.
- Rights interpretations.
- The policy and underpinnings you feel influenced the rulings.
- Why you interpreted the cases as tipping the scales in each direction.
- Application to a career you are exploring.