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Question 1.

Explain how the law serves to protect offenders.

Question 2.

Identify and define the five sources of the criminal law.
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Criminal Law (Justice Series)
Edition: 2nd
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Answer 1

One way this occurs is via the prevention of vigilantism. Having a formal system of criminal laws helps ensure that the state seeks justice, rather than private individuals seeking justice. The criminal law thus protects offenders from the threat of victims coming after them. The criminal law also protects offenders by ensuring proportionate and non-arbitrary punishment. They also spell out the range of acceptable punishments, ensuring at least some protection against wildly differing sentences between offenders. There are still examples of unequal treatment that persist, especially as pertain to racial and ethnic disparities in criminal justice, but the criminal law at least helps to ensure a measure of equal treatment. Offenders also benefit from elaborate procedural protections, including the right to counsel, the right to a speedy trial, the right to an impartial jury trial, the right to a public trial, the right to confrontation, the right to compulsory process, and so on. These protections, however, stem more from the rules of criminal procedure—and particularly the U.S. Constitution—than they do from the criminal law.

Answer 2

Early Legal Codes, Common Law, Modern Statues; Modern Penal Code and Constitutional Sources. Early Legal Codes include the Code of Hammurabi and the Twelve Tables. They both contained a strong element of retributive justice. These early codes are important because the signaled the emergence of formalized law; Common Law is also known as case law or judge-made law. The common law developed in early England by judges who wrote down their decisions and circulated them to other judges; Modern Statues differ from early legal codes because they exist at different levels in several different forms. The United States Code contains federal laws, and violations of its provisions can lead to federal prosecution. States have their own respective codes; The Modern Penal Code is a model set of criminal laws adopted by the American Law Institute for states to emulate as they see fit; Constitutional Sources are perhaps the most significant source of law. Unlike penal codes, constitutions generally do not prohibit actions on the part of private citizens. Rather, constitutions generally place limits on government authority. They define, in broad terms, government structure and organization; they also spell out various rights that people enjoy, how government officials will be selected, and what roles various government branches will take on.
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