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Portal:Criminal justice

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Scales of Justice
Criminal justice is the system of practices, and organizations, used by national and local governments, directed at maintaining social control, deterring and controlling crime, and sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation. The primary agencies charged with these responsibilities are law enforcement (police and prosecutors), courts, defense attorneys and local jails and prisons which administer the procedures for arrest, charging, adjudication and punishment of those found guilty. When processing the accused through the criminal justice system, government must keep within the framework of laws that protect individual rights, the pursuit of criminal justice is, like all forms of "justice", "fairness" or "process", essentially the pursuit of an ideal. Throughout history, criminal justice has taken on many different forms which often reflect the cultural mores of society.
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Massachusetts Militia tries to keep order in Scollay Square
The Boston Police Strike was a strike by the Boston police rank and file that began on September 9, 1919, after Police Commissioner Edwin Upton Curtis refused to allow the creation of a police union. The strike, which plunged Boston into civil chaos, heralded a dramatic shift in traditional labor relations and views on the part of the police, who were unhappy with stagnant wages and poor working conditions. Then-Governor Calvin Coolidge's intervention in the strike brought him national fame which, in turn, led to his nomination as Harding's running mate for Vice-President in the 1920 presidential election.

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Bavarian Ministry leaflet, warns about organized crime.
Credit: Jeff Barnes

Organized crime or criminal organizations are groups or operations run by criminals, most commonly for the purpose of generating a monetary profit. The Organized Crime Control Act (U.S., 1970) defines organized crime as "The unlawful activities of ... a highly organized, disciplined association...".


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Concert at a Free Mumia demonstration in Germany, 2007
Mumia Abu-Jamal (born Wesley Cook on April 24, 1954) was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner, and is currently a prisoner at State Correctional Institution - Greene near Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. In December 2001 a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania affirmed the conviction but quashed his original punishment and ordered resentencing. Both Abu-Jamal and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania appealed, the case was orally argued before a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia on May 17, 2007, and is pending, his case has received international attention. Supporters and human rights campaigners variously assert that he is innocent, that he was set up, that he did not receive a fair trial, and/or oppose the death penalty. Opponents assert that he is guilty, that he received the benefit of due process and was legitimately convicted of murder. Execution proponents among these assert that under Pennsylvania law his eventual judicial execution is warranted and mandated by the nature of his crime. Prior to his arrest he was a Black Panther Party activist, cab driver, and journalist, during the period of his imprisonment he has courted controversy as an honoree of municipal, educational and civil society organizations, and as a spoken word commentator and published author of several works - most notably Live from Death Row.

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Barry Goldwater
Extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice. ... Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

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