Discretion in Criminal Justice
Discretion refers to the ability or the freedom to make a decision on what should be done in a particular situation. Officials in the criminal justice system are granted enough discretion that allows them to make justifications for their actions. Most of these rules were formed by the legislature but were aimed at making the criminal justice run in s smooth manner. However, the criminal justice system, which comprises of the judiciary and the law enforcement, has been given too much discretion to make choices on what happens to a person upon arrests, and this has been witnessed in the history of the United States especially in matters regarding racism. It is evident that in the United States, the police are using excessive force to apprehend even innocent individuals based on their race. For example, there have been many cases of police discrimination for the black population, and this has resulted in mass incarceration. However, despite the fact that these people might be innocent, they end up being jailed for many years.
Apart from the police, there is another major actor in the criminal justice system that is involved with deciding the fate of the offenders, and this is the prosecution department. The prosecution department can be termed as the criminal justice actor that has the most direction. The reason behind this is that they have the power to decide on whether the offender should be prosecuted for a misdemeanor of major crime and also have the ability to issue a warning to the offender and prefer not to present them to the judge. It should be noted that judges do make their sentencing decisions based on what has been presented to them, and this means that they rely on the evidence provided by the prosecutors. Failure to conduct compact evidence in regard to innocence leads to an innocent person rotting in jail.