Respond and offer different social and political influences than your colleagues. Or, provide an alternative perspective on how they influence the current U.S. criminal justice system.
The Revolutionary Period proved to be quite interesting and one of growth for the criminal justice system. During this period, many crimes were defined, including murder (i.e. first degree murder) and burglaries. Much like many jurisdictions of today, murder was punished by death, while burglary was punished with terms of incarceration and or fines.
As it relates to the contemporary criminal justice system in the United States, murder has remained one of the worst crimes committed. From a social standpoint, murder, in the sense of unjustifiable actions that take the life of another, cannot be forgiven. As a result of this, a punishment of death remains throughout the majority of the United States, including the federal government and the military (Death Penalty Information Center, n.d.). Politically, the death penalty remains a hot topic during many elections for governors and state legislators, as well as federal positions.
Burglary, on the other hand has fared better for offenders over time. While burglary was considered a capital crime during the Revolutionary Period (Roth, 2011, p. 86), socially it is viewed as a property crime, which in contemporary times is not punishable by death. However, in many jurisdictions, burglary is considered a felony, thus subjecting it to three-strikes legislation. For many offenders, recidivating has the connotation of being sentenced to life in prison. Burglary, while not capital, can still cause the offender’s life to cease –at least their normal life. Life in prison is considered by some to be worse than death.
Death Penalty Information Center. (n.d.). States with and without death penalty. Retrieved June 16, 2016, from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/states-and-without-death-penalty
Roth, M. P. (2011). Crime and punishment: A history of the criminal justice system (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.