Compare the Criminal Justice System of the U.K. to That of the U.S.

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Date Submitted: 12/10/2012 11:45 AM

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This research paper provides a comparison on the criminal justice system of the United Kingdom to that of the United States. It examines both systems and jurisdictions and their basis (which is the common law). Also, it discusses basic comparisons between the elements of crime of the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, it discusses the major similarities between the two countries since the United States used England as its basis for criminal law.

Bill Clinton once said that if we want to keep crime coming down, we need to instill trust in our criminal justice system. While this quote holds an enormous truth to it, people must remember that every country deals with offenses in different ways. Furthermore, they handle punishment (i.e. jail time, probation, and parole) in different ways. The UK and the United States have extremely similar criminal justice systems, as well as extremely similar elements for a crime. This is because the American system is based upon the UK system, as both systems are based upon the common law. The criminal system is similar, in that, in both jurisdictions, there must be mens rea to be held guilty for a crime, in both jurisdictions a criminal may be exonerated for a crime, or at least held to a lesser standard, if there was sufficient provocation, and, in both systems, there is a thin or eggshell skull rule, although, in the United States, this rule is usually used exclusively for torts. These are some basic similarities to the elements for crimes in both jurisdictions. Beyond this, there are similarities in the systems themselves. Both systems treat mentally disordered offenders similarly, although England appears to have more options for this type of offender.

Additionally, in both systems, the victims ostensibly have rights, although these rights do not seem to be enforced as much in England as they are in the United States. In both systems, there is some form...