Research Essay on the Evolution of Criminal Law in the American History

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This term paper is about criminal law, and how criminal law has evolved over the course of United States history. There will be real examples of how crimes such as first-degree murder are processed, and how it will affect those that are convicted. There will be a discussion on what criminal law really is, and what kinds of crimes fall under the category of criminal law. Crime will always be happening in any society because no one person is perfect. Having a criminal law system in place is essential for how criminals are prosecuted because not all crimes are prosecuted the same. One example that will be given is the different criminal laws and charges that are currently in Iowa and an example of the sentence that a person would serve after committing such a crime. This term paper will look at a variety of different aspects of the criminal law system and will emphasize the importance of the system in everyday situations.

My topic for this paper is going to be criminal law, and how criminal law has been affecting the United States throughout the course of time. Something that is extremely relevant in the United States more so than ever before is how criminals are being tried in a court of law. There will be some emphasis on specific court trials, and how criminal law took effect in that specific incident. It is important as a citizen to know the ins and outs of these laws because there needs to be a widely known difference between what is right and what is wrong. Figuring out how someone should be tried for the crimes that they have committed, or if they even need to be tried at all.

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The reason that this topic is relevant is that crime is happening around us every day, no matter what city or state you may live in. No matter what country a person may be from, most crime is broadcast on a national spectrum, giving people the opportunity to stay informed and up to date on everything that is going on in the world around them. For example, in the upcoming weeks, the world will get to see on live television the verdict of former officer Derek Chauvin, and how he is being tried as a criminal. The killing of George Floyd and how Chauvin had a part in that has given the world a great view of criminal laws, and it also shows that no one is above the law. It will be important in this research paper to look at every side of criminal law and to truly see how it could affect the average person on the street.

Something important that I have learned from this process is that at any given time, a crime can occur that any person could be involved in/surrounded by. It leaves many people with lots of questions about how the system works, and it is important to stay knowledgeable about these very important topics. Some may feel that they could never be directly affected by crime or the law in general, but as citizens of this country, it will affect us, or someone we love in some way. This term paper will be looking at all of that information, and how it has shifted over time.

The definition of criminal law is, “a system of laws concerned with the punishment of individuals who commit crimes (Criminal Law, 2021).” This explanation is straightforward, and as far as the textbook is concerned, matches perfectly. Before starting this research, I even found myself asking the question, “What constitutes a crime, and when will that crime reach a trial or court?” However, what I would come to find out is that there are many different kinds of crimes. Those would include but are not limited to, property crimes, drug-related crimes, statutory crimes, and many others. For almost every crime, there is a law that goes right along with it, and how it should be tried in a court of law. In criminal cases many times, a jury is given the power to decide the fate of the one in question. Looking at how a crime is classified, however, it is an act of wrongdoing that goes against the moral standings of society and absolutely prohibited by the law (What Constitutes A Criminal Offense? 2019).

When looking at the evolution of criminal law over a sort of many years, there are several noteworthy changes. As stated in The Evolution of Criminal Justice, criminal justice really just began as a way to shame people and remove them from the communities that they were causing issues in, but now it has changed into something that is geared more towards the rehabilitation of the perpetrator. Many times throughout history, there have been many crimes recorded that were punishable by death on many accounts. However, the justice system in the United States gives criminals a chance at a more fruitful life in prison, regardless of their sentence. They have the ability to be a good citizen in jail, and that is a strong example of how rehabilitation is being used in today’s justice system (The Evolution of Criminal Justice, 2019). This has become very important for a lot of people because it is showing how justice is being served. Many have argued that just because someone dies for the crimes they have committed, does not necessarily mean that justice was served. Because of how criminal justice specifically has evolved throughout the years, this has been a very noticeable difference in how justice is being served.

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Research Essay on the Evolution of Criminal Law in the American History. (2023, August 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from
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