Chapter

Guilt and Convictability

Hyman Gross

in Crime and Punishment

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199644711
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738944 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644711.003.0013
Guilt and Convictability

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This chapter discusses how law enforcement and criminal justice is carried on when a crime is committed. Everyone agrees that when a crime is committed it is the job of the authorities to bring the guilty party to justice. It is generally believed that this is what the police are determined to do, and such a belief is well supported by what the police understand their job to be. But though their understanding of their job is unwavering, the police are less steady in their determination that the party brought to justice must indeed be the guilty party. Their understanding of their job and their performance of it are often at odds. Quite simply, when confronted with a crime, the forces of law and order have an overriding interest in identifying someone who can be convicted for it, and then building a case that will result in a conviction. That is what will satisfy the community's deepest need when who committed a crime is uncertain, and it takes precedence over all other considerations.

Keywords: crime; criminal justice; law enforcement; political morality; justice

Chapter.  7308 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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