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Chapter 5 of Psychology in the Justice System discusses human trafficking and forced prostitution. Discuss the following questions in response to chapter 5:How effective are local law enforcement per
Chapter 5 of Psychology in the Justice System discusses human trafficking and forced prostitution. Discuss the following questions in response to chapter 5:
- How effective are local law enforcement personnel at distinguishing between victims of human trafficking and those engaged in prostitution?
- Should we even bother distinguishing between them?
- Does the general public care about the differences between the two and how do we inform them about those differences?
- What can the justice system do to help victims of sex trafficking?
Reply to 2 other classmates’ Module/Week 1 threads. Each reply must be at least 250 words.
Submit your Discussion Board Forum 3 Thread by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 5.
Submit your Discussion Board Forum 3 Replies by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 6.
Topic: Courtroom Crisis
In some jurisdictions around the country, an effort has been made to reduce courtroom violence by requiring felony defendants in custody to wear a “stun belt” while in the courtroom. The belt, which is under the clothing and out of view of the jury, has two prongs that deliver a 50,000-volt shock when remotely activated. The shock incapacitates the person for up to 30 minutes. As effective as it may seem, the courts have not been so quick to look favorably on such a device. Their objections are threefold. First, the use of any restraining device can prejudice a jury, meaning it can give the appearance of guilt to an individual who is presumed innocent till proven guilty. Secondly, its use may impede a defendant’s ability to assist in their own defense. And thirdly, some courts have called such a device offensive to the dignity of the judicial process.
The courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have ruled time and again that any type of restraining device used in the courtroom must be used only as a last resort, and only after a clear and present danger of violence has been assessed. Thus, the use of a stun belt as a matter of practice has been found to be inappropriate in some jurisdictions, and convictions have been overturned on appeal because of its use. The courts have also ruled in certain jurisdictions that it is not the sheriff ’s decision when to use a stun belt, but rather the judge’s. This has caused controversy because it is the elected sheriffs who are primarily responsible for the security of our nation’s courthouses. In making this decision, the courts have placed courtroom security in the hands of judges who likely have never been trained in security matters.
The use of stun belts, and other seemingly non-intrusive devices, will continue to be a topic of debate that pits the law enforcement apparatus responsible for courtroom security against the legal community and its desire to protect the constitutional rights of defendants. It is an issue not easily resolved.
Discussion Questions (select one of the following questions and draft a response according to the directions outlined in the Assignments folder and Syllabus located in the Course Content section)
1. Discuss whether you believe devices such as a stun belt should be used as a matter of routine with violent defendants held in custody while in the courtroom.
2. In what ways would the use of a stun belt prejudice a jury?
3. In what ways might the use of a stun belt, or other such device, impede a defendant’s constitutional right to assist in their own defense?
Your thread is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday. Your replies are due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday of Module/Week 8.
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