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4 SECTION I THE EVOLUTION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE The criminal justice system is a vital part of our society and a complex amalgamation of three major components: law enforcement, courts and corrections. Each component acts independently and interdependently as the total system functions. Law enforcement, as the first point of contact with citizens, serves as the gatekeeper to this system, which has grown and evolved exponentially since our country was founded. To illustrate how massive this system has become, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports the United States spent a record $214 billion in 2006 for police protection, corrections and legal activities, an increase of 5.1 percent since Police protection accounted for about $98 billion, about $46 billion went for judicial and legal services, and about $68 billion was spent on corrections. In 2006 the nation s federal, state and local justice systems employed about 2.4 million people, remaining relatively stable over the last 10 years despite a growth in our population. About 45 percent of these employees were in police protection, 20 percent in were employed in judicial and legal capacities, and 35 percent worked in corrections ( Employment and Expenditure, 2010). The criminal justice system costs taxpayers billions of dollars, employs millions of people, deals with the lives of millions of people who break the law and the lives of their victims and often involves matters of life and death. This first section of the text provides the background necessary to understand contemporary law enforcement and its role within the criminal justice system and American society. Chapter 1 describes how law enforcement has evolved from ancient times to the present. It traces the development of important federal agencies that provide assistance to law enforcement and that also rely on local law enforcement to fulfill their missions. Of special importance in the 21st century is the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security. Chapter 2 explains how our system of laws evolved and the important roles of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights in this evolution. Several amendments in the Bill of Rights guide how law enforcement functions and what it can and cannot do. The inherent conflict between individual rights and the needs of the country symbolized 1
5 2 SECTION I: THE EVOLUTION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE in the scales of justice and the resulting need for balancing crime control and due process are one focus of this chapter. Chapter 3 details what has historically been the focus of law enforcement: crime. Controlling crime has been a challenge since our country was founded. Although our forefathers sought freedom, they also had a firm belief in law and order. This chapter looks at the types of crime found in our country today and at various theories of crime causation. The chapter also describes those who break the law as well as the effect crime has on its victims. The change in focus from punishing offenders to involving victims and the community to bring about community justice is explained and sets the stage for the remaining chapters of the text.
6 CHAPTER 1 A Brief History: The Evolution of Law and Our Criminal Justice System The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. Winston Churchill AP Images This abandoned building, initially constructed for visiting Scottish nobility, was the location chosen by Sir Robert Peel for the newly created London Police. This structure became known the world over as Scotland Yard, as immortalized by A. Conan Doyle in his Sherlock Holmes mysteries. 3
7 4 SECTION I: THE EVOLUTION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE Do You Know... When and why law enforcement began? The significance of the tithing system, the Frankpledge system, Leges Henrici, the Magna Carta, the parish constable system, and the Watch and Ward system? The origins of features of our criminal justice system, such as general alarms and citizen s arrests? The offices of constable, sheriff and justice of the peace? The origins of local responsibility for law enforcement? Division of offenses into felonies and misdemeanors? Jury by peers and due process? Paid law enforcement officers? Women in law enforcement? What significant contributions Sir Robert Peel made to law enforcement? Where and when the first police department was established in England and what it was called? What systems of law enforcement were brought from England to colonial New England and the South? When and where the first modern American police force began and what it was modeled after? What the vigilante movement was and why it occurred? When and how federal and state law enforcement agencies originated in the United States? Who the chief law enforcement officer at the federal level is? What the first modern state police agency was and when it was established? What the five levels of law enforcement are? What additional form of law enforcement operates in the United States? What three eras of policing traditionally have been identified? The main characteristics of each? What effect the spoils system had in the 1900s? What the Pendleton Act accomplished? What the Equal Employment Opportunity Act prohibits? What fourth era of policing is emerging? The impetus behind it? Can You Define? Bow Street Runners community era constable Frankpledge system hue and cry hundreds law Leges Henrici lex talionis Magna Carta paradigm parish parish constable system political era proactive professional model rattle watch reactive reeve reform era regulators riot act sheriff shire-reeve shires slave patrols spoils system tithing tithing system vigilante Watch and Ward INTRODUCTION law A body of rules for human conduct enforced by imposing penalties for their violation. The heritage of law enforcement is a source of pride, as well as a guide to avoiding mistakes in the future. Specific dates and events are not as important as acquiring a sense of the sequence or chronology of how present-day laws and our system of law enforcement came into existence. Law is a body of rules for human conduct enforced by imposing penalties for their violation. Technically, laws are made and passed by the legislative branches of our federal, state, county and city governments. They are based on customs, traditions, mores and current need.
8 Chapter 1: A Brief History: The Evolution of Law and Our Criminal Justice System 5 Law implies both prescription (rule) and enforcement by authority. In the United States, those who enforce the laws are not the same as those who make them. Historically, in other countries, this was not the case. Often rulers both made and enforced the laws. THE CHAPTER AT A GLANCE This chapter begins with a discussion of primitive and ancient law and its influence on the development of English law and law enforcement. Next is an overview of the evolution of law enforcement in England, and how the criminal justice system developed in the United States after the early colonists arrived. This is followed by a description of the various federal, state, county, local and tribal agencies established over the years. Next the overlap in these agencies is discussed, followed by a description of the three eras of policing traditionally identified: the political era, the reform era, and the community era, as well as a discussion of the emergence of a fourth era the beginnings of the post-9/11 era alternately referred to as the era of homeland security or the intelligence-led policing (ILP) era. The chapter concludes with a brief recap of important dates in police history. PRIMITIVE AND ANCIENT LAW Law enforcement can be traced back to the cave dwellers, who were expected to follow certain rules or face banishment or death. The customs depicted in early cave-dwelling drawings may represent the beginning of law and law enforcement. The prehistoric social order consisted of small family groups living together as tribes or clans. Group living gave rise to customs everyone was expected to observe. The tribe s chief had executive, legislative and judicial powers and often appointed tribe members to perform special tasks, such as serving as a bodyguard or enforcing edicts. Crimes committed against individuals were handled by the victim or the victim s family. The philosophy of justice was retaliatory: punish the offender. A person who stole the game from a neighbor s traps could expect to pay for the crime by being thrown into a pot of boiling oil or a cage of wild beasts. Other common punishments for serious offenses were flaying, impalement, burning at the stake, stoning, branding, mutilation and crucifixion. A system of law and law enforcement began earlier than 2000 BC as a means to control human conduct and enforce society s rules. Keeping the peace was the responsibility of the group. The earliest record of ancient people s need to standardize rules and methods of enforcement to control human behavior dates back to approximately 2300 BC, when the Sumerian rulers Lipitshtar and Eshumma set standards on what constituted an offense against society. A hundred years later, the Babylonian King Hammurabi established rules for his kingdom designating not only offenses but punishments as well. Although the penalties prescribed were often barbaric by today s standards, the relationship between the crime and the punishment is of interest (Figure 1.1). The main principle of the Code of Hammurabi was that the strong shall not injure the weak. Hammurabi originated the legal principle of lex talionis an eye for an eye. lex talionis An eye for an eye.
9 6 SECTION I: THE EVOLUTION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE Image not available due to copyright restrictions Text not available due to copyright restrictions Text not available due to copyright restrictions Egypt The first accounts of a developing court system came from Egypt in approximately 1500 BC. The court system was presided over by judges appointed by the pharaoh. About 1000 BC in Egypt, public officers performed police functions. Their weapon and symbol of authority was a staff topped by a metal knob engraved with the king s name. The baton carried by the modern police officer may have its origin in that staff. Greece The Greeks had an impressive form of law enforcement called the ephori. Each year at Sparta, a body of five ephors was elected and given almost unlimited powers as investigator, judge, jury and executioner. These five men also presided over the Senate and Assembly, ensuring that their rules and decrees were followed. From the Greek philosopher Plato, who lived from 427 to 347 BC, came the idea that punishment should serve a purpose other than simple retaliation. Rome Like the Greeks, the Romans had a highly developed system to administer justice. The Twelve Tables, the first written laws of the Roman Empire, were drawn up by 10 of the wisest men in Rome in 451 and 450 BC and were fastened to the speakers stand in the Roman Forum. The tables dealt with legal procedures, property ownership, building codes, marriage customs and punishment for crimes. At about the time of Christ, the Roman emperor Augustus chose members from his military to form the Praetorian Guard to protect the palace and the Urban Cohort to patrol the city. Augustus also established the Vigiles of Rome. Initially assigned as firefighters, they were eventually given law enforcement responsibilities. As the first civilian police force, the Vigiles sometimes kept the peace very ruthlessly. The word vigilante derives from these Vigiles. Another important contribution from the Roman Empire was the Justinian Code. Justinian I, ruler of the eastern Roman Empire from AD 527 to 565, collected all existing Roman laws. They became known as the Corpus Juris Civilis, meaning body of law.
10 Chapter 1: A Brief History: The Evolution of Law and Our Criminal Justice System 7 ENGLISH LAW AND LAW ENFORCEMENT The beginnings of just laws and social control were destroyed during the Dark Ages as the Roman Empire disintegrated. Germanic invaders swept into the old Roman territory of Britain, bringing their own laws and customs. These invaders intermarried with those they conquered, the result being the hardy Anglo-Saxon. The Anglo-Saxons and the Tithing System The Anglo-Saxons grouped their farms around small, self-governing, self-policed villages. When criminals were caught, the punishment was often severe. Sometimes, however, the tribe would let offenders prove innocence through battle or through testimony by other tribe members willing to swear that the accused was innocent. Additionally, the tribe sometimes allowed criminals to pay a fine for committing a crime or to work off the debt. Over time, the informal family groupings became more structured. Alfred the Great (AD 849 to 899) established that all freemen belonged to an association binding them with a certain group of people. If one person in the group committed a crime and was convicted, all group members were responsible for the person s fine. Consequently all group members were careful to see that no one in the group broke the law. Every male, unless excused by the king, was enrolled in a group of 10 families known as a tithing. To maintain order they had a chief tithingman who was the mayor, council and judge in one. Society was so basic that it enforced only two laws: laws against murder and theft. The tithing system established the principle of collective responsibility for maintaining local law and order. Any victim or person who discovered a crime would put out the hue and cry, for example, Stop, thief! Those hearing the cry would stop what they were doing and help capture the suspect. The hue and cry may be the origin of the general alarm and the citizen s arrest. When capture was made, the suspect was brought before the chief tithingman, who determined innocence or guilt plus punishment. Theft was often punished by working off the loss through bondage or servitude the basis for civil law, restitution for financial loss (Lunt, 1938). If a criminal sought refuge in a neighboring village, that village was expected to return the criminal for punishment. This cooperation among villagers eventually resulted in the formation of hundreds, groups of 10 tithings. The top official of the hundred was called a reeve. The hundreds also elected a constable to lead them in pursuit of any law breakers. The constable was the first English police officer and had charge of the community s weapons and horses. Finally, the hundreds were consolidated into shires or counties. The head of the shire was called the shire-reeve, the forerunner of our county sheriff. tithing In Anglo-Saxon England, a unit of civil administration consisting of 10 families; established the principle of collective responsibility for maintaining law and order. tithing system Established the principle of collective responsibility for maintaining local law and order by organizing families into groups of 10 families known as tithings. hue and cry A shout by a citizen who witnessed a crime, enlisting the aid of others in the area to chase and catch the offender; may be the origin of the general alarm and the citizen s arrest. hundreds Groups of 10 tithings. reeve The top official of a hundred. constable An elected official of a hundred, responsible for leading the citizens in pursuit of any lawbreakers; the first English police officer and, as such, in charge of the weapons and horses of the entire community. shires Counties in England. shire-reeve The top official of a shire (county); the forerunner of our county sheriff.
11 8 SECTION I: THE EVOLUTION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE The shire-reeve, a word that evolved into sheriff, acted as both police officer and judge, traveling from hundred to hundred. The shire-reeve had the power of posse comitatus, meaning he could gather all the men of a shire together to pursue a lawbreaker, a practice that was the forerunner of our posse. Frankpledge system Norman modification of the tithing system requiring loyalty to the king s law and mutual local responsibility in maintaining the peace. The Norman Frankpledge System In 1066 William the Conqueror, a Norman, invaded and conquered England. As king of the conquered nation, William was too concerned about national security to allow the tithings to keep their system of home rule. He established 55 military districts, each headed by a Norman shire-reeve who answered directly to the crown. The Normans modified the tithing system into the Frankpledge system. The Frankpledge system required loyalty to the king s law and mutual local responsibility of all free Englishmen to maintain the peace. William also decided that shire-reeves should serve only as police officers. He selected his own judges, who traveled around and tried cases, forerunners of our circuit judges, in effect separating the law enforcement and judicial roles. Leges Henrici A document that made law enforcement a public matter and separated offenses into felonies and misdemeanors. The Twelfth Century William s son, Henry I, ruled England from 1100 to 1135 and issued the Leges Henrici, establishing arson, robbery, murder and crimes of violence as being against the king s peace. This set the precedent that for certain crimes a person is punished by the state rather than by the victim. The Leges Henrici made law enforcement a public matter and separated offenses into felonies and misdemeanors. Henry I s reign was followed by many years of turmoil, which lasted until Henry II became king in Henry II established the jury system. Henry II s jury system, called an inquisition, required people to give information to a panel of judges who determined guilt or innocence. For the next 100 years, kings appointed enforcement officers to meet their needs. When John became king in 1199, he abused his power by demanding more military service from the feudal class, selling royal positions to the highest bidder and increasing taxes without obtaining consent from the barons actions all contrary to feudal custom. In addition, John s courts decided cases according to his wishes, not according to law. In 1213 a group of barons and church leaders met to call for a halt to the king s injustices. They drew up a list of rights they wanted King John to grant them. After the king refused on two separate occasions, the barons raised an army and forced him to meet their demands. On June 15, 1215, King John signed the Magna Carta.
12 Chapter 1: A Brief History: The Evolution of Law and Our Criminal Justice System 9 The Magna Carta Our modern system of justice owes much to the Magna Carta, a decisive document in the development of England s constitutional government. The Magna Carta, a precedent for democratic government and individual rights, laid the foundation for requiring rulers to uphold the law; forbade taxation without representation; required due process of law, including trial by jury; and provided safeguards against unfair imprisonment. The Magna Carta contained 63 articles, most requiring the king to uphold feudal law. Article 13 restored local control to cities and villages, a fundamental principle of American law enforcement. Another article declared that no freeman should be imprisoned, deprived of property, sent out of the country or destroyed except by the lawful judgment of peers or the law of the land. The concept of due process of law, including trial by jury, developed from this article. Magna Carta A decisive document in the development of constitutional government in England that checked royal power and placed the king under the law (1215). The Next 500 Years Several interesting developments in law enforcement occurred in the following centuries. In 1285 King Edward I established a curfew and night watch program that allowed for the gates of Westminster, then capital of England, to be locked, keeping the city s occupants in and unwanted persons out. Bailiffs were hired as night watchmen to enforce the curfew and guard the gates. Edward I also mandated that groups of 100 merchants be responsible for keeping peace in their districts, again making law enforcement a local responsibility. This system of law enforcement, called the Watch and Ward, provided citizens protection 24 hours a day, with the day shift called ward and the night shift called watch. Within the contemporary law enforcement community, the night shift is still referred to as the dogwatch. An ever-increasing population and a trend toward urbanization led law enforcement to become truly a collective responsibility. If a man s next-door neighbor broke the law, the man was responsible for bringing the lawbreaker before the shire-reeve. The hundred decided yearly who would be responsible for maintaining law and order, with responsibility rotated among community members. Inevitably some people paid other members to serve in their place, beginning a system of deputies paid to be responsible for law and order. The paid deputy system was then formalized so that those whose turn it was to pay met and appointed the law enforcers. The abuse of citizen duty to serve as watchmen was pervasive, however, and led to petty thieves and town drunks serving as watchmen. Watch and Ward A system of law enforcement that was used to protect citizens 24 hours a day; the day shift was called the ward and the night shift was called the watch. During the 14th century, the shire-reeve was replaced by the justice of the peace. The justice of the peace was assisted by the constables and three or four men knowledgeable of the country s laws. At first the justice of the peace was involved in both judicial matters and law enforcement, but later his powers became strictly judicial. The justice of the peace eventually became the real power of local government (Lunt, 1938). With the passing of feudal times and the rise in the church s power, the unit of local government in rural areas progressed from the hundred to the parish, the area parish The area in which people who worshipped in a particular parish church lived.
13 10 SECTION I: THE EVOLUTION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE in which people who worshipped in a particular church lived. Each year the parish appointed a parish constable to act as their law officer. This system of maintaining law and order in rural Britain lasted from the Middle Ages until the 18th century. parish constable system An early system of law enforcement used primarily in rural areas. riot act An order permitting the magistrate to call in the military to quell a riot. During the Middle Ages, the parish constable system was used for rural law enforcement; the Watch and Ward system was used for urban law enforcement. Developments in urban England required a different system of law enforcement. With urbanization came commerce, industry and a variety of buildings usually made of wood because England was primarily forest land. For fire prevention purposes the town guild appointed men who patrolled at night on fire watch. They assumed the coincidental responsibility of preventing people from breaking into houses and shops. Although the Watch and Ward system was primitive and ineffective, it was adequate until the Industrial Revolution (1750) began. About the same time, famine struck the rural areas, and large numbers of people moved from the country into the towns seeking work in weaving and knitting mills and in factories. Many, however, failed to find work, and England experienced much unemployment, poverty and crime. In addition, political extremists often incited mobs to march on Parliament. The government had no civil police force to deal with mob violence, so it would order a magistrate to read the riot act, permitting the magistrate to call in the military to quell the riot. This is the forerunner of today s gubernatorial authority to call out a state s National Guard in times of rioting or violent strikes. The use of a military force to repress civil disobedience did not work very well. Soldiers hesitated to fire on their own townspeople, and the townspeople, who actually paid the soldiers wages, resented being fired on by soldiers they had hired to protect them. In addition to unemployment, poverty and resentment against the use of military force, the invention of gin and whiskey in the 17th century and the subsequent increase in the liquor trade also caused a rise in violent crimes and theft. Because many constables were employed in the liquor trade, they often did not enforce regulations governing taverns and inns. Furthermore the London watchmen were highly susceptible to bribes and payoffs. Henry Fielding and the Bow Street Runners In 1748 Henry Fielding, lawyer, playwright and novelist, was appointed chief magistrate of Bow Street in policeless London. Fielding fought for social and criminal reform. He defied the law by discharging prisoners convicted of petty theft, giving reprimands in place of the death penalty and exercising general leniency. Fielding wrote and published pamphlets and books about London s povertystricken inhabitants and the causes of crime, calling for an understanding and lessening of their suffering. He also urged that magistrates be paid a salary rather than depending on fees and fines for their income. During this time thieves and robbers moved freely in London s streets, looting and rioting. Although such riots inevitably brought soldiers, they sometimes did not arrive for two or three days. Fielding suggested that citizens join together, go
14 Chapter 1: A Brief History: The Evolution of Law and Our Criminal Justice System 11 into the streets and trace the perpetrators of crime and instigators of mob violence before they committed crimes or caused destruction. Such views made Fielding one of the earliest advocates of crime prevention. Fielding was also instrumental in establishing the Bow Street Runners, the first detective unit in London. This amateur volunteer force, under Fielding s direction, swept clean the Bow Street neighborhood. When these runners proved successful, other units were organized. Foot patrols of armed men guarded the city s streets, and a horse patrol combated highway robbery on the main roads as far as 25 miles from Bow Street. Although the Bow Street Runners and patrols greatly improved control in the Bow Street area, other parts of London were overwhelmed by the impact of the Industrial Revolution. Machines were taking the place of many jobs, causing unemployment and poverty. The cities were developing into huge slums, and the crime rate soared. Children were often trained to be thieves, and for the first time in England s history, juvenile delinquency became a problem. Developments in England had a great influence on the juvenile justice system that would later develop in the United States. Citizens began carrying weapons, and the courts used long-term prison sentences, resulting in overcrowded jails and prisons. Punishments were also severe, with more than 160 crimes punishable by death. Despite the rampant crime, however, most Londoners resisted an organized police force, seeing it as restricting their liberty. They had fought hard to overcome the historical abuse of military power by English kings and resisted any return to centralized military power. Then, in 1819 and 1820, two contrasting incidents helped people change their minds. The first was the Peterloo Massacre, an attack by armed soldiers on a meeting of unemployed workers that left 11 people dead and hundreds injured. This incident vividly illustrated the danger of using soldiers to maintain peace. In contrast, in the second incident, the Bow Street Runners broke up a conspiracy to murder a number of government officials. When the conspirators were executed, people saw that actions by professional peacekeepers could prevent a major insurrection. In addition to rampant crime, Parliament was also concerned about poverty, unemployment and general conditions. Five parliamentary commissions of inquiry met in London between 1780 and 1820 to determine what should be done about the public order. It was not until Sir Robert (Bobbie) Peel was appointed Home Secretary that the first constructive proposal was brought before Parliament. Bow Street Runners The first English detective unit; established in London by Henry Fielding in Peelian Reform Sir Robert Peel, often referred to as the father of modern policing, proposed a return to the Anglo-Saxon principle of individual community responsibility for preserving law and order. Peel s principles for reform called for local responsibility for law and order; appointed, paid civilians to assume this responsibility; and standards for these individuals conduct and organization. His proposals led to the organization of the Metropolitan Police of London in 1829.
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