The 20 chapters in Courts, Law, and Justice cover a wide range of sharply contested topics, including drug and gun control laws as well as the ins and outs of the criminal justice system as encountered by arrested suspects, during the trial process, and during the sentencing phase. This volume looks closely at Miranda rights and the impact of polygraphs and DNA testing; legal and procedural issues during prosecution, including exclusionary rules and double jeopardy; and sentencing and punishment for crimes, including for offenses such as DUI and sex offenses. The role of the victim during the prosecutorial process is also examined. Addressing such engaging topics as asset forfeiture, DNA evidence, double jeopardy, expert witnesses and “hired guns,” eyewitness testimony and accuracy, insanity defense, the jury system, mandatory sentencing, plea bargaining, polygraphs, three-strikes laws, and more, the authors of this volume all closely examine the development of the justice system and consider the key opinions supporting or contesting the laws and policies used during investigation, prosecution, and sentencing. The SeriesThe five brief, issues-based books in SAGE Reference’s Key Issues in Crime & Punishment Series offer examinations of controversial programs, practices, problems or issues from varied perspectives. Volumes correspond to the five central subfields in the Criminal Justice curriculum: Crime & Criminal Behavior, Policing, The Courts, Corrections, and Juvenile Justice. Each volume consists of approximately 20 chapters offering succinct pro/con examinations, and Recommended Readings conclude each chapter, highlighting different approaches to or perspectives on the issue at hand. As a set, these volumes provide perfect reference support for students writing position papers in undergraduate courses spanning the Criminal Justice curriculum. Each title is approximately 350 pages in length.
Chapter 4: Drug Laws
During the 37-year history of American drug law creation, the courts and society have wrestled with the contours of racialization, the effects of certain social movement variables, and the stubbornness of the criminal justice system and political system in avoiding meaningful liberalization of drug laws. Sometimes conceptualized as a “victimless crime,” drug laws have gone through a slow pace of liberalization. Drug enforcement and punitiveness have been dominant themes in American drug laws and policy.
Drug laws haven't changed much in America over the past 40 years, even as the country has moved away from use of the criminal sanction in the other “victimless crimes,” a term used by Edwin Schur in his influential 1965 book, Crimes Without Victims: Deviant Behavior and Public ...