United States criminal justice system

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon has introduced multiple proposals intended to reform the criminal justice system in LA. For your final project, you will summarize and evaluate the evidence on the impact of ONE of the 11 Special Directives listed on the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office lice of Polices. All are linked here: (you can copy paste them on google to view)




SPECIAL-DIRECTIVE-20-08.pdf // (2 Editions) 1. SD-20-08-1.pdf 2. SD-20-08-2.pdf








Each student should select one of these directives to evaluate, in a double spaced, 12 point times new roman, 7 page term paper. All external sources should be cited using APA format. Your evaluation should address the following three issues:

  • What is the problem that the directive is trying to solve? Clearly explain how the directive alters the incentives facing potential criminals, defendants facing adjudication, defense attorneys, district attorneys or judges relative to the status quo – note that not all groups might be affected by all directives.
  • Is there any empirical evidence on the likely impact of the suggested reform? What sources of data might be used to evaluate the extent to which the directive improves social welfare?
  • Do any of the theoretical concepts covered in class, or examples from US of World history offer any lessons for how this directive might impact the crime rate, incarceration rate, and racial disparities in who interacts with the criminal justice system?

Answer preview

Another common contributory factor is official misconduct by the police officers, prosecutors, and at times even the judge. According to Hamer and Edmond (2019), even though some wrongful convictions can be attributed to honest mistakes from these parties, in most cases, these parties lose sight of their obligation to ensure the administration of justice and instead opt to focus on getting a defendant convicted. When this pursuit for a conviction trumps over the desire to see the administration of justice, a wrongful conviction is bound to be the end result of such a proceeding (Hamer & Edmond, 2019). Spending time in prison, especially when one is certain they are innocent, can cause immense psychological, physical, emotional, social, and financial harm to a defendant (Hamer & Edmond, 2019). This is why Los Angeles District Attorney Gascon felt that it was pertinent to remind prosecutors within his jurisdiction of their duty.

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United States criminal justice system