Free Criminal Justice and Privileges Essay Sample

Privileges are among the fundamental freedoms or rights enjoyed by the persons to whom it is accorded, some of these privileges are established by justice systems of the society to ensure that the basic rights of the weak, the less fortunate or the convicted are protected. Examples of such privileges include the clergy- penitent privileges, attorney–criminal privileges and husband–wife privileges among others.

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Clergy-penitent privileges states that the communication between the penitent and the clergy is not under any obligation to disclose the information that a penitent shares with him and such information cannot be used as evidence against the criminal in the courts of justice. This allows the penitent to be able to disclose his sins or wrongdoing before a priest or clergy without fear and for such it offers protection and freedom of confession.

Many Christian activist has argued that this privilege is important in that without it there exists no room of confession, however many are coming out to say that this privilege is inexistent for it can allow breach of justice. Most criminals may hide from justice even after confessing some of the grave sins that they have committed. For example murderer may be exempted from punishment even after confessing having done a terrible crime to a pastor or priest. Several requirements are set out to ensure that such privileges don’t violate justice for example the penitent has to show by demonstration that he has abandoned his olden ways and turned his life fully onto the positive direction. The clergy- penitent privileges do not hold for serious crimes such as murder in most countries, in such a case the clergy can report the matter to the authorities for action. Husband- wife privileges allow for marital privacy in the affairs of marriage. A wife has the privilege to keep the secrets and information of her husband and likewise the husband. Their confidential secrets or communications cannot be exposed in the courts of justice as evidences against each other. Many countries of the world have changed some of these privileges for example, in the United States the privileges have changed much in the past 50 years. Some of the factors that prompted such moves include rampant domestic violence, crime and decline of family ties and morals. Some exceptions have been so far introduced for example in the wife-husband privileges, the exceptions include in the cases of murder, terrorism and robbery with violence convictions. In these cases the privacy of the husband privileges may be pried into. Whether such privileges still exist or not can be establish through analysis of the levels of marital trust and the level of husband wife faithfulness.

The attorney-client privilege, which is also a rule of law sometimes refered to as ‘lawyer-client privilege’, protects communications between attorneys and clients. It means a lawyer should not produce evidence in courts concerning what was said, written or even discussed by themselves or between themselves. The lawyer cannot and should not be compelled to disclose such information. Contrary to most of the privileges that can be overridden to prevent conviction of an innocent person, attorney-client privileges are almost hard to override even in situations where overriding is necessary for example in a murder cases that carries a death sentences sometimes. This nature of the attorney-client privilege has generated a big debate as to whether it should be scraped or not. The only unacceptable end of the privileges is when the attorney and the client collude to commit a crime or when the client comes to consult on how to commit a crime in such a case the attorney is free to report the case.


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