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Portal:Criminal justice

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The criminal justice portal

Scales of Justice
Criminal justice is the system of practices, and organizations, used by national and local governments, directed at maintaining social control, deterring and controlling crime, and sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation. The primary agencies charged with these responsibilities are law enforcement (police and prosecutors), courts, defense attorneys and local jails and prisons which administer the procedures for arrest, charging, adjudication and punishment of those found guilty. When processing the accused through the criminal justice system, government must keep within the framework of laws that protect individual rights. The pursuit of criminal justice is, like all forms of "justice", "fairness" or "process", essentially the pursuit of an ideal. Throughout history, criminal justice has taken on many different forms which often reflect the cultural mores of society.
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The Webley Mk IV
The Webley Revolver was, in various marks, the standard-issue service pistol for the armed forces of the United Kingdom, the British Empire, and the Commonwealth from 1887 until 1963. The Webley is a top-break revolver with automatic extraction; breaking the revolver open for reloading also operates the extractor, removing the spent cartridges from the cylinder. The Webley Mk I service revolver was adopted in 1887, but it was a later version—the Mk IV—which rose to prominence during the Boer War of 1899–1902. The Mk VI, introduced in 1915 during World War I, is perhaps the best-known model. Webley service revolvers are among the most powerful top-break revolvers ever produced, firing the .455 Webley cartridge. Although the .455 calibre Webley is no longer in military service, the .38/200 Webley Mk IV variant is still sporadically in use as a police sidearm in a number of countries.

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CRS in riot control gear
Credit: David Monniaux

The Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité (Republican Security Companies, CRS) are the riot control forces and general reserve of the French National Police. The CRS were created in 1944 and reorganized in 1948. The task for which they are best known in popular culture is crowd and riot control and re-establishment of order.

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Concert at a Free Mumia demonstration in Germany, 2007
Mumia Abu-Jamal (born Wesley Cook on April 24, 1954) was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner, and is currently a prisoner at State Correctional Institution - Greene near Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. In December 2001 a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania affirmed the conviction but quashed his original punishment and ordered resentencing. Both Abu-Jamal and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania appealed. The case was orally argued before a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia on May 17, 2007, and is pending. His case has received international attention. Supporters and human rights campaigners variously assert that he is innocent, that he was set up, that he did not receive a fair trial, and/or oppose the death penalty. Opponents assert that he is guilty, that he received the benefit of due process and was legitimately convicted of murder. Execution proponents among these assert that under Pennsylvania law his eventual judicial execution is warranted and mandated by the nature of his crime. Prior to his arrest he was a Black Panther Party activist, cab driver, and journalist. During the period of his imprisonment he has courted controversy as an honoree of municipal, educational and civil society organizations, and as a spoken word commentator and published author of several works - most notably Live from Death Row.

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Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building

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Daniel Defoe
Justice is always violent to the offending, for every man is innocent in his own eyes.

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