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Criminology: Legal Rights Afforded to the Accused


The issue of rights provided to the accused in the criminal justice system is an area that has many interpretations and debates. There are cases when the rights of the accused are violated at the earliest stages and later. The case of John Doe presents a valuable ground for the discussion on the variety of rights that the accused have by the law. Some features need to be discussed concerning the correctness of the procedure and future Doe’s steps in proceedings.

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Case Overview

Police Actions During the Arrest

After his arrest, John Doe began to incriminate himself as being guilty of shoplifting. The police officers listened to the accused and then sent him to the police station. There one can find the violation of the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination (Rogers et al., 2016). 5th Amendment says that “No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself” (U.S. Const. amend.

V). To protect that right of individuals, the Supreme Court of the US compelled law enforcement to inform accused people about their right to be silent (Rogers et al., 2016). This procedure is called Miranda warning. However, the arrest does not always mean that the arrested will hear Miranda Warning. Kerker admits that Miranda Warning “must be followed when a person is questioned after an arrest” (Kerker, 2019, p. 60). It means that when the individual starts to speak first, there is a reason to not pronounce Miranda warning.

Interpreting the case in the framework of the proposed legal theory, it seems that the case description provides an insufficient amount of information. It stated that John Doe “​​voluntarily” started to blame himself. If the officers did not intervene and Doe made incriminating statements without any pressure from police officers, then a Miranda warning should not be necessary stated. If the police initiated the dialogue, and Doe voluntarily answered all questions, then the police were obliged to warn the accused about his right not to testify against himself.

Police Actions after Arrest and Interview

After the interview and arrest, the police officers need to charge the crime. More precisely, they need to create a report called a “complaint” where they will summarize the evidence and investigation results (Kerker, 2019, p. 21). This document needs to have all the necessary information concerning the crime. The complaint is delivered to a prosecutor, who uses the information from police officers to continue criminal prosecution.

Difference between Preliminary Hearing and Grand Jury Proceeding

John Doe was not charged when police officers arrested him. Formal criminal charges can bring a preliminary hearing or grand jury proceeding. The brilliant summary of the peculiarities of these procedures was formulated by the attorney Gal Pissetzky. Pissetzky achieved a Doctor of jurisprudence degree in John Marshall Law School and had a very long attorney career. It is some way makes his texts reliable for writing this case study. The prosecutor plays a significant role here by submitting the complaint and choosing the procedure to decide whether an individual should be formally charged (Pissetzky, 2020).

Preliminary hearings are conducted in the open court, where the general public can be present (Pissetzky, 2020). The usual procedure involves arresting officer delivering the evidence that shows only the possibility of an individual committing a crime. For example, in the case of John Doe, police officers were able to describe the evidence that only slightly showed that Doe was guilty. The main feature is that the defense can be present at the hearings.

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A Grand jury proceeding is fundamentally different in its procedure. No one, not even the defendant, can be present in the grand jury proceedings (Pissetzky, 2020). However, a defendant will receive the proceeding transcript after the session (Pissetzky, 2020). The jury listens to the evidence presented by the prosecutor, so they focus only on one side of the process. Therefore, this is a more informal and closed procedure for hearing only the prosecution.

Setting Bail for John Doe

Bail gives a person the opportunity to be free until the trial. The judge decides upon this issue by analyzing the seriousness of the crime, the presence of social connections, and past criminal charges. John Doe suits some of these requirements: his crime is relatively not serious, and he did not have a criminal record. However, Doe’s family is not in the US, so this aspect can influence not receiving the bail opportunity. Nevertheless, the main fact here is that Doe has not got money to pay the bail. Baughman (2017) admits that it is almost impossible for poor people to pay their bail, so the whole bail policy works only for riches. Therefore, the judge can allow bail, but Doe cannot afford to pay for it.

The Nature of the Arrangement Process

The arrangement is set to inform the dependant on the most important aspects of the criminal case. This stage, in some way, starts the formal process of criminal case proceedings. During this stage, the court takes the defendant’s plea, decides whether to set bail or not, designates the attorney if the defendant cannot afford to have an attorney, and sets the future schedule of proceedings (Kerker, 2019). This step will be part of John Doe’s criminal case.


The case of John Doe presents a brilliant ground for discussion on criminal procedure specifics. The essay discussed the police actions during and after arrest, the difference between two procedures of formal criminal charging, the policies concerning the set of bail, and the main features of the arrangement process. The overall concerns were devoted to the difficulties in Miranda warning usage interpretation and injustice concerning bail policy.


Baughman, S. B. (2017). The bail book: A comprehensive look at bail in America’s criminal justice system. Cambridge University Press.

Kerker, S. (2019). Introduction to Criminal Justice. Lynn University Digital Press.

Pissetzky, G. (2020). Grand jury vs. preliminary hearings. Pissetzky Law LLC. Web.

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Rogers, R., Sharf, A. J., Clark III, J. W., Drogin, E. Y., Winningham, D. B., & Williams, M. M. (2016). One American perspective on the rights of accused: An initial survey of Miranda rights in a broader context. Behavioral sciences & the law, 34(4), 477-494.

U.S. Const. amend. V.

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