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Free choice has often been viewed as being more necessary than the right to counsel, which is why the Sixth Amendment has been interpreted as offering “assistance of counsel, not necessarily representation by counsel” (Worrall & Moore, 2014 ,p. 614). While it may be a little unconventional in today’s society, self-representation is still a valid option for some people, depending on the circumstances. In a situation in which one is planning on pleading guilty on an offense with a fixed penalty, hiring representation doesn’t make much sense, in that you would not only be receiving the same sentence, but you would tack on exceptional fines that were not necessary. Oftentimes, if an individual chooses to go the route of defense pro se, it is due to a lack of funds available to them in order to receive what they feel is proper representation. Other individuals may not agree with the way our criminal justice system is run (an extreme example of this being sovereign citizens) and refuse to give in to what they view as wrong or corrupt. Hiring an attorney would only feed into the system that they oppose, so they would much rather just represent themselves. It could also come down to something as simple as an individual believing they are more likely to win if they represent themselves over hired representation. While this may not be the most effective method to go about a criminal trial, it is still the very right of the people to do so if they please, regardless of their reasoning. Within the past 20 years, the United States has seen an unprecedented increase in the number of self-represented individuals, and “with the pro se phenomenon, have come new ways of thinking about the meaning of justice, fairness, neutrality, and impartiality in the legal system” (Henschen, 2018, p. 1).
Henschen, B. (2018). Judging in a Mismatch: The Ethical Challenges of Pro Se Litigation. Public Integrity, 20(1), 34–46. https://doi.org/10.1080/10999922.2016.1272438
Worrall, J. L., & Moore, J. L. (2014). Criminal law and procedure. Pearson.
All defendants have the right to waive representation at a criminal trial, and the defendants can choose to represent themselves. The majority of the time defendants that choose to represent themselves are setting themselves up for an uphill battle. However, the route of self-representation can have some advantages in certain cases. Some public defender programs are short-staffed and overburdened (Cabell, 2012). The fact that certain public defender programs are short-staffed and overworked would be an excellent reason for a defendant to choose to represent themselves. The public defenders that are facing these types of issues would not be able to devote the extra time and the extra manpower to certain cases. Public opinion on defendants that choose to represent themselves is that these defendants are foolish, but self-representation can offer the defendant more privacy over certain court matters, their self-empowerment, and direct control of their potential outcome in court (Cabell, 2012). The downfalls of this type of defense would be that the defendant is not always aware of the laws and certain loopholes that could help their defense. A hybrid representation that combines pro-se and representation by an experienced counsel to provide guidance has also been utilized in certain circumstances (Aprile, 2014). The hybrid defense could allow the defendant the ability to control his or her destiny, but also have advice from counsel. The primary person that should be concerned about the outcome of a criminal case is the defendant. The defendant would most likely do almost anything to have a favorable outcome of their trial, and the defendant would have their greatest interest at heart. However, one could not argue the expertise of certain criminal defense attorneys, and one could easily argue that if self-representation was the preferred route of the defendant, then the hybrid route would be the best way to go.
Aprile, J. V., II. (2014). Faretta and criminal trial lawyers who are pro se defendants. Criminal Justice, 29(3), 58+. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A404594417/AONE?u=tel_a_bethelc&sid=AONE&xid=a3337cca
Cabell, K. (2012). Calculating an alternative route: the difference between a blindfolded ride and a road map in pro se criminal defense. Law and Psychology Review, 36, 259+. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A296377591/AONE?u=tel_a_bethelc&sid=AONE&xid=05cb9ed3
Reconstruction in America was a turbulent time. While some things went right, there were many more that went wrong. The study of history allows us to learn and ensure history does not repeat itself. If we look at reconstruction starting after Lincoln’s assassination. One thing that was in place before was the Freedmen’s Bureau. This bureau was part of the War Department and worked to ensure education, medical care, food, and fair justice for the new freedmen and freedwomen (Fleischman, Tyson & Oldroyd, 2014). The Freedmen’s Bureau was a success although it did not last long, the bureau was disbanded in 1872 (Fleischman, Tyson & Oldroyd, 2014). Even with the beginning successes of President Lincoln’s ideas on reconstruction, we can see that President Johnson was not in favor of Lincoln’s plan for reconstruction. President Johnson’s ties to southern democrats were proven when he granted pardons to the southern elite and leaders of the Confederacy (Schultz, 2013). This in turn stalled the ability to reform and reconstruct the south. It actually allowed the current issues to continue and for southern states to create their own state codes taking rights away from freed slaves. Congress stepped in to try and get reconstruction back on track with little avail as President Johnson would attempt to veto the legislation Congress put forward (Schultz, 2013). This would cause Congress to use other means to pass this much-needed legislation which was not enough as time would tell. Congress was able to overturn three main vetoes (1) The Civil Rights Act, (2) the Fourteenth Amendment and, (3) the Military Reconstruction Act (Schultz, 2013). These three pieces of legislation were pivotal in reconstruction even without the President’s support. Unfortunately, they were seen as too harsh and too lenient at the same time. When the military is brought into situations it tends to turn into a bad situation in communities. There was a new excitement for reconstruction by the republicans when President Grant was elected.
During President Grant’s time, the republicans had control of congress which they saw as a way to change the direction of reconstruction. Congress quickly passed the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870 (Schultz, 2013). This was a step in the right direction for reconstruction. Unfortunately, during Grant’s presidency, not many strides were taken for black rights, it was torn with controversy (Schultz, 2013). To deter racial discrimination, the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was passed, which was later overturned for being unconstitutional in what was called the Civil Rights Cases (Schultz, 2013). This further put reconstruction behind. The panic of 1873 was the last straw that saw reconstructions’ demise. The states and government were becoming more concerned with the financial fall of America and moved their focus to that instead of reconstruction. The compromise of 1877 was detrimental to the reconstruction effort. When the political parties just want to be in charge it seems like they will always agree to get ahead. This agreement to get President Hays elected and allow the southern states to retain their Democratic governors was the stop to any further actions in reconstruction. It also pulled out the military governance which was the one thing allowing freedmen the ability to live and have some rights. Schultz states “Of course, without a federal military to protect black Americans, Reconstruction was over, and the South was left under the control of the Redeemers who used violence, intimidation, and the law to create the society they envisioned” (Schultz, 2013, p. 304). These are the main things that finally put an end to reconstruction in America. This is why many people believe reconstruction was unfinished.
As I try to summarize all the good and bad during the reconstruction period, I did not realize the amount of information or data available on reconstruction. I believe if the focus would have been on making America whole again, we could have changed the trajectory of our country. One of the key things I feel would have changed reconstruction is the redistribution of land. When President Johnson allowed business as usual in the southern states and allowed the wealthy to stay in power, that created a vacuum that changed to the course of reconstruction. The fact that nothing changed aside from freeing the slaves, is where our country failed. The real question is where would we be today if the past had been different? Being in the military, I have seen too many people recently activated to defend our homeland. How do we change this?
Fleischman, R., Tyson, T., & Oldroyd, D. (2014). The U.S. Freedmen’s Bureau in Post-Civil War Reconstruction. Accounting Historians Journal, 41(2), 75–109. https://doi-org.bethelu.idm.oclc.org/10.2308/0148-422.214.171.124
Schultz, K. M. (2013). HIST, Volume 2: US History Since 1865. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Reconstruction, the short decade after the Civil War, is a pivotal moment in the race relations within American History, & according to Gates Jr. (2019) one of the most misunderstood. Eric Foner (As cited by Gates Jr., 2019), states that the era of Reconstruction can be centralized around the issues of citizenship, voting rights, violence of terroristic nature, & the relationship between political democracy & economics. Lincoln considered a political genius in regard to keeping together radicals, conservatives, & moderates had a limited time to influence Reconstruction, as his assassination staved off any opportunity to lead the nation in any sort. Lincoln held the 10% plan, which stated that amnesty would be offered to any southerner who proclaimed their loyalty to the Union, supported the emancipation of slaves, & when 10% of a states voters had taken said oath, they could develop a new government which would then be required to abolish slavery, renter the Union with full privileges, with the inclusion of apportionment to the House & Senate (Schultz, 2013).
It is unfortunate that with the death of Lincoln, the Reconstruction effort fell into the hands of one poorly suited to his predecessors aims, as President Johnson lacked many of the leadership traits of Lincoln, & though he was a supporter of emancipation during the war effort, many believed he still held deeply racist views (Williams, 2020). This is compounded by the fact that the South lost early 23% of its fighting age men during the war (another way to look at this issue is the South lost almost a quarter of its working age men), with the country not being able to have a rapid way of bridging the rebel states back into society, nor did they knowhow to integrate 4 million newly freed slaves (Schultz, 2013).
A time of uncertainty must have occurred for those of the racial ethnicity that was released from the bonds of slavery, though there were immediate advantages to the after effect of the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery throughout the United States forever (Schultz, 2013). For freed slaves, many typically moved, distancing themselves from their former owners, with a multitude seeking out family members that were sold to another owner, giving an entire people the freedom of movement for the first time. For the first time this access to new nobility allowed for the stabilization of family life for the former slaves, with both sexes having control of their personal lives & familial roles, with freed families searching to purchase land in order to continue the planting life they near best (Schultz, 2013). Two of the largest benefits was the access to education that had been denied during enslavement, & the political freedom of the vote. This led to the overwhelming majority vote that passed the Civil Rights Bill, the first in the terms of freedom & rights of American citizenship, which gave empowerment to the federal government to guarantee the principles of equality under the law, regardless of a person’s race (Williams, 2020). Schultz states that life for the new freed was tumultuous, but filled with exiting new possibilities, with the opening of the world full of promise & hope (2013).
The Reconstruction era held many wrongs & injustices to the newly freed people of the United States. Enforcement of new laws varied at best, with many in the south seeing the demands for outlawing discrimination as a demand for divisions within their respective political parties, with many white Southerners not accepting the idea that former slaves held equality in voting, holding office, or even the law. Reconstruction did nothing to change the belief that former slaves were an inferior race with the only proper place being proper & dependent laborers (Williams, 2020). Gates Jr. notes that due to the economic crisis of the time, the “cost” of protecting the freedoms & liberties of African Americans became too high for the government to pay, with a period of “retrenchment”, voter suppression & Jim Crow segregation (2019). As aptly put by Gates Jr. the rollback of the Reconstruction far exceeded Reconstruction itself, with the line drawn as separate but equal until 1963 (2019), allowing for the long erroneously conceived notion of white-supremacist ideology to grow through media, ministry, & law.
History, as we know it, is taught to learn from the lessons of the past, to prevent the atrocities committed by our forefathers. Unfortunately, in my subjective opinion we as a nation have learned extraordinarily little from our past when it comes to relations between people. One of the few changes I think would have made a difference would be the enforcement of equality through law. As a law enforcement officer, I have the intentions of treating everyone fairly. This is still an issue that is predominant today, ingrained in a justice system that is broken. Reconstruction was a missed opportunity to reform the Justice System to tip the scales to equality under the law, yet the worldview of those in power prevailed, allowing later on for very concept of a freed person to be “equal but separate” under U.S. Law.
Schultz, K. M. (2013). HIST, Volume 2: US History Since 1865. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Gates Jr., H. L. (2019, April 2). How reconstruction still shapes American racism. Time. https://time.com/5562869/reconstruction-history/
Williams, F. J. (2020, June 10). Reconstruction: What went wrong? Friends of the Lincoln Collection. https://www.friendsofthelincolncollection.org/lincoln-lore/reconstruction-what-went-wrong/
The subcultures’ concepts look at the combined number of people that make up an association who believe and experience the similar standard of practices that do not follow the usual way of a more comprehensive culture. Furthermore, the subcultures’ view consisted of a broader experience that connects various viewpoints (Study.com, 2015). In the environment of shared cultural background in the United States, many subcultures associations include the distinct opportunity compositions that express an individual experience (Study.com 2015). So the subcultures’ perspective of Cannabis has been around and practiced for years. The characteristic in Cannabis is a substance with various conditions that provide a sense of calm within the human body that help with wellness concerns throughout history. So the atypical subcultures of using natural roots and prohibited remedies are cultural relationships between many diverse groups of people. Therefore, when it comes to marijuana or Cannabis, the relationship with people is a long one that formulated a subculture perspective. Cannabis is a natural plant used for many things throughout history, starting with earlier settlers that discovered that Cannabis was a significant element to make rope and textiles (History.com Editors, 2017). Medical researchers found cannabis plants to have a specific property that could help specific medical conditions and people experiencing pain and physical discomfort. Therefore, one of the progressions in the use of Cannabis is that of new drugs introduced to help treat cancer and Aids patients. So with the introduction of Cannabis to the masses develop a subculture that took advantage of many significant aspects of Cannabis; almost all large populations look to Cannabis for many benefits related to recreational, religious, and healing characteristics. However, one of the drawbacks of the subculture of Cannabis is that of an illegal perspective. The cannabis plant has ruled an unlawful drug most often utilized by thousands of different people from every diverse culture in the world (Sandberg, 2012). The utilization of Cannabis has grown steadily throughout numerous years, and the diverse environment has developed largely because of the new reforms in modern society. Some individuals within the subculture describe themselves as cannabis specialists who appreciate Cannabis and practice it regularly. Therefore, the widely used Cannabis and the many potential possibilities help improve government mindset in many circumstances that formed a new standard of laws that made the use of weed legal in various states. Furthermore, the evolution of the subculture of cannabis users has grown due to the legalization of marijuana. However, the concept of marijuana use is still a significant subject of concern in the country. The ideas concerning cannabis are still mainly centered on different views that focus on receptive and personal viewpoints rather than an unbiased research perspective and the potential to help in today’s society.
History.com Editors, (2017). Marijuana. https://www.history.com
Sandberg, S. (2012). Cannabis Culture: A stable subculture in a changing world. http://crj.sagepub.com
Study.com, (2015). What is Subculture?-Theories, Definition & Examples. https://study.com
Being in the military in the late 90’s, and spending 23 years in the military, there was a lot of complaints of the next generation of soldiers, the Y generation, me generation, the Millennials. They were undisciplined, asked to many questions, and were not the brightest of crayons in the box. As the ranks started filling up with more and more Millennials, I began to see the differences in values, however I could also see they reasoning behind what they valued. The next generation of soldier was not spoiled or undisciplined; they were different yet more than capable to carry out the mission.
Due to being raised with in a fully connected digital world, Millennials have not known a world without technology that was not portable, as connected, and as instantaneous. Because technology was so available to them, some people have seen them as to individual, however recently for social justice concerns, Millennials have become great activist for cause in a wide range of issues (PÎNZARU, etc., 2016). Growing up in a post-communist era, Millennials tend to reject the us vs. them idea in global issues. Millennials are also known to be the most open, most tolerant, most accepting generation compared to any others. Even travel patterns are different compared to previous generations. Due to smaller disposable incomes and the higher cost of own and maintain automobiles, millennials tend to drive less and use public transportation more (Krueger,Rashidi, & Vij, 2020). Due to the digital age, millennials tend to travel less by modern transportation and do more virtual traveling. More millennials tend to live in dense, urban neighborhoods which are in walking distance to most basic needs.
In all, millennials are different; however they still hold the societal norms just like previous generations. They still view the rights and wrongs as right and wrong, however they are more liberal in the grey areas. They still hold value to friendships and relationships and they do have a work ethic that is successful in the business and other types of jobs. Although the have a different view on how things should or should not be operated, for the most part they are just like any other generation.
PÎNZARU, F., VTMNESCU, E.-M., MITAN, A., SVULESCU, R., VITELAR, A., NOAGHEA, C., & BLAN, M. (2016). Millennials at Work: Investigating the Specificity of Generation Y versus Other Generations. Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, 4(2), 173–192.
Krueger, R., Rashidi, T. H., & Vij, A. (2020). X vs. Y: an analysis of intergenerational differences in transport mode use among young adults. Transportation, 47(5), 2203–2231. https://doi-org.bethelu.idm.oclc.org/10.1007/s11116-019-10009-7
The number of murders by intimate factors has started to increase. Holson (2019) discusses the recent statistics in murder cases by partners. The author claims that the number of deaths increased to 2237 in 2017 from 1875 in 2014, and thereby, a 19 percent rise. Besides, out of the total number killed in 2017, 1527 were women.
One of the reasons for the rise in these murders is because of lenient laws on guns. Gun-related domestic killings rose by 26% between 2010 and 2017 (Holson, 2019). Domestic violence harms adults involved as well as children in the family. Rakovec-Felser (2014) explores the impact of domestic abuse and violence on children. The author finds that in homes where domestic violence occurs, children as 15 times more neglected, and there are adverse effects on their cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development. These children grow to become excessively irritable and show emotional distress, which is likely to affect their relationships. This argument can help in suggesting that the negative impact of violence in homes contributes to the increasing murders of girlfriends and boyfriends. In contrast, adults going through abuse can now file for divorce, reducing the potential number of murders among married couples.
Holson (2019) argues that the decline in killings of romantic partners in recent years has been attributed to an increase in divorce, fewer and later marriages as well as women escaping abusive relationships. While it is easier for married people to leave each other through divorce than ever before, maybe there needs to be a conversation on the impact abusive marriages have on children. Also, there should be stricter laws on gun ownership.
Holson, L. (2019). Murders by Intimate Partners Are on the Rise, Study Finds. The New York Times. Retrieved from
Rakovec-Felser, Z. (2014). Domestic violence and abuse in intimate relationship from public health perspective. Health psychology research, 2(3).
Studies show a few reasons the number of murders of spouses has dropped so much over the past few decades, but the murders of boyfriends and girlfriends have gone up. One reason study show was in 1994, The House of Representatives reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act. This law was created to add stronger provisions to protect victims of domestic or sexual violence (Reckdenwald & Parker, 2012). The change in laws concerning domestic violence made law enforcement more responsible for the victim’s safety. Police officers with the law change were bound to make an arrest if there were any signs of injury to anyone that the primary aggressor would be the one arrested. Most of the decline in the numbers of murders of spouses in the 1990s falls in line with the change in the domestic violence legislation (Reckdenwald & Parker, 2012).
Studies also show why the number of murders of spouses has dropped so much over the past few decades, but the murders of boyfriends and girlfriends have gone up. Is due to the fact that fewer people are married now. More younger people are not married but live together like they were married. With this, the couple’s murder or violent act would not show a marital status, which would cause the numbers for one group to go down but go up for the other group. Studies also show that out of the murders committed, it was done by a gun, and of the ones that are murdered, women are six times higher than men killed by their intimate partners (Kivisto, 2015).
Kivisto, A. J. (2015). Male perpetrators of intimate partner homicide: A review and proposed typology. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law online, 43(3), 300-312.
Reckdenwald, A., & Parker, K. F. (2012). Understanding the change in male and female intimate partner homicide over time: A policy-and theory-relevant investigation. Feminist Criminology, 7(3), 167-195.
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