Each of the scriptures below concern a given criminal procedure topic. All scriptures are from the New International Version, 1984. Begin this assignment by meditating on the given scriptures. You may even want to pray about them. Psalm 119:18 recommends this prayer: “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” Once you have done that, answer the questions below.
Deuteronomy 19:15 “One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
Deuteronomy 17:6 “On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.”
Proverbs 18:17 “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.”
Deuteronomy 19:16–19 “If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you.”
Deuteronomy 22:13–18 “If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the girl’s father and mother shall bring proof that she was a virgin to the town elders at the gate. The girl’s father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him.”
Exodus 22:12-13 “But if the animal was stolen from the neighbor, he must make restitution to the owner. If it was torn to pieces by a wild animal, he shall bring in the remains as evidence and he will not be required to pay for the torn animal.”
Answer the following questions for your thread:
Did these scriptures change or confirm your views about how criminal procedure should operate according to each topic?
How does our current system deal with each topic?
How could our current system change (or not) to deal with each topic in a more biblical manner?
Provide at least 1 reference and 1 different scripture (other than those given above) in support of your post.
Each country has its unique laws regarding different types of crime. Moreover, the judicial system has a duty to implement these laws and regulation made by the government. Once a person is accused of committing a crime, he should be taken to court where the judge examines the evidence presented to him or her and makes the final verdict based on the evidence presented. Criminal procedure mainly focuses on formal criminal charge and results in the conviction or acquittal of the accused (Del Carmen, 2013). This assignment will examine different aspects of criminal procedures.
The scriptures presented confirm my views about how the criminal procedure should operate. The prosecution has the power to bring their witnesses, to be cross-examined by both the prosecution and the defense. However, there should be more than a witness to confirm that the accused committed the crime. After cross-examination of the witnesses, the prosecution should present physical evidence in the court of law which again should be cross-examined by both parties to their satisfaction before the judge makes the final ruling.
After the suspect is arrested, the judge sets a date when he or she will be arraigned in the court of law. Our current criminal procedures follow the same procedure where the prosecution is given the first chance to present their witnesses for cross-examination and later presents their evidence for the same purpose. After the prosecution rests, the defense if given an opportunity to present their witnesses as well for cross-examination and later presents their physical evidence to be examined before the judge can make his or her final decision. Deut. 25: 1 “When people have a dispute, they are to take it to court and the judges will decide the case, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty.” (Kratz, 2015)
Our current system should allow the presentation of as many witnesses as possible to make that the evidence provided by the court of law is not biased. Moreover, the system should examine the both the witnesses and physical evidence transparently to avoid case fixing.
Del Carmen, R. V. (2013). Criminal procedure: Law and practice. Cengage Learning.
Kratz, R. G. (2015). Law and Narrative in Deuteronomy and the Temple Scroll. . The Reception of Biblical War Legislation in Narrative Contexts: Studies in Law and Narrative, 460, , 109.