Government achieves this responsibility by establishing criminal justice system consisting of institutions, laws and procedure to control crime (Neubauer, & Fradella, 2013). Different countries have different criminal systems that govern how the government control crime and impose penalties on criminals. The United States of America criminal justice system is considered one of the best systems in the world and most countries in the wild emulate the system. The system ensures that it uphold social control and mitigate crime in the US and ensure that the criminal rights are protected against abuse by investigatory and prosecution authorities. The US criminal system has five components, which include courts, law enforcement, prosecution, defense lawyers and corrections and procedures to deal with criminal issues (Neubauer, & Fradella, 2013).
Nevertheless, other countries such as Saudi Arabia have different criminal justice system from that used in the US. The criminal system of Saudi Arabia is based on Islamic Sharia law derived from the Quran and Islamic traditions (Ebbe, & Odo, 2013). The Sharia and traditional laws in Saudi Arabia are being used in an uncodified form and, therefore, the country lack legal precedent in handling criminal cases. Very few formalities are used in the Saudi Arabia courts, and the criminal procedure code that was enacted in 2001 has largely been ignored. Court decisions in the country are made without juries, and one judge makes the decision. The criminal justice system of the country advocate for an eye for an eye justice system to address criminal and social issued in the society (Ebbe, & Odo, 2013).
According to the criminal laws in Saudi Arabia, criminal offenses include murder, robbery, and theft, adultery, homosexuality, witchcraft, apostasy, and sorcery. Individuals committing these offenses are arrested by the Saudi secret police that include national and religious police, and they face instance judgment and punishment. Some of the criminal law punishments in the country include public beheading, stoning, lynching, amputation, and lashing. The police are required to enforce the law as well as executing criminal law punishment. Although the Saudi Arabia criminal justice system provides instance justice to the victims of crimes, it has been criticized due to violation of human rights. The accused persons are denied their human rights such as right to life, freedom of speech, right to fair trial, right of women, and rights of worship among other rights (Ebbe, & Odo, 2013).
The way Saudi Arabia handles crime and criminals is very different from the way such case would be handled in USA. In US, an individual is only convicted of a crime if he has committed murder or intent to commit murder, rape, robbery with violence and theft among other internally recognized crime. There are rules and procedures that govern how the accused person should be handled before he is convicted by a court of laws (Cole, Smith, & DeJong, 2014). The procedures include the arrest of the accused person followed by investigations by law enforcement agencies. The accused person is then taken to court by the prosecution and sued for the crime committed. The alleged criminal has the right to present his defense in the court of law. The judge them make the ruling based on the evidence provided by the prosecution. If the alleged criminal is found guilty by the court, a punishment is issued to him, and if not guilty the case is dismissed. Some of the criminal punishment in US includes imprisonment for a maximum of 25 years, life imprisonment, and death penalty, fine to the government, and payment to the crime victims among other punishment (Cole, Smith, & DeJong, 2014). Both prosecution and the accused have the right to appeal the court decision if they feel the court ruling was unfair (Neubauer, & Fradella, 2013).
An example of a criminal case tried in US court of law is Kennedy vs. Louisiana. Kennedy was sued for raping his eight-year-old daughter in Louisiana court. Based on the evidence provided to the court, the court found Kennedy guilty of rape and was sentenced a death penalty in 2004. However, Kennedy appealed the court decision in the US Supreme Court in 2007. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Kennedy by stating that it was unconstitutional to sentence Kennedy a death penalty for crimes that did not result in the death of the victim. The court also ruled out that the death penalty is limited to crimes against the state. The Supreme Court demanded the lower court to revert it ruling and offer less punishment to Kennedy. If Kennedy rape case happened in Saudi Arabia, he could have been arrested and judged immediately. The instant judgment would have sentenced Kennedy a death penalty and could have been executed directly through public beheading, stoning, lynching or amputation. The instant justice would have denied Kennedy, his human rights.
Although Saudi Arabia criminal justice system provides speedy justice to the victims of crime, it can be a violation of human rights. The speedy justice has lead to been executed of several innocent individuals in Saudi Arabia due to false accusations of committing a crime. There are several human rights organizations that are advocating for reforms in the Saudi Arabia criminal system to ensure justice as well as protect human rights of individuals.
Cole, G., Smith, C., & DeJong, C. (2014). The American system of criminal justice. Cengage Learning.
Ebbe, O. N., & Odo, I. (2013). 16 The Islamic Criminal Justice System. Comparative and International Criminal Justice Systems: Policing, Judiciary, and Corrections, 217.
Neubauer, D., & Fradella, H. (2013). America’s courts and the criminal justice system. Cengage Learning.