Achieving Justice Through Deduction

The following sample Criminal Justice essay is 380 words long, in APA format, and written at the undergraduate level. It has been downloaded 158 times and is available for you to use, free of charge.

The criminal justice field has a keen interest in determining the truth based on available evidence and testimony. Failure to consider less visible factors can lead to grave injustice. Any false beliefs, faulty recollections, or erroneous conclusions can easily skewer any legal proceeding, and it is paramount that these be eliminated. Good judgment begins with common sense, the ability to solve problems with available knowledge. However, an early conclusion can be quite flawed.

For example, one day, the body of John Smith is found in the lake. The local policeman, knowing that the body came out of the lake, claims that he died by drowning, and leaves the case at that. The coroner, however, is not so sure, and investigates further. The scientific method works to eliminate false belief. Fung writes, “Contrary to common sense, the primary goal of scientific study is not a solution to practical problems but rather the simplification of the world and its mechanisms.” (Fung, 2010). By finding the relevant x-factors, one can pinpoint his errors, and advance beyond the first conclusion. For example, the coroner might notice that the corpse lacked any water in its lungs; therefore, Smith could not have drowned.

If the policeman still believes the man drowned, he exemplifies belief perseverance. PsychologyDictionary.org defines belief perseverance as “a psychological phenomenon in which there is a tendency to persist with one's held beliefs despite the fact that the information is inaccurate or that evidence shows otherwise.” (Brian, n.d.). Belief perseverance is a roadblock for another tool called critical thinking, as it prevents an error from being rejected.

Critical thinking serves as a method of finding untried solutions to logical equations. It is defined as “Reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do.” (Ennis, 2012). When one assumes the possibility of falsehood, he might find a more accurate conclusion. For example, the coroner, upon further investigation, might find evidence of strychnine. An error has been eliminated, and the search for justice can begin.

References

Brian, P. (n.d.) Belief perseverance. PsychologyDictionary.org, Retrieved from http://psychologydictionary.org/belief-perseverance/

Ennis, R. (2012). Definition of critical thinking. CriticalThinking.NET, Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.net/definition.html

Fung, J. (2010). Common sense vs. science - Chomsky. Johnson Fung, Retrieved from http://www.johnsonfung.com/philosophy/common-sense-vs-science-chomsky