When it comes to the criminal justice system, nothing has changed more over the past ten years then the rights of a person when it comes to searches and seizures. There has been a huge change from the authorities needing a warrant in order to tap a phone or read a personal email. To today, the government can monitor everything that is written or produced. The right to privacy used to be one of the most prized rights protected by the Bill of Rights, but today, Big Brother can watch you and all that you do with no concern for your rights at all. This is a prime example of how personal rights are being eroded in the criminal justice system.
Illegal Searches and Seizures
It used to be common practice that every law enforcement officer knew that in order to invade someone’s privacy there needed to be a court order or a warrant issued by a judge to do it. In that warrant there were specific items or communications that were described that an officer of the law could look for. The reason it was so specific is that otherwise, it would be too easy to manufacture evidence and frame someone simply because an officer didn’t like the way they looked or what religion a person followed. The system worked hard to protect the individual rights of the people. Now however that has been thrown out the window as the government makes no bones about monitoring each and every communication that anyone sends electronically any time.
This eroding of personal liberties in the criminal justice system may on the surface seem justified as the world is portrayed as a very dangerous place and these measures are meant to protect the citizens. However, it is important that the constitution was written to protect the individual rights of the people from the tyranny of the government. Once citizens start to give up their rights, no matter how justified it is going to be a slippery slope that may not end with freedom.
In the end, there should be no infringement on people’s rights that are guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States. To usurp these rights because of a passing threat is going to fundamentally change the criminal justice system forever into an oppressive state that denies the basic right to live free. The worst part about the Patriot Act and all subsequent legislation is that it was enacted without so much as a questions from the public.