Criminal Law: To Balance the Scales

"Justice does not belong exclusively to the criminal. Society as a whole is also entitled to justice." These were the key sentences in Arizona Lawyer Charles N. Ronan's opening remarks at the annual convention of the National District Attorneys' Association in Phoenix. Ronan, who is the D.A. in Phoenix, argued that concern for the rights of criminals must be balanced by concern for society's interests. "The time has come," he said, "to balance the scales."

The view that the scales are unbalanced is shared by many of Ronan's colleagues. In decision after decision over the years, the U.S. Supreme Court...

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