ISSN 1556-6757







Volume 2, Issue 1, 2008


The Victim Satisfaction Model of the Criminal Justice System
John W. Stickels

This article describes the various models historically used to explain the principal purpose of the criminal justice system and discusses their ineffectiveness in satisfactorily reflecting current practices. These models include; Packer’s crime control and due process models and Roach’s punitive and restorative models as well as Beloof’s victim participation model. The author’s new victim satisfaction model, which purports that the primary value that influences the course of a criminal prosecution is victim satisfaction, is used to explain the actual functioning of the criminal justice system, particularly in the prosecutorial phase in Texas. This model is based on findings derived from the author’s victim participation study, in which qualitative research methods were used to investigate the interaction between victims and the criminal justice system. In conclusion, the implications of the utilization of the victim satisfaction model on criminal justice policy are discussed. Full Article

Ambivalence versus Aggression: The Application of the Death Penalty in California and Texas
Charles Powell

Three Thousand Two Hundred Fifty-Four prisoners were under sentence of death in the United States at the end of 2005, with Texas and California having by far the largest death row populations. Despite similar racial populations, crime rates, murder rates, and rates of sentencing to death, Texas executes inmates at a rate many times that of California. Franklin Zimring (1991, 1996) has argued that differences in execution rates may best be understood as a general state of ambivalence on the part of the executing state government, explained either by external constraint or internal ambivalence. This research found that both external constraints and internal ambivalence were possible explanations for the large numbers of offenders sentenced to death in California. However, Zimring’s theory does not explain the aggressiveness exhibited by the state of Texas in executing convicted offenders. This paper explores the history of the application of the death penalty in each state, the administrative and judicial barriers to execution, and the sociocultural factors that lead to ambivalent and aggressive rates of execution. Full Article


A Preliminary Study of Views Toward the Mentally Ill and the Criminal Justice System: A Survey of College Students. Eric G. Lambert, David N. Baker, Lois Ventura

Many scholars contend that the criminal justice system is not equipped to handle mentally ill offenders. Students from various majors were surveyed at a large Ohio university. Most did not feel that individuals with a mental illness were dangerous and felt that, with proper treatment, a mentally ill person could lead a productive life. The respondents were split on whether mentally ill offenders should be treated differently, whether mentally ill persons should be incarcerated in correctional facilities, and whether “not guilty by reason of insanity” should be allowed. In multi-variate analysis, gender was the best predictor of responses. Full Article

The Value of Life: Female Killers & the Feminine Mystique
Georgie Ann Weatherby,Jamie Blanche, Rebecca Jones

This paper presents a case study of two drastically different personas of female murderers, Aileen Wuornos and Andrea Yates. It explores the striking ideas presented in Berrington and Honkatukia’s (2002) comparison of the trials of notorious female murderers. Using their distinction of the “mad” or “bad” media portrayal of the female offender, the current paper examines this unique dichotomy as it exists in America. By focusing on Labeling, Anomie, and
Chivalry theories, this work offers social critiques as to why the media chose to depict Wuornos and Yates in markedly different lights. America’s seemingly “blind” criminal justice system is challenged by the noticeably disparate sentences received for equally heinous crimes.
Full Article