5 Sep 2022


Justice System Issues: The Joseph Sledge Case

Format: APA

Academic level: University

Paper type: Assignment

Words: 689

Pages: 2

Downloads: 0

The Joseph Sledge case reveals the various issues in the justice system. The ethical issues portrayed in the trial include the prosecutor's misconduct. To begin with, the prosecution was involved in suppressing evidence collected to the jury and the defense. They did not fully disclose some of the proof used during the trial, which is unethical. Moreover, the prosecutors encouraged deceit by the inmates by bribing them with money and reducing their charges. Trials should be honest and thorough to ensure that wrongful convictions are not conducted. It was immoral that the detective tried to frame Sledge by asking him to run around the house so that he could leave his shoe imprints. The technical problems experienced in the trial include the use of class evidence to charge Sledge with the murders, for instance, using hair. Additionally, the proof was mishandled, misplaced, and wrongly used to solve the case. Legally, the prosecutor is bound to seek the truth and not merely to convict (Platania & Small, 2010). In contrast, the prosecutors in the case hardly investigated other suspects aside Sledge, thus breaking their legal responsibilities. These issues are important because they portray how innocent people end up being wrongly convicted. Christian teachings indicate that people should work as though they are working for God, and thus competency in crime scene processing relates to these doctrines. Moreover, it aids in ensuring proper convictions.  

The evidence was misplaced by being improperly placed since it was later found on the top shelf of the proof room. The physical evidence used in the case was not handled correctly; for instance, the prosecution used the hair as proof solely because it had Negroid characteristics. The case was primarily based on racial tension after African American hair influenced the outcome of the case. The prosecution and the police did not investigate further after finding the hairs and linking them to Sledge. Moreover, the jury and the defense did not see the evidence at the trial. Additionally, the prosecutor was unethical and incompetent. First, they did not investigate the case past their initial suspect –Sledge. They were also politically motivated since later elected as the District Attorney. Although the jailhouse informant was used as a critical witness to the trial, their lacked evidence to support their testimony. They, however, recanted their testimonial years later. The prosecution promised them money and a reduction of their charges if they falsely testified against Sledge. Professional ethics must adhere to the truth. In the Joseph Sledge case, however, the statement is not observed since the prosecution fabricates the reality by buying witnesses. Moreover, the case was based on the fact that Sledge was an obvious suspect without an in-depth investigation.   

It’s time to jumpstart your paper!

Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.

Get custom essay

Fingerprint evidence, serology, and biological evidence, hairs, and fibers are both impression evidence class or personal characteristics. Class evidence is those associated with a group of sources, while individual proof refers to those from a common cause, thus increasing their degree of certainty (Pierce, 2011). Generally, the surface matters when collecting fingerprints. For instance, porous and rough surfaces are challenging for fingerprint evidence. Blood is mainly obtained from the stained items at the crime scene –for example, clothes. The technicians then air-dry the materials and submit them to the crime lab for evaluation. In Sledge’s case, the blood evidence was not collected properly. The hair examination in Sledge’s case was unwarranted since it did not prove that he was the murderer. To use hair as evidence, its DNA content should be tested with the suspect. In contrast, the evidence was generalized instead. Moreover, shoe impressions were not used appropriately. Primarily, in this situation, the imprints were class evidence, and the prosecution should have evaluated them to prove that they were indeed Sledge’s.  


Back in the 20th century, numerous people –specifically, those from minority groups, were wrongly convicted. The main reasons that led to wrongful convictions include using class evidence as key exhibits during trials, misplacing of proof, and general racism towards African Americans. The case of Joseph Sledge is a perfect example of how flawed the justice system was in the 70s. Today, however, advances in technology such as DNA testing has helped in narrowing class evidence to individual proof; hence, increasing precision in the conviction of suspects. 

Evidence should be handled appropriately. 

Prosecutors should thoroughly investigate all possible suspects to a case. 

Prosecutors should present all the evidence to the jury and defense. 

The jury should be adequately trained to handle criminal cases. 

Better policies should be developed in the justice system. 

Prosecutors should not buy testimonials. 

Strict laws should be enacted to reduce biased prosecution. 

Protocols should be followed to ensure rightful verdicts. 

Racial profiling should cease in criminal cases.  

Prosecutors should not use their position to convict wrongly for political benefits.  


Pierce, D. S. (2011).  Mechanics of Impression Evidence . CRC Press. 

Platania, J., & Small, R. (2010). Instructions as a safeguard against prosecutorial misconduct. 

Cite this page

Select style:


StudyBounty. (2023, September 17). Justice System Issues: The Joseph Sledge Case.


Related essays

We post free essay examples for college on a regular basis. Stay in the know!

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

Research in Criminal Justice

Research is the primary tool for progressing knowledge in different fields criminal justice included. The results of studies are used by criminal justice learners, scholars, criminal justice professionals, and...

Words: 250

Pages: 1

Views: 165

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

The Art of Taking and Writing Notes in Law Enforcement

Every individual must seek adequate measures to facilitate input for appropriate output in daily engagements. For law enforcement officers, the work description involving investigations and reporting communicates the...

Words: 282

Pages: 1

Views: 182

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

Victim Advocacy: Date Rape

General practice of law requires that for every action complained of there must be probable cause and cogent evidence to support the claim. Lack thereof forces the court to dismiss the case or acquit the accused. It...

Words: 1247

Pages: 4

Views: 76

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

New Rehabilitation and Evaluation

Introduction The rate of recidivism has been on the rise in the United States over the past two decades. Due to mass incarceration, the number of people in American prisons has been escalating. While people...

Words: 2137

Pages: 8

Views: 140

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

Justification of Reflections and Recommendations

Credible understanding and application of criminal justice require adequacy of techniques in analyzing the crime scene, documenting the shooting scene, and analysis of ballistic evidence. The approaches used in...

Words: 351

Pages: 1

Views: 127

17 Sep 2023
Criminal Justice

The Future of the Criminal Justice Workforce

In the past, line level criminal justice workforce such as the police were recruited with just a high school diploma. The need for advancement in the education of line-level officers has been a subject of debates in...

Words: 390

Pages: 1

Views: 129


Running out of time?

Entrust your assignment to proficient writers and receive TOP-quality paper before the deadline is over.