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Guest Lecturer : The Differences of Criminal Justice System Between United States and Indonesia

10 Differences Between the US and Indonesian Criminal Justice Systems

Steven Kessler, United States Department of Justice

1.       The Investigation Begins.

INDONESIA

  • Suspect formally named as “suspect.”
  • Restrictions on how police may close an investigation.

UNITED STATES

  • No formal designation of the “suspect.”
  • The police can close the investigation whenever they want.

2. The Police Call the Suspect in for Questioning.

INDONESIA

  • One of the first things to be done is to bring in the suspect for questioning.
  • No right to remain silent.

UNITED STATES

  • The police do all they can BEFORE calling in the suspect for questioning.
  • Suspect has the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent.

3. The suspect is kept in custody.

INDONESIA

  • Pre-trial motion to challenge status as a suspect, illegal arrest, and claim that property was improperly taken from him.
  • Who has to prove what?
  • Remedies?

UNITED STATES

  • Defendant brought before judge in 24 hours.
  • Constitutional right to bail being set.
  • Judge decides on custody, not police or prosecutors.

4. Identification Procedures

INDONESIA

  • The defendant can argue at the end of the trial that the identification testimony was weak or that the procedures were unfair.

UNITED STATES

  • Defendant can argue in a pre-trial motion that the identification evidence should be excluded because it was suggestive and unfair.

5. Police Find Physical Evidence During A Search

INDONESIA

  • Improper police procedures are unlikely to result in evidence not being considered.

UNITED STATES

  • Defendant asks to have evidence excluded if it is improperly obtained by police.
  • Court holds a pre-trial hearing to determine the facts.

6. Police Beat Up The Defendant and He Confesses During the Investigation.

INDONESIA

  • The Court will not care too much whether the police beat up the defendant.

UNITED STATES

  • The defendant can challenge and exclude the confession and all of the evidence that was found as a result of the confession – Fruit of the Poisonous Tree.

7. Trial

INDONESIA

  • Panel of three experienced judges decides whether he is guilty or not guilty.
  • Police may or may not show up for trial.

UNITED STATES

  • Jury of 12 ordinary people decide the case.
  • The police always testify and submit to cross-examination.

8. The Defendant Has the Right to Remain Silent at Trial

INDONESIA

  • The defendant’s silence cannot be considered as one of the two pieces of evidence, but still… the accused is expected to make a statement.

UNITED STATES

  • The jury cannot consider the defendant’s silence. But, still, ….

9. The Burden of Proof and the Standard of Proof

INDONESIA

  • The Court can only find guilt if there are at least two categories of evidence giving the judges the internal conviction that the accused is guilty.

UNITED STATES

  • The jury can only find guilt if they unanimously agree there is proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

10. Direct Appeal to the Intermediate Court

INDONESIA

  • Prosecutor or Defense can appeal, claiming that there is additional evidence or just claiming that the trial court came to the wrong decision.

UNITED STATES

  • Only the defense can appeal.
  • Defense cannot merely claim the jury got it wrong.
  • No new evidence.
  • Was there a procedural error such that the accused was denied a fair trial.

 

 

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