Obstruction of justice is an important legal issue in law enforcement. Crimes are committed to obstruct justice of pre-existing criminal act. This might be will the intent of delaying criminal investigation or the prosecuting process. It could also be described as crime against the court. There are certain elements that usually help to analyze the crime of obstruction to justice. Those elements maybe combined or used alone to indicate a state of obstruction.
Important elements of crime of obstruction to justice include; altering, concealing, and or destroying information that relates to a criminal act. It could also be in form of making, presenting or using anything or item which the perpetrator understand to be false. It could be a case of harboring or concealing the identity of the criminal. It also describes a situation whereby a person is being informed of impending actions, discovery, or arrest. Elements also entail providing a person with some form of ways of escape, transportation, or disguise to discovery by investigators. These ways just describe some of the actions that represent the elements of crime of obstruction. There are situations whereby combination of those elements is made to start a case for crime of obstruction to justice.
A case of crime of obstruction of justice is that of a female juror that was convicted on account of maintaining some form of intimate relationship with a person (Peter Gill) that was accused of a crime. Gillian Guess is the name of the convicted person. The element of crime of obstruction of justice considered in this scenario was that of "intent to prevent justice" (Duhaime.org, 2011). A defense that could be initiated in this scenario relates to stating a pre-relationship even before the arrest of Peter Gill.
Another important case is that of Barry Bonds (L.A NOW, 2011) who was convicted of crime of obstruction of justice based on act of lies to the court to protect his reputation. The case, which lasted 7 years, was associated with performance enhancing drug use. In this situation, the trainer that provides the enhancement drug was said to have wrongfully informed Bay of the type of drugs hence, Bay has a right to defend himself based on wrong information.
These above scenarios show the relative elements used to prosecute the culprit of those crimes and the defenses that could have been initiated by the people involved. The act of crime of obstruction to justice is a complex issue with no precise element hence there is need to understand the aims and some previously identified elements so as to efficiently deter various crimes to obstruct justice.
Duhaime.org, (2011). Criminal Law. Legal resources. Retrieved 8 October, 2011 from
L.A.NOW, (2011). Barry Bonds convicted of obstruction of justice in performance-
enhancing-drugs case. Retrieved 8 October, 2011 from http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/04/barry-bonds-verdict-.html
Schiller, J. (2008). Deterring obstruction of justice efficiently: The impact of Arthur Andersen
and The Sarbanes-Oxley act. NYU Annual survey of American law. (Vol 63:267).
Retrived 8 October, 2011 from http://www.law.nyu.edu/ecm_dlv2/groups/public/@nyu_law_website__journals__annual_survey_of_american_law/documents/documents/ecm_pro_064594.pdf