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This research was made possible in part through a Specter Undergraduate Research Fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University


The criminal justice system in the United States of America has been in peril since the beginning of the 1960’s, spiraling downward as the rates of crime shot upward across the country. Such drastic changes to a major system within the United States brought the issue of criminal justice to the forefront of nearly every political agenda of politicians in office. This paper examines the work one such politician, the late Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, performed in his fight against the crippling system. This paper evaluates the actions and policies Specter introduced, from his controversial Armed Career Criminal Act to the Bipartisan Justice Integrity Act, in order to fix the criminal justice system and protect those affected by it.