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NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 
  NCJ Number: NCJ 238565     Find in a Library
  Title: Anatomy of Discretion: Federal Judge Theodore McKee Discusses Consistency in Prosecutorial Decision Making (Video: Part III of IV)
  Dataset URL: DATASET 1
  Author(s): Theodore McKee
  Corporate Author: Vera Institute of Justice
United States of America
  Date Published: 2012
  Page Count: 0
  Annotation: This video interview presents the opinions of Federal Judge Theodore McKee on the principled use of prosecutorial discretion; whether prosecutors use and are influenced by different factors at different decision-making stages and whether they weigh factors differently depending on the decision being made.
  Abstract: In the American criminal justice system, prosecuting attorneys arguably enjoy broader freedom to make significant decisions than any other system actor. Although prior research has identified a number of legal and extra-legal factors that affect the decisions prosecutors make, some potentially important factors have not been thoroughly studied, and most of the existing research has focused on identifying the factors that affect decisions, not on how and when prosecutors weigh these factors. This video interview is part of a two-year research project, funded by the National Institute of Justice, that seeks to identify and gauge the influence of legal, quasi-legal, and extra-legal factors on the decisions that criminal prosecutors make over the lifetime of a case. Measuring the impact of these decisions on case outcomes is expected to yield practical guidelines for system decision makers committed to the principled use of prosecutorial discretion. Project researchers are using surveys of prosecutors, hypothetical case vignettes, administrative data from actual cases, and a series of interviews and focus groups to understand the factors that influence five critical decisions prosecutors make in the processing of criminal cases: 1) whether to accept or reject a case at initial screening; 2) what charges to file; 3) whether to dismiss or amend charges after filing; 4) what charges to specify in formal plea offers; and 5) sentence recommendations. Researchers will pay special attention to whether prosecutors use and are influenced by different factors at different decision-making stages and whether they weigh factors differently depending on the decision being made. The findings will provide a factual basis for considering ways to promote the principled use of prosecutorial discretion.
  Main Term(s): Prosecutorial discretion
  Index Term(s): Decisionmaking ; Discretionary decisions ; Case dismissal ; Case processing ; Case management ; NIJ grant-related documents
  Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
  Grant Number: 2009-IJ-CX-0040
  Type: Interview
  Country: United States of America
  Language: English
  Note: Contact the NIJ Web Content Manager at lee.mockensturm@usdoj.gov to request an accessible version of this video. See NCJ 238563, 238564, 238565, and 238566 for related video interviews; and NCJ 240334 and 240335 for study reports.
   
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:
https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=260612

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