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NCJ Number: NCJ 166610   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: German and American Prosecutions: An Approach to Statistical Comparison
  Document URL: Text PDF 
  Agency Summary: Agency Summary 
Author(s): F Feeney
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 114
  Series: BJS Discussion Papers
  Annotation: Germany's criminal justice system contrasts sharply with the U.S. criminal justice system in a number of important ways; in particular, police and prosecution agencies are state-level rather than local, and the prosecutor in Germany is a civil servant rather than an elected official who operates within a hierarchical system.
Abstract: Germany has a single national criminal code, a single national code of criminal procedure, and a much more unified court system than the United States. There is no death penalty in Germany, and sentences for all crimes are considerably lower than in the United States. In both countries, cases are investigated by the police, sent to the prosecutor, and then taken to court. Germany does not use a jury, however, and the trial process is very different from that in the United States. The judge, rather than lawyers, organizes evidence and asks most of the questions. The prosecutor and the defense counsel are allowed to ask questions only after the judge has finished, and German law has traditionally taken a strong stand against prosecutorial discretion. Statistics indicate the number of serious crimes reported to the police per 100,000 persons is much higher in the United States than in Germany. Five murders and forcible rapes and three or four robberies and felony assaults are reported in the United States for every one in Germany. For property crimes, the difference is smaller but still significant. About 1.5 times as many burglaries, 2.5 times as many auto thefts and arsons, and twice as many drug offenses are reported in the United States. Only for serious theft is the German rate higher. Detailed comparative statistics are presented for suspects arrested or referred for prosecution, cases charged by the prosecution, convictions, sentencing, arrest and pretrial detention, and lesser crimes. Appendixes contain additional data on specific offenses and information on the methodology used to compare statistics for the two countries. 48 references, 28 tables, and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Crime Statistics
Index Term(s): Offender statistics ; Arrest statistics ; Offense statistics ; Prosecutorial discretion ; Prosecution ; Criminology ; Foreign police ; Crime in foreign countries ; US/foreign comparisons ; Foreign criminal justice systems ; Foreign courts ; Foreign crime statistics ; Foreign sentencing ; Sentencing statistics ; Germany ; United States of America
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
US Dept of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Bureau of Justice Statistics Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 179
Dept. BJS-236
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701
United States of America
Type: Survey
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: A BJS Discussion Paper
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