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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97850 Find in a Library
Title: Court Delay
Corporate Author: Citizens Crime Cmssn of Connecticut, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 68
Sponsoring Agency: Citizens Crime Cmssn of Connecticut, Inc
Hartford, CT 06114
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report reviews Connecticut's court backlog and delay problems and recommends improvements in four areas: judicial resources, the jury selection process, the case calendaring system, and the rotation of judicial assignments.
Abstract: Available data suggest that the failure to provide adequate resources for the judicial function contributes significantly to delays and backlogs. The court presently receives about 1 percent of the State budget. Connecticut's per capita income ranks second highest among States, but the State ranks 48th in expenditures on the judiciary as a percentage of per capita income. New laws have improved Connecticut's jury process by stating that individuals summoned for jury duty will either serve one day or one trial and limiting the time that citizens must endure voir dire questioning. However, Connecticut is the only State that statutorily guarantees in every case the right to question prospective jurors individually out of the presence of other panel members. This adds significantly to juror frustration, juror costs, and court delay. Connecticut uses a master calendar system for both civil and criminal courts, while court systems throughout the country have turned to the individual calendar system as an effective response to delay. Judicial rotation at 6-month intervals is a common occurrence in Connecticut. Efficient court management and judicial accountability are not possible under this system. Judges are not responsible for cases from filing to disposition and simply leave unfinished business to the next assigned judge. The report details administrative and legislative actions to resolve these problems. The appendixes contain additional data on the jury system and its costs, footnotes, and eight references.
Index Term(s): Commission reports; Connecticut; Court case flow management; Court delays; Court reform; Jury selection
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