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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148220 Find in a Library
Author(s): C M Bradley
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 274
Sponsoring Agency: University of Pennsylvania Press
Baltimore, MD 21211
Publication Number: ISBN 0-8122-3200-3
Sale Source: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publicity Manager
P.O. Box 4836
Baltimore, MD 21211
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book assesses the evolution and content of criminal procedure under American jurisprudence and proposes radical reform.
Abstract: In a series of landmark decisions in the early 1960's, the U.S. Supreme Court revolutionized police procedures by imposing stricter requirements such as search warrants, Miranda warnings, and the exclusion of improperly obtained evidence from trial. Today, these innovations remain largely intact and form the basis of current American criminal procedure law, despite considerable criticism and an increasingly conservative Supreme Court. Although the Warren Court doctrine survives, everyone involved in the system -- police, prosecutors, crime victims, academic commentators, and judges -- regard the current body of Supreme Court law in this area as a failure. The author argues that no shift in ideology, no commitment of resources, and no refinement of Supreme Court jurisprudence would resolve the inadequacies of the current system. These problems arose from a constitutional system that has allowed the United States to develop its rules of criminal procedure on a piecemeal, case-by-case basis, rather than through a unified code of criminal procedure, as other countries have done. The author proposes that the United States should, in keeping with the international trend, regulate police procedures through a comprehensive and nationally applicable code. He examines why the current system is a failure and how other countries have developed their criminal procedure law. Additionally, he shows how a national code would be constitutional and outlines its features, how it would function, and what alternative approaches are possible and practicable. Chapter notes, a table of cases, and a 161-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Courts; Criminal justice system analysis; Criminal procedures; Law reform; Police legal limitations
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