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NCJ Number: 161618 Find in a Library
Title: Role of the State Trial Judge in Criminal Cases -- The Need for Change
Author(s): F J Remington; D E Schultz; W J Dickey; B Kempinen; D S Schneider
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 178
Sponsoring Agency: State Justice Institute
Alexandria, VA 22314
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706
Grant Number: SJI-88-14L-D-058
Publication Number: ISBN 0-910587-41-8
Sale Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Law School
Madison, WI 53706
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The role of State trial judges in the administration of criminal justice is discussed, and the need for trial judges to exert leadership in improving the criminal justice system is emphasized.
Abstract: The emerging debate over the federalization of crime indicates that shifting direct responsibility to Federal courts may be reaching its limits. Despite attempts to federalize street crime, most criminal cases will continue to be handled in State courts. At the State level, the trial judge is responsible for administering criminal cases fairly, and an active leadership role for the trial judge is recommended to achieve and maintain procedural reform in minor offense cases. Needed improvements in procedures for handling serious criminal cases are examined, as well as reasons for retaining judicial discretion. The authors point out that the trial judge is of central importance in the development and maintenance of effective State courts. Recommendations to achieve more effective criminal justice policies are offered that include the following: encourage policy development at the State level and base policies on facts; recognize that effective responses to crime require individualized attention to cases, defendants, and victims; make wise use of incarceration; and devise appropriate solutions for specific problems, such as minor offenses, drug offenders, and violent offenders. Questions used in an inmate survey and a consent to be interviewed agreement are appended. Endnotes
Main Term(s): State courts
Index Term(s): Criminal justice system effectiveness; Criminal justice system policy; Judges; Judicial discretion; Trial courts
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