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NCJ Number: 163197 Find in a Library
Title: Virtual Justice: The Flawed Prosecution of Crime in America
Author(s): H R Uviller
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 335
Sponsoring Agency: Yale University Press
New Haven, CT 06520
Publication Number: ISBN 0-300-06483-7
Sale Source: Yale University Press
92a Yale Station
New Haven, CT 06520
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book examines the various facets of the processing of criminal cases in the American criminal justice system and identifies their flaws, contradictions, and weaknesses.
Abstract: Fictional scenarios that reflect the facts of actual cases are presented to show how the appearance of justice may belie actual injustice. Some of the issues examined are whether juries are capable of recognizing the truth in the tangle of evidence and the adversarial interpretations of the evidence presented by the prosecution and the defense and what attorneys actually contribute to the quest for justice in the criminal court. The portrayal and critique of criminal justice processes extends from the gathering of evidence to capture and custody, eyewitness identification, plea bargaining, jury selection, jury nullification, and the role of the judge. The author explains the legal quandaries that often obstruct the search for truth and justice and explains how decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court have relieved or aggravated processes designed to render justice. He concludes that the prohibitions that limit investigation, the pervasive combative mentality between defense and prosecution lawyers, and particularly the power vested in a random collection of ordinary people that compose a jury all contribute to a criminal justice system that produces "virtual" rather than actual justice. He suggests legal clarifications that can help improve efforts to render justice. Subject index
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Arrest procedures; Evidence collection; Exclusionary rule; Eyewitness testimony; Judges; Juries; Jury nullification instructions; Jury selection; Plea negotiations; Police legal limitations; Privileged communications; Prosecutorial discretion; Right to counsel; Vehicle stops; Witnesses
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