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NCJ Number: 200172 Find in a Library
Title: Cook County Criminal Law Practice in 1929: A Community's Response to Crime and a Notorious Trial
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:92  Issue:3/4  Dated:Spring/Summer 2002  Pages:555-608
Author(s): Thomas F. Geraghty
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 54
Type: Historical Overview; Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper describes the practice of criminal law in the courts of Cook County in 1929, using a 1929 study of Cook County's criminal justice system and one high-profile case as the basis for that description.
Abstract: A background description of Cook County's criminal justice system and criminal law practice was drawn primarily from a report written by Chicago's civic leaders in 1929 entitled, "The Illinois Crime Survey." The "Survey" describes the state of the criminal justice system in Cook County, a system that was at the time perceived to be in crisis due to the influences of organized crime, political corruption, and poor management practices. This paper also examines the transcripts and documents of one trial, "People v. Fisher" (1930), a case that received front-page attention from Chicago's newspapers during 1929 and 1930. Comparisons are drawn between criminal law practice in the 1920's and modern-day practice. The years after 1929 saw changes in law and procedure regarding the admissibility and reliability of confessions, pretrial publicity, pretrial discovery, the law of confrontation, prosecutorial ethics, right to counsel and the adequacy of defense services, and issues associated with the implementation of the death penalty. The comparison of old and new ways of conducting criminal trials advises that despite the advances made in the development of the law, the modern system of justice relies just as much as the old system on the integrity, skill, and vision of those who manage justice, including the police as well as the lawyers and judges who try cases. Perhaps the best example of our modern system's flaws is the revelation of many wrongful convictions, particularly in death penalty cases. These wrongful convictions (13 in Illinois alone) occurred under modern-day criminal law and procedures. 296 footnotes and appended supplementary material from the "Fisher" trial
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Criminal procedures; Illinois; Pretrial procedures; Rights of the accused; Trial procedures
Note: For other documents related to this study, see NCJ-200171 and NCJ-200173-82.
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