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NCJ Number: 41048 Find in a Library
Title: NEW PERSPECTIVE ON MISDEMEANOR JUSTICE
Journal: JUDICATURE  Volume:60  Issue:9  Dated:(APRIL 1977)  Pages:425-434
Author(s): J J ALFINI; R N DOAN
Corporate Author: American Judicature Soc
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: American Judicature Soc
Chicago, IL 60601-7401
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ANALYSIS OF THE SURVEY RESPONSES OF 710 JUDGES IN COURTS OF LIMITED JURISDICTION UNDERTAKEN TO DETERMINE METHODS OF CASE PROCESSING, FACTORS AFFECTING THE COURT PROCESS, AND OUTSIDE PRESSURES ON THE COURTS.
Abstract: THE AUTHORS FIRST REVIEW CRITICISMS OF THE MISDEMEANOR COURTS AND THE REFORMS THAT HAVE BEEN RECOMMENDED. IT IS NOTED THAT TEN YEARS AFTER A PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION RECOMMENDED ABOLISHING THEM, MISDEMEANOR COURTS REMAIN AN IMPORTANT INSTITUTION IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN OUR SOCIETY. EVEN IN THE FEW STATES THAT HAVE ESTABLISHED A SINGLE-LEVEL TRIAL COURT SYSTEM, THE AUTHORS NOTE THAT SEPARATE CLASSES OF JUDGES HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED IN THE GENERAL TRIAL COURTS TO HANDLE MINOR MATTERS. IN ORDER TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE NATURE AND OPERATIONS OF THESE COURTS, A SURVEY OF MISDEMEANOR COURT JUDGES WAS UNDERTAKEN. THE SURVEY SHOWED THAT DEPENDING ON THE SIZE OF THE COMMUNITY IN WHICH THEY ARE LOCATED, MISDEMEANOR COURTS EMPLOY DIFFERENT MEANS TO DISPOSE OF THEIR CASES AND THEY RECEIVE CASE PROCESSING PRESSURES FROM DIFFERENT SOURCES. FOR EXAMPLE, URBAN COURTS MOST OFTEN USED PLEA NEGOTIATIONS AND EXPERIENCED PROCESSING PRESSURES FROM JUDICIAL OFFICIALS, WHILE RURAL COURTS MOST OFTEN DISPOSED OF CASES THROUGH GUILTY PLEAS AT INITIAL APPEARANCES AND EXPERIENCED CASE PROCESSING PRESSURE FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT. THE AUTHOR CONCLUDES THAT REFORMS OF MISDEMEANOR COURTS MUST TAKE THESE DIFFERENCES INTO ACCOUNT....DMC
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Court case flow management; Court of limited jurisdiction; Judges; Management; Misdemeanor; Plea negotiations; Reform; Surveys
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