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NCJ Number: 50090 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: CRIMINAL JUSTICE ISSUES - PROMPT TRIAL
Author(s): B J GEORGE JR; G N BASHAR JR; S C GARDNER; J J CLEARY
Corporate Author: Citizens Research Council of Michigan
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 31
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

Wilhelm Fink Verlag
Muenchen,
West Germany (Former)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS THREE PAPERS ADDRESSING THE PROMPT TRIAL OF CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS, PLEA BARGAINING AS A USEFUL TOOL IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS, AND FAIRNESS IN CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS.
Abstract: CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO A SPEEDY TRIAL, AS WELL AS THE RIGHTS GRANTED BY ENACTMENT OF THE FEDERAL SPEEDY TRIAL ACT OF 1974 THAT IMPOSES STRICT TIME LIMITS ON FEDERAL CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS. WHEN THIS ACT BECOMES FULLY EFFECTIVE IN 1979, INDICTMENTS AND INFORMATION MUST BE FILED WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER ARREST OR ISSUANCE OF A SUMMONS, ARRAIGNMENT MUST FOLLOW WITHIN 10 DAYS OF FILING, AND TRIAL MUST COMMENCE WITH 60 DAYS AFTER A NONGUILTY PLEA IS ENTERED. HOWEVER, CERTAIN PERIODS ARE EXEMPTED FOR SPECIAL PRETRIAL PROCEEDINGS SUCH AS THE EXAMINATION OF MENTAL OR PHYSICAL INCOMPETENCE. SOME COURTS AND PROSECUTORS BELIEVE THAT THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF DELAYED TRIALS IS DEFENSE CONTINUANCES, OCCASIONED BY INADEQUATE DEFENSE PREPARATION, THE ACCEPTANCE OF MORE CASES THAN ATTORNEYS CAN HANDLE ADEQUATELY, AND A DELIBERATE DESIRE TO RENDER PROSECUTION EVIDENCE STALE SO THAT A REDUCED-CHARGE GUILTY PLEA MAY ULTIMATELY BE ACCEPTED. THE DESIRE FOR A SPEEDY TRIAL IS OFTEN NOTHING MORE THAN RATIONALIZATION OF AN EMOTIONAL NEED TO HAVE INSTANTANEOUS PUNISHMENT FOR WHAT IS BELIEVED TO BE A SERIOUS CRIME. IF THE DEFENDANT HAS BEEN DENIED A SPEEDY TRIAL, DISMISSAL IS THE ONLY REMEDY. PUBLIC CONCERN OVER DELAY IN THE SPEEDY PROCESSING OF CRIMINAL CASES MUST TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE BASIC OPERATION OF CRIMINAL COURTS (PROSECUTION AND DEFENSE) IN TERMS OF ECONOMY AND FAIRNESS. A DEVICE THAT HELPS TO MINIMIZE COSTS OF THE JUDICIAL PROCESS IS PLEA BARGAINING. IF PLEA BARGAINING IS PROPERLY PRACTICED, A BARGAINED PLEA SHOULD ACCURATELY REFLECT THE POINT AT WHICH EXPECTATIONS OF THE PROSECUTOR AND THE DEFENDANT INTERSECT AND THE SENTENCE OR CHARGE SHOULD BE REDUCED PROPORTIONATELY TO THE PROBABILITY OF CONVICTION. PROTECTIVE DEVICES HAVE BEEN BUILT INTO THE PLEA BARGAINING SYSTEM TO PROTECT INNOCENT DEFENDANTS FROM BEING PRESSURED INTO GUILTY PLEAS. THE SPEEDY TRIAL PROGRAM INITIATED IN MICHIGAN IN 1977 IS DISCUSSED, ALONG WITH STATE REGULATIONS DEALING WITH PLEA BARGAINING AND FAIRNESS IN THE PROMPT TRIAL OF CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS. CASE LAW IS CITED, AND FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Criminal proceedings; Defendants; Plea negotiations; Prosecution; Right to speedy trial; Rights of the accused
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50090

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