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NCJ Number: 50817 Find in a Library
Title: BARGAINING FOR JUSTICE - CASE DISPOSITION AND REFORM IN THE CRIMINAL COURTS
Author(s): S R BUCKLE; L G BUCKLE
Corporate Author: Praeger Publishers
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 188
Sponsoring Agency: Praeger Publishers
Westport, CT 06881
Sale Source: Praeger Publishers
88 Post Road West
Westport, CT 06881
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS TEXT DISCUSSES PLEA BARGAINING AS IT RELATES TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND REFORM OF THE BARGAINING SYSTEM. A CASE STUDY ENTITLED 'BARGAINING FOR JUSTICE' IS PRESENTED.
Abstract: DEFENDANTS WHO ENTER PLEAS OF GUILTY ARE PROCESSED WITHOUT TRIAL, AND IT IS ASSUMED GENERALLY THAT THEY FORGO TRIAL IN EXCHANGE FOR SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FROM THE COURT. GUILTY PLEAS, HOWEVER, CAN ALSO BE INDICATORS OF OTHER TRANSACTIONS BEWTEEN THE DEFENDANT AND THE COURT; THE DEFENDANT MERELY CAN INSIST THAT HE IS GUILTY. DESCRIPTIONS OF PLEA BARGAINING AND THE DEBATE THAT HAS SURROUNDED IT AND SOME PROPOSALS FOR ITS MODIFICATION ARE PRESENTED. IN EACH CASE, THE PURPOSE IN THE TEXT IS TO PURSUE THE ASSUMPTIONS OF THOSE WHO EXAMINE PLEA BARGAINING AND TO DETERMINE WHY BARGAINING IN COURTS IS VIEWED AS A SOCIAL PROBLEM AND NOT AS A ROUTINE SOCIAL FUNCTION AS IT IS IN OTHER AREAS OF LIFE. THE CASE STUDY INDICATES THAT BARGAINING EXISTS IN THE COURTS, NOT ONLY IN THE FORM OF CLASSIC PLEA BARGAINING, BUT ALSO AS A MODE OF INTERACTION AMONG THE COURT PERSONNEL. BARGAINING SHAPES THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF THE COURTS AT TWO LEVELS: (1) THE TRAJECTORY OF EACH CASE IS LARGELY DETERMINED BY A SERIES OF BARGAINS AMONG SEVERAL COURT PERSONNEL, EACH BARGAIN BEING AFFECTED BY PRIOR BARGAINS AND IN TURN AFFECTING FUTURE NEGOTIATIONS; AND (2) BARGAINING AS A SYSTEM OF HUMAN INTERCHANGE CREATES THE MILIEU OF THE COURT BY SETTING VALUES THAT INFORM THE CHOICES OF PARTICIPANTS IN BARGAINING, DETERMINE THE REWARDS AND SANCTIONS THAT CAN BE IMPOSED ON COURT OFFICIALS, PROVIDE THE COURT WITH THE MEANS OF ACCOMPLISHING ITS ENDS, AND ALLOW PARTICIPANTS TO STRUCTURE THEIR TIME AND ALLOCATE RESOURCES. MOST REFORMS BASED ON DIRECT REGULATION IGNORE SOME CRITICAL FORMS OF BARGAINING WHICH AFFECT PLEA BARGAINS AND IMPORTANT PARTICIPANTS IN THE PROCESS. EFFECTIVE REFORM OF THE COURTS AND THE BARGAINING SYSTEM MUST TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE FULL MEANING OF BARGAINING FOR THE COURT COMMUNITY. SEVERAL STEPS ARE SUGGESTED TO HELP REALIZE A DUE PROCESS OF PLEA BARGAINING: (1) MAKE BARGAINING MORE EQUITABLE BY SETTING GROUND RULES; (2) INCREASE BUREAUCRATIC AUTHORITY WITHIN THE COURTS FOR MONITORING THE BARGAINING PROCESS; (3) DEVELOP THE ROLE OF THE MEDICAL AND REHABILITATION COMMUNITY IN BARGAINING; (4) PROMOTE DISCUSSION OF PLEAS IN OPEN COURT; (5) RETAIN THE ADVERSARIAL, DUE PROCESS TRIAL; AND (6) CREATE A SYSTEM OF APPEAL FROM A PLEA. (RJM)
Index Term(s): Court administrators; Court personnel; Plea negotiations; Reform
Note: PRAEGER SPECIAL STUDIES IN U S ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, AND POLITICAL ISSUES
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50817

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