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NCJ Number: 51712 Find in a Library
Title: INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF CRIME - MAIN PAPER (FROM CRIME, LAW AND THE COMMUNITY, 1976 - SEE NCJ-51708)
Author(s): R B MCKAY
Corporate Author: Juta and Co, Ltd
South Africa
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Juta and Co, Ltd
Capetown, South Africa
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: South Africa
Annotation: THE POLICE FUNCTION, THE PROSECUTION FUNCTION, DEFENSE SERVICES, PRETRIAL RELEASE, FAIR TRIAL AND FREE PRESS, ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE, DISCOVERY AND PROCEDURES BEFORE TRIAL, SPEEDY TRIAL, AND GUILTY PLEAS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: UNDER THE WEIGHT OF INCREASING CRIME IN THE UNITED STATES, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT PRESENT PRACTICES ARE TOO OFTEN UNPRINCIPLED, INHUMANE, AND UNECONOMIC. CORRECTIVES ARE BELIEVED AVAILABLE WITHIN THE EXISTING SYSTEM OF INVESTIGATING AND PROSECUTING CRIME, AND THEY ARE BRIEFLY DESCRIBED. THE BASIC FUNCTIONS OF THE POLICE ARE LISTED, AND IT IS NOTED THAT THE WIDE RANGE OF FUNCTIONS REQUIRES THAT THE POLICE BE TRAINED IN INFORMAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION, USE SOURCES OF ASSISTANCE OUTSIDE THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, AND LEARN WHEN TO GIVE A WARNING RATHER THAN ARREST. VARIOUS LEGAL REQUIREMENTS RESTRICTING POLICE OPERATIONS IN THE INTEREST OF PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF CITIZENS ARE IDENTIFIED AND DISCUSSED. THE PROSECUTOR, CONSIDERED THE PRINCIPAL FIGURE IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS, IS SAID TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FOLLOWING DECISIONS: WHETHER TO CHARGE; IF SO, THE LEVEL OF THE CHARGE; AND WHETHER TO RECOMMEND RELEASE ON RECOGNIZANCE, BAIL, OR HOLD WITHOUT BAIL. HE IS VIEWED AS HAVING AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED. THE PROVISION OF ADEQUATE DEFENSE SERVICES, CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL TO THE SUCCESS OF THE ADVERSARIAL SYSTEM, IS DISCUSSED, WITH ATTENTION TO THE HELP PROVIDED INDIGENTS. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE GRANTING OF PRETRIAL RELEASE ARE IDENTIFIED AND DISCUSSED. THE SHEILDING OF TRIALS FROM PREJUDICIAL PUBLICITY IN THE PRESS IS CONSIDERED, AND OTHER MEANS PROVIDED FOR GUARANTEEING UNPREJUDICED DECISIONMAKING IN A TRIAL ARE MENTIONED. RESTRICTIONS PLACED ON ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE BY LAW ENFORCEMENT ARE TREATED, AND DISCOVERY PROCEDURES BEFORE THE TRIAL ARE NOTED TO PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCESS BY BOTH DEFENSE AND PROSECUTION TO ALL THE EVIDENCE AVAILABLE IN THE CASE. PLEA BARGAINING IS INDICATED TO BE AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT ASPECT OF PRETRIAL PROCEDURES BECAUSE OF THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF GIVING FULL TRIALS TO SIZEABLE PERCENTAGES OF SUSPECTS, DUE TO HEAVY COURT CASELOADS. AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION STANDARDS FOR PLEAS OF GUILTY ARE PRESENTED. A SPEEDY TRIAL IS DISCUSSED AS AN IMPORTANT GUARANTEE OF THE CONSTITUTION. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Defense; Electronic surveillance; Fair trial-free press; Plea negotiations; Police discretion; Police legal limitations; Police responsibilities; Pretrial discovery; Pretrial procedures; Pretrial release; Prosecution; Right to speedy trial
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51712

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