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NCJ Number: 64256 Find in a Library
Title: ESTIMATING THE COST OF JUDICIAL SERVICES (FROM COSTS OF CRIME, 1979, BY CHARLES M GRAY - SEE NCJ-64248)
Author(s): D WELLER; M K BLOCK
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: COSTS OF PROVIDING JUDICIAL SERVICES WERE ESTIMATED FOR DIFFERENT LEVELS OF SANCTIONS, USING ECONOMIC CONCEPTS AND DATA FROM THE CALIFORNIA SUPERIOR COURTS FOR FISCAL YEARS 1974, 1975, AND 1976.
Abstract: COSTS MEASURED WERE ONLY THOSE EXPLICITLY BORNE BY THE SUPERIOR COURTS. COSTS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT, PROSECUTION, DEFENSE, AND THE TIME OF DEFENDANTS AND JURORS WERE EXCLUDED. RESULTS INDICATED THAT CASES WHICH WENT TO TRIAL HAD AN INCREMENTAL COST OF $1,063, VERSUS $447 FOR CASES DISPOSED OF BEFORE TRIAL. CASES IN WHICH THE DEFENDANT PLEADED GUILTY HAD AN INCREMENTAL COST OF LESS THAT $250. USING 1976 AND 1976 DATA, THE INCREMENTAL COST OF A JURY TRIAL WAS $1,772, VERSUS $844 FOR A NONJURY TRIAL. COMPARISON OF CASES IN WHICH TRIALS WERE TERMINATED BEFORE EVIDENCE WAS PRESENTED BY BOTH SIDES WITH CASES NOT TERMINATED SHOWED, HOWEVER, THAT DIFFERENCE IN COSTS BETWEEN JURY AND NONJURY TRIALS WERE LARGELY EXPLAINED BY DIFFERENCES IN THE LIKELIHOOD THAT A CASE WOULD BE TERMINATED BEFORE A FULL PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE. DATA DID NOT SUPPORT THE HYPOTHESIS THAT A JURY DISPOSTION, AFTER EVIDENCE, IS MORE COSTLY THAN AN EQUIVALENT NONJURY DISPOSITION. A SURPRISING FINDING IN ALL THE ANALYSES WAS THE HIGH ESTIMATED MARGINAL COST ($1,447) OF CASES DISMISSED BEFORE TRIAL OR TRANSFERED TO ANOTHER DISTRICT. THE NUMBER OF TRANSFERS WAS TOO LOW TO BE STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT, BUT ANALYSIS OF DISMISSALS SUGGESTED THAT THEIR HIGH COST REFLECTED THE COST OF PRETRIAL HEARINGS. COMPARISONS OF JUDICIAL COSTS ACROSS COUNTIES INDICATED THAT THESE COSTS VARIED SHARPLY FROM ONE COUNTY TO ANOTHER. NOTES, A REFERENCE LIST, AND AN APPENDIX DESCRIBING METHODOLOGY, DATA, AND ADDITIONAL RESULTS ARE INCLUDED. (CFW)
Index Term(s): California; Comparative analysis; Cost analysis; Court costs; Economic analysis; Juries; Pretrial hearings
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64256

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