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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 64526 Find in a Library
Title: SYMBOLIC JUSTICE - THE TRIAL OF CRIMINAL CASES (FROM ANATOMY OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE - A SYSTEM OVERVIEW, 1980, BY CLEON H FOUST AND D ROBERT WEBSTER - SEE NCJ-64520)
Author(s): N KITTRIE
Corporate Author: Lexington Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AS MOST OFFENDERS DO NOT COME TO TRIAL, THE COURTS ARE NOT IN THE MAINSTREAM OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE; THE U.S TRIAL SYSTEM IS DISCUSSED AS IT RELATES TO THIS FACT.
Abstract: IT IS ESTIMATED THAT ONLY 8 PERCENT OF APPREHENDED SUSPECTS ARE PROSECUTED, ONLY 5.96 PERCENT OF REPORTED CRIMES END IN CONVICTION AS CHARGED, AND ONLY 20.5 PERCENT OF ALL REPORTED CRIMES RESULT IN ARREST. NEVERTHELESS, THE TRIAL CONTINUES TO HAVE GREAT SYMBOLIC IMPORTANCE TO THE PUBLIC. ADJUDICATION IN ANGLO-AMERICAN LAW RELIES ON INTELLECTUAL PERSUASION, REGULATED CONFLICT, CONSTITUTIONAL PROCEDURE, AND INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDGE, WHO IS INFORMED BY A JURY. HOWEVER, GROWING PROTECTION OF CRIMINALS IN PROCEDURE HAS MODIFIED THE TRADITIONAL TRIAL AND HAS LED TO THE PRETRIAL PROCESS AS AN IMPORTANT STAGE IN CRIMINAL CASES, CASE DIVERSION, AND CLOSER COOPERATION BETWEEN PROSECUTION AND DEFENSE. ALTHOUGH PRETRIAL PROCEDURES ARE MEANT TO MAKE TRIALS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE FAIRER, THEIR RESULTS ARE UNCLEAR. PLEA BARGAINING, IN WHICH DEFENDANTS PLEAD GUILTY TO A LESSER CHARGE IN EXCHANGE FOR LIGHTER PUNISHMENT SAVES COURT TIME AND MONEY BUT IS BASICALLY UNJUST AND LESSENS THE LAW'S DETERRENCE. MOREOVER, TRIALS IN THE U.S. ARE NOT SPEEDY, SINCE COURTS ARE OVERCOMMITTED AND UNABLE TO COPE WITH THE DELAYING TACTICS OF MANY DEFENSE ATTORNEYS. MUCH PROCEDURE STREAMLINING IS NEEDED. HOWEVER, MANY JUDICIAL EXPERTS THINK THE SOLUTION TO OVERBURDENED COURTS LIES IN DECRIMINALIZATION AND DIVERSION. BUT AS THESE SOLUTIONS WOULD NOT AFFECT MOST CRIMINAL CASES, ESTABLISHING NEW TYPES OF COURTS TO DEAL WITH MINOR CRIMES IS RECOMMENDED ALSO. NOTES, CHARTS, AND AN APPENDED COMMENTARY ARE INCLUDED. (PAP)
Index Term(s): Criminal proceedings; Judicial process; Plea negotiations; Pretrial procedures; Trial procedures; Trials
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64526

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