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NCJ Number: 76182 Find in a Library
Title: Vertical Prosecution and Career Criminal Bureaus - How Many and Who?
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:8  Issue:6  Dated:(1980)  Pages:369-378
Author(s): D L Weimer
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A theoretical model for determining the optimal mix of horizontal and vertical characteristics in managing the prosecution of defendants with serious conviction records is described, and a simulation model is used to evaluate case selection procedures.
Abstract: The theoretical model considers the costs of prosecuting vertically versus those of horizontal prosecution, the probability of conviction using both approaches, and total trial capacity. It assumes that vertical prosecution leads to less lenient plea bargaining offers, and that a year of sentence served by a serious offender has greater value to society than a year served by a less serious one. Use of a simulation model based on these principles indicated that vertical prosecution selection rules placing negative weight on conviction probability yielded higher utility than those placing no weight in this area, which in turn yielded more utility than rules placing positive weight on conviction probability. Because career criminal bureaus charged with prosecuting offenders with histories of serious criminal activity are judged on their conviction rates, they tend to assign high positive weight to the probability of conviction of cases, while random selection of cases for prosecution would probably yield greater utility. Selection of cases based on their probability of benefiting from the enhanced prosecutoral effort involved in vertical prosecution is the best approach. Graphs, tabular data, notes, and seven references are provided.
Index Term(s): Bail bonds; Convicted offender incapacitation; Conviction records; Habitual offenders; Plea negotiations; Prosecutorial screening; Sentencing/Sanctions
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