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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78682 Find in a Library
Title: Deferred Prosecution - A Critical Analysis of Michigan Programs
Journal: Detroit College of Law Review  Volume:1978  Dated:(Fall 1978)  Pages:433-456
Author(s): K M Goetsch
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 24
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article analyzes the concept of deferred prosecution, focusing primarily on existing programs in Michigan with special emphasis on the Genesee County Citizen's Probation Authority.
Abstract: Constitutional and legal issues involved in deferred prosecution include prosecutorial discretion administered fairly and impartially, the practice of plea bargaining, and the prosecutor's authority to restrict the liberty of individuals referred to the program. To date, the constitutionality of deferred prosecution programs in Michigan has not been challenged. Nevertheless, if the program is to be truly effective and capable of withstanding possible constitutional challenges, the coercive nature of deferred prosecution and the applicabilty of such sixth amendment privileges as the right to counsel and the right to a speedy trial must be considered. Because of the nature of the Genesee program, the right to counsel may be easily disregarded. However, it is doubtful that the speedy trial guarantee represents a serious challenge to diversion. The case of United States v. Marion announced that the guarantee to a speedy trial attaches only after the defendant has been formally charged and indicted. The Court held that delay in bringing charges against an individual does not violate the person's constitutional right to a speedy trial. An assessment of deferred prosecution programs in Michigan examines such controversial aspects as the validity of the programs' announced goals, coordination among the various county programs, and coordination between these programs and traditional probation programs. The need for standardization of these programs is underscored, as there are currently no minimum standards or guidelines to aid a prosecutor in administering a program of deferred prosecution. Guidelines for selection and participation should be established, and minimum standards should be adopted to ensure that all program participants enjoy their constitutional guarantees. Such legislation should also allow enough flexibility to mold a program to the individual needs of the community. A total of 113 footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Deferred prosecution programs; Law reform; Michigan; Program coordination; Services effectiveness
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