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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98119 Find in a Library
Title: Protecting Defendants' Rights - A Review of the Literature on State and Federal Courts (From Courts and Criminal Justice, P 121-135, 1985, Susette M Talarico, ed. - See NCJ-98113)
Author(s): J E Call
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A review of the literature on State and Federal courts concludes that the Federal courts are more liberal in the sense that their efforts to protect defendants' rights are stronger, but that the gap between Federal and State courts is not great.
Abstract: The literature review examined five categories of studies from the social science and legal literature. These included descriptive empirical studies, judicial role literature, judicial compliance literature, literature on the expanding role of State courts, and empirical studies comparing Federal and State court output. 'Liberal' was considered to be an emphasis on protecting the defendant's right to equal treatment and minimizing errors in the criminal process, even if the result was a less efficient process. 'Conservative' was defined as identifying with the interests of dominant groups in society by emphasizing a quick and efficient criminal process. Many of the 17 descriptive empirical studies used old data. They suggested that both State and Federal courts are at least moderate. The two judicial role studies suggested more liberalism in Federal courts than in State courts. Judicial compliance literature focusing on lower courts' compliance with Supreme Court mandates also suggested more liberality in the Federal courts, although the liberality is not great. The literature on State courts suggests that these courts are not as conservative as the legal literature indicates. Five comparative quantitative studies provide moderate support for the conclusion that Federal courts are more liberal. All the groups of literature have significant limitations, particularly the age of their data. However, they show that although a gap exists between the Federal and State courts, the gap is closing. These conclusions also appear to apply to the relative liberalism of State and Federal courts on criminal justice issues. A list of cases, 5 notes and 54 references are listed.
Index Term(s): Federal courts; Literature reviews; Rights of the accused; State courts
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