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NCJ Number: 99248 Find in a Library
Title: Prosecutors, Courts, and Police - Some Constraints on the Police Chief Executive (From Police Leadership in America, P 203-215, 1985, William A Geller, ed. - See NCJ-98325)
Author(s): W F McDonald
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Praeger Publishers
Westport, CT 06881
Sale Source: Praeger Publishers
88 Post Road West
Westport, CT 06881
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Conflict between the police and court (judges and prosecutors) components of the criminal justice system is inherent in the checks and balances provided, but unecessary conflict can be reduced by improved police-court cooperation and improved police case building.
Abstract: Police antagonism toward courts and prosecutors due to perceived sentence leniency and frequent plea bargaining results more from misperception and professional insecurities than from real differences in desired outcomes for specific cases. The conflict between police and prosecutors is often derived from a police misunderstanding of the legal parameters within which the prosecutor must work. What the prosecutor is capable of achieving in a given case is largely based on the information supplied by the police in the investigative report. When the prosecutor decides the police evidence is insufficent to support the charge, then the case will usually be dismissed or plea bargained. The police chief can help remedy this situation by ascertaining the evidential screening standards used by the prosecutor and ensuring that those standards are met before a case is passed to the prosecutor. The police should appreciate, however, that the court's standard for guilt (beyond a reasonable doubt) is more rigid than the police standard for arrest (probable cause). Twenty-one notes are provided.
Index Term(s): Plea negotiations; Police attitudes; Police chiefs; Police court relations; Police management; Police prosecutor relations
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