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NCJ Number: 99545 Find in a Library
Title: Pre-Trial Justice - A Study of Case Settlement in Magistrates' Courts
Author(s): J Baldwin
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 188
Sponsoring Agency: Basil Blackwell, Inc.
New York, NY 10016
Sale Source: Basil Blackwell, Inc.
432 Park Avenue South
Ste 1505
New York, NY 10016
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Drawing upon hundreds of pretrial reviews in criminal cases before British magistrates' courts, this book describes pretrial reviews (principally in the Nottingham and Leeds courts), quantifies the incidence and effects of pretrial review, discusses implications, and indicates interconnections with plea bargaining in British higher courts and U.S. courts.
Abstract: The introductory chapter discusses the origin of pretrial review and compares pretrial conferences in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Nottingham system is reviewed with a description of the informal, pragmatic interaction between defense and prosecuting attorneys. A primary purpose of the process is defense discovery; defense disclosure is not required under British law. Guilty pleas arising from pretrial review cannot produce reduced sentences, but a defendant may realize reduced charges. Pretrial review procedures and effects in the Leeds Magistrates' Court are illustrated with case studies. The concluding chapter notes that pretrial review in the magistrates' courts shows that both prosecution and defense attorneys can engage in pretrial discovery in an amicable and useful manner so as to benefit case processing efficiency. The book expresses concern about the defendant being absent from pretrial review sessions as well as about the absence of definitive safeguards for the accused in these sessions. Given such safeguards, the author does not view pretrial review as being a threat to basic justice values. Chapter notes and approximately 150 references are listed.
Index Term(s): England; Plea negotiations; Pretrial conferences; Pretrial discovery
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