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Dynamics Of Courthouse Justice. Chapter Five. Lawyers: Prosecutor Public Defender Private Defense Attorney Judge Law clerk. Court Support Staff: Clerk of Court Court Reporter Secretary Translator Court Administrator. Courthouse Actors . Law Enforcement: Court Security Staff

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Dynamics Of Courthouse Justice

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Dynamics of courthouse justice l.jpg

Dynamics Of Courthouse Justice

Chapter Five


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Lawyers:

Prosecutor

Public Defender

Private Defense Attorney

Judge

Law clerk

Court Support Staff:

Clerk of Court

Court Reporter

Secretary

Translator

Court Administrator

Courthouse Actors


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Law Enforcement:

Court Security Staff

Sheriff’s Deputy

Bailiff

Corrections:

Probation Officer

Pretrial Services

Drug Rehabilitation Programs

Public

Bail Agent

Newspaper Reporter

Defendant

Victim

Witness

Jurors

Rape Crises Center

Child Advocate

Court watchers

Victim/Witness Assistance

Other Courthouse Actors


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Who Manages the Courts?

  • Job varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction

  • Most common variation include:

    • Clerks of Court

    • Chief Judges

    • Court Administrators


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Clerk of Court

  • Responsibilities:

    • Docketing (Scheduling) cases

    • Collecting fees

    • Overseeing Jury Selection

    • Maintaining court records

  • Most operate semi-autonomously from the judge


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Assembly-Line Justice

  • The operation of any segment of the criminal justice system with such speed and impersonality that defendants are treated as objects to be processed rather than as as individuals.

  • This is due to the disparity between the number of cases vs the number of judges and the number of prosecutors, defense attorneys, and probation officers.

  • Mass-production techniques are utilized.


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Discretion

  • The lawful ability of an agent of government to exercise choice in making a decisions.

  • Three sub-components:

    • Legal Judgments

    • Policy Priorities

    • Personal Philosophies


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Legal Judgments

Examples:

  • Prosecutor decides whether or not to file criminal charges

  • Prosecutor decides which charge(s) to file

  • Prosecution decides to utilize pre-trial diversion or probation


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The Courtroom Workgroup

  • Mutual Interdependence

  • Shared Decision Making

  • Socialization

  • Normal Crimes

  • Rewards and Sanctions

  • Variability


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Delays in Court

  • Delay: abnormal or unacceptable time lapses in the processing of cases.

  • The American Bar Association (ABA) recommends that all felony cases should reach disposition within one year of filing.

  • Court delay jeopardizes the 6th Amendment.

  • Number of states have enacted speedy trial laws


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Speedy Trial Issues

  • Sixth Amendment

    • Right to a speedy trial.

  • Speedy Trial Act of 1974 (Federal)

    • 30 days from arrest to arraignment

    • 70 days form indictment to trial

  • Barker v. Wingo

    • The right to a speedy trial is relative, not absolute.


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