Define discretion in criminal justice. The Criminal Justice System 2019-03-07

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Discretion legal definition of discretion

define discretion in criminal justice

However, because Company D's silence adversely affected others who are entitled to fair regulatory treatment and because Company E deprived those legally responsible for evaluating cleanup needs of the ability to carry out their functions, the likelihood of their totally escaping criminal prosecution is significantly reduced. Police are presented with a multitude of unique situations on a daily basis. In arriving at an appropriate sentence, a sentencing hearing may be held at which evidence of aggravating or mitigating circumstances is considered. The discretion of legislatures is also limited by the U. Klockars, Carl … Grass Eater Criminal Justice Definition — Criminal Justice … Grass Eater Criminal Justice Definition. It also provides a significant opportunity for leniency and mercy in a system that is frequently marked by broad and harsh criminal laws, and, increasingly in the last decades of the twentieth century, by legislative limitations on judges' sentencing discretion.

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Prosecutorial Discretion

define discretion in criminal justice

Gun sales and gun control. These due process values are particularly important where the stakes are as high as they are in the criminal justice system. Otherwise, the company demonstrated no good faith either in terms of compliance efforts or in assisting the government in obtaining a full understanding of the violation and discovering its sources. Those in a position of are most often able to exercise discretion as to how they will apply or exercise that power. Finally, the prosecutor has, for the most part, discretion in the strong sense as well, because, outside the limited zones in which the prosecutor's judgment might in principle be regarded as unlawful, it is up to the prosecutor herself to decide what principles should influence the decision whether to proceed and how much weight should be given to each. Often, the defense counsel is also assigned at the initial appearance. Klofas, Stojkovic, and Kalinich 1990 use the term deprofessionalization to describe this process.

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Discretion in the Criminal Justice System

define discretion in criminal justice

When juveniles are referred to the juvenile courts, the court's intake department or the prosecuting attorney determines whether sufficient grounds exist to warrant filing a petition that requests an adjudicatory hearing or a request to transfer jurisdiction to criminal court. The critics then question whether it should continue. At one time, the sentencing of those convicted of crimes was almost entirely within the discretion of judges. Judges could take into account various mitigating factors circumstances reducing the degree of blame or fault attributed to the offender and craft a punishment that most appropriately fit the crime. Laws, in this view, should be clear and relatively self-executing, to prevent officials from applying subjective and potentially biased standards. If he had been a businessman or a banker would he have been fired? See Federal Principles of Prosecution U. Indeed, in that situation, courts even apply a presumption of vindictiveness, requiring prosecutors to bear the burden of proving that the decision to increase the charge was not retaliatory.

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Prosecution: Prosecutorial Discretion

define discretion in criminal justice

In some jurisdictions, defendants, often those without prior criminal records, may be eligible for diversion from prosecution subject to the completion of specific conditions such as drug treatment. Statutes and prior judicial decisions limit the flexibility and discretion of a judge in a court of law. A Penchant for Prejudice: Unraveling Bias in Judicial Decision Making. In recent years other States have sought to limit the judges discretion in sentencing by passing mandatory sentencing laws that require prison sentences for certain offenses. Like the police, prosecutors have broad power to institute investigations, and can choose among different investigative tools, generally without judicial supervision or constraint. The limits of discretion vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. If the accused pleads not guilty or not guilty by reason of insanity, a date is set for the trial.

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Discretion

define discretion in criminal justice

Moreover, the Supreme Court has held that the ordinary trade-offs of plea bargaining, in which a defendant forgoes a right in exchange for a reduction in charges, are legitimate, and do not constitute the equivalent of vindictively punishing those defendants who do choose to exercise their rights. In this place questionable police tactics are being performed and, in a sense, covered up with police privilege backed by government support. This definition is useful as it allows discretion to be considered in a legal context rather than only when police officers operate illegally and decide to commit prohibited acts, which is not considered to be lawful discretion. Examples: 1 a judge may have discretion as to the amount of a fine or whether to grant a continuance of a trial; 2 a trustee or executor of an estate may have discretion to divide assets among the beneficiaries so long as the value to each is approximately equal; 3 a district attorney may have discretion to charge a crime as a misdemeanor maximum term of one year or felony; 4 a Governor may have discretion to grant a pardon; or 5 a planning commission may use its discretion to grant or not to grant a variance to a zoning ordinance. They will be viewed as competent, and integrity will rise. Most jurisdictions permit the judge to set the sentence length within certain limits, but some have determinate sentencing laws that stipulate a specific sentence length that must be served and cannot be altered by a parole board. On the other hand, the standards are generally quite vague and admit of numerous and often subjective exceptions and qualifications.

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NCJRS Abstract

define discretion in criminal justice

Consideration should also be given to the extent and quality of the violator's assistance to the government's investigation. Police officers do enjoy unique rights and privileges within a community due to their position of power. It has not done so to date. Consequently, the effect of a given mix of factors also is a matter of degree. Officers felt that when they are forced to arrest suspects in cases where they would otherwise operationally decide against charges, their ethical standards would be compromised as they believed that such charges would be unjust. A complicating fact here is that environmental regulatory programs are self policing: they include a substantial number of reporting requirements. Judicial Discretion Judicial discretion is a very broad concept because of the different kinds of decisions made by judges and because of the different limits placed on those decisions.

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Criminology Definition Of Police Discretion

define discretion in criminal justice

Not every case will include all these steps, and not all cases directly follow this sequence. In this instance, an officer is mandated to charge where there is evidence even if the officer feels charges are not appropriate and go against the goals of the client—for example, if the victim does not wish to pursue charges Rowe, 2007. What makes these events unusual is that they occurred during a bail hearing. Fourth, prosecutors frequently exercise discretion for tactical reasons. Optima lex quae minimum relinquit arbitrio judicis: optimus judex qui minimum sibi. Also, most states have automated notification systems that allow registered victims those who sign up to check on the status of an offender at any time. While police services chronically lack the resources to formally enforce all laws, they must, as a result, allow officers to determine which laws will be enforced at the operational level Crawshaw, Devlin and Williamson, 1998; Lipsky, 1980.

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Discretion in Decision Making legal definition of Discretion in Decision Making

define discretion in criminal justice

At fourteen, children are said to have acquired legal discretion. Police integrity means that the police are functioning within their legal authority, in accordance with established police practices and in a fair way that is consistent with what the community expects. Moreover, to the extent that the criteria for prosecution correctly include judgments about the social utility to be gained from the prosecution, as well as a moral evaluation of the wrongfulness of the defendant's conduct, the prosecutor —or at least some analogous, politically responsible official of the executive branch —is probably better placed, and has more political authority, to evaluate these factors than a judge. The use of discretion allows the police officer the flexibility necessary to perform his job. As already discussed, this includes the power to compromise or settle the case by accepting a lesser plea in satisfaction of the original charges. Most of us would agree with the officer's choice.

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The Role of Discretion in the Criminal Justice System

define discretion in criminal justice

. For statistics on this subject, see -- · Corrections Offenders sentenced to incarceration usually serve time in a local jail or a State prison. Effective crime control depends on mutual trust and respect between law enforcement and the community. Should an officer ticket every person that speeds? However, that's only true if the profession is viewed as having high standards and high quality professionalism. Without thoroughgoing reform of the —a reform that may be impossible to achieve politically —the discretion of prosecutors and judges, it is argued, are necessary to avoid the injustice that would result from literal application of severe and ill-considered criminal statutes.

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