How does the judicial discretion affect the criminal process

Jump to navigation Jump to search Judicial discretion is the power of the judiciary to make some legal decisions according to their discretion. Under the doctrine of the separation of powersthe ability of judges to exercise discretion is an aspect of judicial independence. Where appropriate, judicial discretion allows a judge to decide a legal case or matter within a range of possible decisions. However, where the exercise of discretion goes beyond constraints set down by legislationby binding precedentor by a constitutionthe court may be abusing its discretion and undermining the rule of law.

How does the judicial discretion affect the criminal process

The rules themselves are usually the result of discretion by other actors in the criminal justice system, such as the legislature, which has created the criminal code for the jurisdiction. However, even the most detailed rules allow for discretion, and it is possible that this discretion will allow actors subject to the rules to countermand or contradict the rules.

The best example of this type of contradiction comes in the case of mandatory sentences, where legislative intent is frequently averted through the use of prosecutorial discretion.

In the case of sentencing, disparity involves the application of different punishments to cases that appear to be identical on the merits, or alternatively, the application of same punishment to cases that appear different.

It is common to focus on disparity along a particular dimension, such as race. Disparity in this framework takes on a different meaning, and refers instead to the fact that individuals with a given characteristic are over- or under- represented in the criminal justice system relative to their representation either in the population or in the commission of a type of crime.

Racial disparity is further decomposed into two types: Warranted disparity is the variation in outcomes due to legally relevant factors such as criminal history, crime type, and crime severity, which are correlated with race.

Unwarranted disparity is the variation in outcomes that can be reasonably identified as being the sole result of race or other extralegal factors e. This framework crystallizes the importance of rules in the empirical analysis of discretion.

For both of these reasons, any discussion of discretion must start from a review of the goals of the system and an understanding of how these goals are reflected in the formal rules of a system with many moving parts.

They describe the CJS as a complicated set of interdependent actors who act on cases involving individuals accused of crimes. Samuel Walker adds that the term system is perhaps misleading, because the police, courts, and corrections are largely independent of one another, although the actions of each set of actors clearly have an impact on the others.

For example, while judges can exercise discretion only in cases involving arrested offenders that prosecutors charge with crimes, sentencing policies and practices influence the actions of police and prosecutors. Because of the salience of sentencing policy to the exercise of discretion generally, sentencing policy warrants treatment as a driver of discretion.

The Role of Discretion in the Criminal Justice System

Two other classics on discretion are also included here: First, Dworkin treatment of the subject, which distinguishes between the routine exercise of discretion and the more controversial use of discretion to alter policies viewed as misguided; and second, Gottfredson and Gottfredsona book on discretion, which offers a thoughtful account of the essential aspects of discretion and how it can be used effectively to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system.

It distinguishes discretion from ordinary personal decision making, not accountable to a set of standards or a higher authority p. Decision making in criminal justice: Toward the rational exercise of discretion.

How does the judicial discretion affect the criminal process

This text is probably best for a graduate-level class. National Research Council The search for reform. Edited by Alfred Blumstein, 39— The first chapter is a very readable discussion of the actors in the system, including the legislatures. Recommended for all readers. Discretion in criminal justice: The tension between individualization and uniformity.

The challenge of crime in a free society.

How does the judicial discretion affect the criminal process

The document is also notable for its consideration of police, courts, and corrections chapters 4, 5, and 6 in the context of crime control. An updated version of the chart can be found on the Bureau of Justice Statistics website.

Judicial Discretion: Ten Guidelines for Its Use

Origins of the contemporary criminal justice paradigm: The American Bar Foundation survey, — The paper is very readable and should generate much discussion about the importance of paradigms in a graduate or undergraduate class. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page.

Please subscribe or login. How to Subscribe Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.Judicial discretion is the power of the judiciary to make some legal decisions according to their discretion.

Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the ability of judges to exercise discretion is an aspect of judicial independence. Where appropriate, judicial discretion allows a judge to decide a legal case or matter within a range of possible decisions.

Judicial discretion does have limits—generally imposed, firstly, by each judge’s own values and philosophy and, secondly, by appellate courts. In certain cases, luck is needed to be granted appellate review for an abuse of discretion.

Judicial discretion is useful in facilitating pleas amongst members of the courtroom workgroup because it enables the judge to act as a sort of mediator between the parties. Judicial discretion allows the judge to make amended plea agreements that are agreeable to both parties (if not desirable). Judicial discretion does have limits—generally imposed, firstly, by each judge’s own values and philosophy and, secondly, by appellate courts.

Judicial Discretion: Melding Messy Facts and Pristine Law « Bench and Bar of Minnesota

In certain cases, luck is needed to be granted appellate review for an abuse of discretion. The use of discretion when sentencing criminals Discretion is referred as the power of the judiciary which enables them to make legal decisions at their own discretion.

Throughout the criminal process discretion is evident, from the police to the regulatory agencies right through to the Crown Prosecution Service. The use of discretion when sentencing criminals Discretion is referred as the power of the judiciary which enables them to make legal decisions at their own discretion.

Throughout the criminal process discretion is evident, from the police to the regulatory agencies right through to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Judicial Discretion: Ten Guidelines for Its Use | The National Judicial College