Departure Of The Court System Essay

1779 words - 8 pages

Criminal Justice Administration
MET CJ 831
Assignment 3
02-09-2015

Our judicial system has been around to dissolve disputes since our founding fathers. The adversarial system is the foundation of our court system as we know it today. But because our nation has changed immensely since our founding fathers, the judicial system has been forced to change in order to be accommodating. It hasn’t been replaced over time but modified to fit the needs of the system and its society. The formality of the system, from its laws and process all the way down to the décor and decorum within the courtroom, reflects the impression we have of the judicial system. The ...view middle of the document...

186), case delays arise. This causes problems such as overcrowded jails, public confidence, overworked police officers, and unproductive attorneys. (Peak, 2012) This, in turn, can cause defendants to either accept a plea or use bargaining tools. Plea bargaining is when a defendant pleads guilty and/or agrees to a lesser charge or sentence. Plea bargaining is utilized as a result of time constraints. The due process model opposes pleas because it takes away the protections of the accused. Plea bargains are a characteristic of the crime control model; which speeds of the criminal process. Many questions have churned within the system of whether plea bargains are harmful or helpful to the accused.
According to Nardulli, et al (1985), “an essential component of due process is the right to waive formal rights, prerogatives and proceedings, as long as the waiver is knowing and voluntary.” (p. 1105) He also states, “other important components of due process are so routinely provided- apprisements of legal rights, prompt arraignments and bail settings, provision of counsel for the indigent, probable cause hearings- that an inquiry into their provision would be unprofitable.” (p. 1106) Nardulli argues that plea bargaining is essential in criminal courts due to the large number of cases being processed through the system. If due process occurred in every case, it still does not convey a degree of fairness. Because due process is so elemental and lengthy, it does not guarantee that the accused will profit since to judges, attorneys, and jurors may become impatient. Looking at the percentages Nardulli (1985) gives from the nine county sample taken, guilty pleas account for 93% of all convictions. (p. 1106) Fairness can still be applied in plea bargaining cases; as long as the accused is knowledgeable of the process of pleading, and given the same rights and protected like in due process cases.
In “Why the “Haves” come out ahead”, Galanter (1974) discusses that adjudication is not always fair and points out a few inequalities of the legal system. The differences between one-shotters (OS) and repeat players (RP) are one of the main arguments made by Galanter. He states, “It is a society in which actors with different amounts of wealth and power are constantly in competitive or partially cooperative relationships in which they have opposing interests.” (Galanter, 1974, p. 2) One-shotters are people that have only little vested interest in the court system. They rarely make or defend claims. Repeat players are those that, over time, are more experienced with court settings and the system. Examples of one-shotters are people in divorce cases or child custody cases; repeat players could be insurance companies or banks. (Mastrorilli, 2015) Typically, the RP is a larger unit and the stakes in any given case are smaller (relative to total worth) and OSs are usually smaller units and the stakes represented by the tangible outcome of the case...

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