By David W. Neubauer
Textbook for felony justice type, university point.
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Extra resources for America's Courts and the Criminal Justice System (9th Edition)
The more felons the police arrest, the greater the workload of the prosecutors; and the more overcrowded the prisons, the more difficult it is for judges to sentence the guilty. 1 The Overlapping Circles of the Criminal Justice System An Interdependent Criminal Justice System Viewing the various components of criminal justice as a system highlights the fact that these different agencies are interdependent and interrelated (Walker 1992). Police, courts, and corrections are separate government institutions with different goals, histories, and operating procedures.
Judges Judges in state courts are by and large elected by the voters. S. Senate. ■ Courts, Crime, and Controversy 11 Judges are the ultimate authority figures in the courthouse because only judges can set bail, only judges can instruct jurors about the meaning of the law, and only judges can impose sentences. Exercising this authority, though, is limited by the reality of high caseloads. The quickest way to dispose of cases is by a plea of guilty. Thus judges must be responsive to prosecutors and defense attorneys if they are to achieve their principal goal of disposing of cases.
Evidence Formal and informal exchange of information before trial. Prosecutors turn over evidence of guilt in hopes of obtaining a plea of guilty. Defense may seek to have evidence suppressed because it was collected in a way that violates the Constitution. Suppression motions are rarely granted but are at the heart of a major debate. Plea negotiations The defendant pleads guilty with the expectation of receiving some beneﬁt. About 90 to 95 percent of felony defendants admit their guilt. Trial A fact-ﬁnding process using the adversarial method before a judge or a jury.