Based on the landmark 1957 American Bar Foundation survey, this anthology gives a systemic view of the criminal justice system, in terms of the decisions made by police, prosecutors, judges, and corrections officials: practitioners prefer flexibility to rules; discretion is exercised mostly at the lowest levels of the …
How is discretion used in the criminal justice system?
discretion can enable judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and/or juries to implement sentencing policies in line with their own views, even if these policies conflict with formal law.
Why discretion exists within the criminal justice process?
Excessive reliance on discretion has a deeper effect. It hides malfunctions in the criminal justice system and avoids difficult policy judgments by giving the appearance that they do not have to be made. It obscures the need for additional resources and makes misapplication of available resources more likely.
What is discretion criminology?
When a police officer suspects that a person has committed an offence they will exercise judgement (or discretion) as to how best to proceed. … 14.22 In other circumstances, the exercise of discretion relates to decisions about how to initiate a criminal justice response.
What type of discretion do judges exercise?
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.
What is the function of discretion?
In a functional sense, discretion is often used by both legislators and judges to achieve fairness in procedure as well as in outcome. It enables judges, who are best placed to consider the particular facts of any given case, to identify what fairness may require in the circumstances.
Why is prosecutorial discretion so important to the criminal justice system?
Prosecutorial discretion also allows prosecutors to secure the cooperation of witness defendants by allowing them to offer reduced sentences or charges in exchange for testimony against another defendant.
What is the purpose of controlling police discretion?
The exercise of police discretion is a decision-making process, as officers evaluate the situations in which they intervene and choose a course of action from among a set of alternatives; if their involvement is not at the request of a citizen, they also make decisions about whether to intervene.
What does discretion mean in law?
Discretion is the power of officials to act according to the dictates of their own judgment and conscience. … If the plaintiff or the defendant thinks that the trial court judge has abused the discretion, the party can appeal the case.
What does exercise discretion mean?
The exercise of discretion and independent judgment implies that one has authority to make an independent choice, free from immediate direction or supervision. However, discretion and independent judgment can be exercised even if the decision or recommendation is reviewed at a higher level.
What is the biblical definition of discretion?
2 : the quality of having or showing discernment or good judgment : the quality of being discreet : circumspection especially : cautious reserve in speech. 3 : ability to make responsible decisions.
What does it mean to exercise discretion?
What is the exercise of discretion? … Discretion exists when the decision maker has the power to make a choice about whether to act or not act, to approve or not approve, or to approve with conditions. The role of the decision maker is to make a judgement taking into account all relevant information.
When do judges use discretion?
Judicial discretion refers to a judge’s power to make a decision based on his or her individualized evaluation, guided by the principles of law. Judicial discretion gives courts immense power which is exercised when legislature allows for it.
Do judges have discretion in sentencing?
Judicial Discretion Definition
Its judicious use increases fairness and can help to promote an equitable legal process by allowing the judge to consider individual circumstances in instances when the law is insufficient or silent.
Can a judge exercise discretionary power to allow or disallow evidence?
They are permitted to exercise discretionary power in determining what evidence will be allowed, how the evidence will be considered by the judge or jury, and what remedies are available. In family law cases, judges use discretionary powers in deciding what they feel is best for the children.