Court Process

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  1. Rhetoric of the court
    • due process - neutral, fair, transparent, visible
    • favours the accused
    • distributes justice
  2. Rhetoric of the court BUT
    • BUT only 3% of cases come to court
    • 90% of cases end in conviction
    • Thus, while it claims to be about due process actually about crime control and conviction
  3. Reality of the court
    • trials marginal importance to courts
    • mostly a bureaucratic process
    • 3% of cases come to court - filtered out through reporting, recording, referrals
  4. Reality of the court - plea bargaining
    • MOJ 2012 - 90% offenders guilty plea 
    • plea bargaining in the accuses interests
    • use backstage processes between prosecution and defense to bargain for a lesser sentence
    • Thus, not a due process - not as transparent
  5. BUT filtering out cases important for justice
    • may limit "secondary victimisation" 
    • may not be in the public interest to go to court - waste of time and money
    • BUT perhaps it is more important for justice that cases get prosecuted
    • justice for victims
    • protection for communities
  6. Order in the court - degradation ceremonies
    • place that primarily deals with conflict - controlled setting
    • strips power from accused
    • artificial expressions, rituals, tradiitons, uncontrolled time
    • architectural set up
    • Thus, creates a "degradation ceremony" (Garfinkel) creating "docile bodies" (Foucalt) 
    • artifical justice built on power relations
  7. Sentencing in theory
    • external influences should not effect judges
    • duty to be impartial and politically neutral
  8. sentencing in reality
    • use their background and experience 
    • an intuitive rather than rational process
    • Thus, judges do not act according to formal rules
  9. sentencing in practise
    • English Riots 2011
    • courts faced massive volume of cases
    • over 70% were given custodial sentences
    • sentences 4x longer than average
    • DC condemned riots
    • Thus, dramatic punitive shift in sentencing
    • shows how political climate/context can influence a judge's sentence
  10. Discretion - crucial for justice!
    • "suiting action to particular circumstances"
    • human behaviour is so complex so no case is the same
    • flexibility and tailored to every case
    • showing of mercy and compassion
    • BUT injustice - allows for discrimination/inconsistency
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Court Process
2015-05-05 17:19:12
Court Process nicole

Court Process
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