Task Force Report: The Courts

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U.S. Government Printing Office, 1967 - Criminal justice, Administration of - 178 pages
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This report of the Task Force on the Administration of Justice of the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice presents findings and recommendations that relate to problems facing the Nation's criminal courts. The report is not a comprehensive survey of American criminal courts or of the activities of the personnel related to them. It confines itself to those parts of the court system and those aspects of the criminal process that the Commission believes are in most need of reform. It focuses on urban courts, particularly urban lower courts. Two important nontrial aspects of the criminal process are considered in detail: the prosecutor's charge decision and the negotiated guilty plea. These administrative and largely invisible procedures now determine the disposition of most criminal cases in many urban courts. The task force also analyzes the sentencing decision, the laws under which it is made, the procedures by which it is made, and the training of the men who make it. It discusses the problems associated with the pretrial release of defendants and explores such subjects as structural reorganization of the courts, methods for scheduling cases and ensuring that they proceed expeditiously, and the management of jurors and witnesses. The report recognizes the importance of substantive criminal law reform and the inherent limits of effective law enforcement. Reflected in the report is the Commission's finding that a major need of many courts is more, better qualified, and better trained personnel. It examines the selection and training of judges and prosecutors.

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The Negotiated Plea of Guilty
The Exercise of Court Sentencing Authority

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