Free Essay on Discretion and the Criminal Justice Professional for Judges

Published: 2022-11-21
Free Essay on Discretion and the Criminal Justice Professional for Judges
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Criminal law Judicial system Criminal justice
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1841 words
16 min read

Discretion stand is denoted as the latitude that allowed officials to take action under a formal set of rules as well as in a public capacity. The rules usually are the outcome of criminal justice system actors including the legislature which has made the jurisdiction's criminal code. Nevertheless, despite having the most detailed rules that facilitate discretion, it is likely that discretion only allows actors to be subjective to rules of countermanding to contracting the regulations. In regards to sentencing disparity takes the form of the application of various punishments to cases that appear the same in merits or else the use of the same punishment to cases that seem to be different (Symons, 2019). This paper analysis in detail discretion and the criminal justice professionals taking into account when the use of professional discretion crosses ethical boundaries for judges.

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As noted by Dworkin (2017), discretion brings up the power or right of deciding or acting by personal judgment. It is worth noting that the criminal justice elements including law enforcement officers, judges, prosecuting attorneys, correction officers together with probation officers are all confronted with decision-making that requires discretion in the entire process of criminal justice. In this regard, the truth of the matter is that the criminal justice process instigates with the choice of arrest by the field's law enforcement officer. Then the case is brought forward to the put on the trial judge, and various possibilities thereof are availed regarding the discretion decision to have the matter resolved. It is imperative to note that law enforcement officers out of necessity must take part In the aspect of selective in regard to the execution of the laws and have to choose from different courses of action to have the matter resolved. It's a must that officers use discretion in deciding in certain circumstances whether to have the law enforced. A good case in point is the existence of unclear rules, ambiguity in statutes of states, moral standards, nuisance as well as outlawed codes can cause the law enforcement officer to find the problem's alternative solution. Since discretion remains to be a significant component to enforcement of the law, the reality of the matter is that a quite number of discretionary decisions are grounded on traffic enforcement or misdemeanor. Officers are required to follow a given state statute, agency policy as well as procedure whenever making such choices (Kaczmarek & et al., 2018).

After the arresting decisions, the case is thereof brought forth to the prosecuting attorney to have the decision filed. The job of the prosecutor mainly entail seeking justice and not conviction. Hence numerous cases tend towards issuing a nolle prosequi if not downgraded to lesser charges. In this setup therefor the prosecutor may give different pleas of agreement taking into account probation, suspended sentences, of significance assistance. Once the agreement between defense lawyers and the prosecuting lawyers becomes available, then the judge can use his/ her discretion by way of approving solutions recommended by the state or else amend the agreement. It is imperative to note that judges have the authority of issuing warrants, oversee the pretrial activity, preside over hearing as well as trial, make a decision of whether culpability or innocence in some instances, thereby also transistorizing sentence on the convicted. In regards to crime cases, often judges intermediate between state attorney and prosecutor. The bottom line is that judges are required to decide innocence or guilt thereby issuing sentencing grounded sentencing guidelines or judicial discretion. Following the sentence, correctional and probationary officers are held accountable for monitoring as well as overseeing the suggested sentence. Probation officers have the capacity of using discretion when commanding violation or indicating early release. Similar discretionary decisions are faced by Parole officers whenever denying or recommending incarcerated defendants' early release also when violating agreement of conditional release. From the above inputs, it is apparent that discretion remains a significant part of the process of criminal justice.

All in all the truth of the matter is that the above judicial system lacks total discretion and are expected to operate within a broad principle of legality boundaries. Such boundaries comprised of U.S. and state constitutions although ambiguity regarding the words of laws often results in an indiscretion. This is given the fact that words, unlike numbers, are not perfect as they often interpreted to have various meaning. Hence in regards to this, full enforcement of the law remains impossible thereby making discretion a fundamental necessity of the process of criminal justice (Banks, 2012).

When the use of professional discretion cross ethical boundaries for judges

As noted by Leys (2018), the same as prosecutors together with defense attorneys have the potential of behaving unethically, the same applies to judges who also are not immune to taking part in behaviors that are inappropriate. One of the essential judge's ethical responsibility entails being impartial. In regards to this, the independence of the judiciary, as well as integrity, stands to be vital. The freedom of the court should take into consideration the aspect of being independent of other government's branches together with the personal independence as well as the integrity of the involved judges in making sure that they remain uninfluenced by any deliberations concerning their undertakings as judges. By code of behavior of judicial, it is undertaken that a judge will evade indecency as well as look of indecency regarding all activities of a judge. It is also initiated that a judge ought not to hold any organization's membership that has the basis of discrimination on the ground of race, gender, national origin or religion.

Judicial accountability remains to be another aspect that keeps judges answerable for their engagements. It is required that judges disqualify themselves from any cases that might result in their impartial being questioned, for instance in cases where a judge might be having financial or any other interests. This was strengthened following the endorsement of judicial conference policy regarding compulsory screening of conflict in identifying a monetary conflict upon which federal judges ought to poses in regards to cases appearing before them. It is equally imperative to note that juries are occasionally summoned to join informative trips supported by particular groups. The reality of the matter is that sometimes, in the end, these undertakings gives rise to the ethical subject that juries would be subjective in favor of the program's promoters or concerning corporation upon which they ought to be having financial interests. It is worth noting that it stand more of the appearance of the indecency than the real unethical action of a given judge that generates apprehensions. According to the Judicial conference policy regarding attendance of the judges at educational programs privately funded, a judge ought not to agree to take any food, accommodation, travel, recompense or anything perceived to be a gift in the regulations of Judicial Conference Ethics Reform Act Gift. These are some of the policies brought forward to allay fears associated with unethical behaviors by the public perception concerning federal judges (Richman, 2019).

According to Alfini and et al. (2018), two main areas upon which judges tend to exercise their discretion include interpretation of the law and second to that is sentencing. In the process of interpreting the law, on some occasion a judge might be caught up in hypertechnical laws application at the cost of fairness and equity. It is also worth noting that in the before the guidelines of federal sentencing, there is a disparity of sentencing as a result of the various individual judge's patterns of sentencing. Regardless of the situation at all times judges are required to be fair, just, as well as impartial, in meeting out all equal treatments to everyone and more importantly upholding the neutral position of judge besides behaving in a manner that is fitting for a judge together with the pristine office of judicial.

Codes of the judicial conduct consistently call for the judge to be at all times competent. It is worth to note that the United States judges' code of conduct remains typical and undertakes that a judge needs to be faithful to as well as maintaining professional competency in law. In this regard, the truth of the matter is that competence takes into account various components that include intellectual capacity, good judgment, and knowledge of the law, the role of judge and judicial process understanding, as well as diligence. It is worth to note that obligation in regards to judicial diligence stands to be stated separately in the codes of judicial ethics in a given phrase that includes that "A judge should dispose punctually of the court's business." Thus in case, there ought to be any trend regarding this area, it ought to be towards the greater judicial competence expectations via citizenry that ends up being increasingly knowledgeable in regards to the functionality of the legal system. Such a trend is required to result in needs for higher efforts that enforces the requirements of competence (Richman, 2019).

Most probably the most significant source of the lawyers and litigants' frustrations include the judges' failure of delivering a decision in a manner considered to the timely. Such frustration remains so high given the fear that even a request to expediting a decision incurs the wrath of the judge thereby producing results that are undesirable. Considering that the heavy workload of various judges tends to leads to unexpected delays regarding the issuance of opinions, it is imperative that a judge prioritizes to allow cases that are time-conscious to get prompt attention. By way of reflecting some years, it is worth noting that there was great criminal case overload in one of the United States District Court to the extent of placing a temporary hold on the civil cases up to the period when criminal backlog reduced. However, Inefficiency and dilatoriness cannot countenance (Richman, 2019).

All in all, the reality of the matter is that in respect to the case processing, reporting requirements, as well as time standards, have been instituted in various states together with the federal system. The outcome of the not complying with the laid down standards as well as requirements varies from peer pressure to suspension. It is imperative to note that in U.S. court of appeals regarding District of Columbia Circuit it appears to be custom upon which judges' opinion-writing assignments can be withheld mainly from the judges who considered to be not current in their working (Alfini and et al., 2018).

The reality of the matter is that competence demands that judges see to the diligence and expertise of dedicated staffs together with all those under the administrative control of the judge. It also requires that a judge maintain abreast with new statutes, upcoming precedent from the Supreme Court as well as recent advancement in the law regarding his / her jurisdiction of service. More to that it is essential to note that competence demand familiarity with the substantive law and procedural. Lawyers appear to be cynical concerning the judge's competence regarding knowledge of legal. Thus they often commence their points of the argument having to explain the underlying law.

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