Discretion And The Criminal Justice

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Research Paper: Discretion and the Criminal Justice Professional
Jason Gaffney
Saint Leo University


The criminal justice system involve many elements. Some of the major components are the men and women who maintain these as Police Officers, Lawyers, Corrections Officers, and the Judges. For the purpose of this paper, I will be focusing more on Judges. Judges sit upon the bench of the courts and help to ensure that fairness is present during trials. A judge must also enforce court procedures and decide issues of law. Along with these proceedings a judge will have to use professional discretion, but when does the use of professional discretion cross ethical boundaries? During this paper we shall also address this question.

Judge Roles Judges play a key part in overseeing and making decisions on some court room matters. Their duties also include adjudicator and negotiator. As an adjudicator, Judges must act as a neutral mediator between parties. They must make sure laws are upheld and that the accused receive a fair due process. As adjudicator they can use some level of professional discretion. Judges will also hear and review negotiators made between prosecutors and defense lawyers. These deals consist of bail circumstances, jail time, and plea deals. Judges interpret the laws, review evidence presented, and manage courtroom operations. Judges must remain impartial when making verdicts in the pursuit of justice.
Judicial Ethics To
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