Do Judges Comply With The Principles Of Due Process

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Within the legal system judges are seen as impartial and diligent decision-makers in the pursuit of justice . In theory, judges are arbiters of truth who, after careful consideration of all information, decide whether the evidence is credible and whether a suspect’s guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. But how do judges perform this taxing task? How do they assess the evidence to reach fair decisions? Most importantly, are their decisions fair and do they comply with the principles of due process? The truth of the matter is that we know little about how judges actually decide criminal cases. Judges reside in their chambers and remain out of the public eye while deciding cases. Judicial decision making for criminal cases remains a well-hidden secret in the judge’s chamber. Those familiar with the law might object saying that judges’ reasoning could be found in the written justifications they have to provide after issuing a verdict. Therein judges typically explain the reasons for their decision by referencing the law, facts, and other considerations upon which the outcome was based . We know, however, that people are not always aware of the reasons that guide their decisions . An illustration of this problem in judicial decisions comes from Dhami and Ayton who found discrepancies between the stated and the …show more content…

It seems that researchers to date focus more on listing problems than finding ways to improve judicial decision making. The paucity of research in this domain is – at least partially – related to the little we know about how judges decide criminal cases. To effectively improve judicial decision making one needs to understand how the different pieces of evidence are weighted and what other factors weight in judges’ decisions in the actual courtroom. This information is currently

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