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Judicial Organization and Procedure

By Walter F. Dodd


Felony Trials Without a Jury. Recent crime surveys have shownthat the majority of contested felony cases are never tried in open court,being settled instead by the striking of a \u22bargain\u22 between the defendantand the prosecuting officer. Administrative discretion has thuslargely supplanted judge and jury alike. The practice has been severelycriticized by Professor Moley, who characterizes it as \u22psychologicallymore akin to a game of poker than to a process of justice,\u22 being\u22an attempt to get as much as possible from an unwilling giver\u22rather than \u22a search for truth.\u22\u27 In view of the technicalities anddelay that were permitted to develop in connection with jury trials,the utilization of some such avenue of escape would seem to have beeninevitable. The practice may be expected to develop still further unlessjudicial procedure is improved to a point where a trial becomes anefficient means of disposing of contested criminal cases

Topics: felony, trial, jury, settlement, Judges, Law, Legal History, Legal Writing and Research
Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 1931
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