Who has the most discretion in the criminal justice system?

Asked by: Mr. Fletcher Greenholt DVM  |  Last update: February 19, 2022
Score: 4.7/5 (35 votes)

As an elected or appointed official, the prosecutor is the most powerful official in the criminal justice system. Prosecutors exercise unfettered discretion, deciding who to charge with a crime, what charges to file, when to drop the charges, whether or not to plea bargain, and how to allocate prosecutorial resources.

Which criminal justice actor has the most discretion?

Prosecutors control plea bargains and thus have possibly the most discretion-based role in the criminal justice process.

Who has discretionary powers in the criminal justice system?

Discretion is the power of officials to act according to the dictates of their own judgment and conscience. Discretion is abused when the judicial action is arbitrary, fanciful, or unreasonable. If the plaintiff or the defendant thinks that the trial court judge has abused the discretion, the party can appeal the case.

Who has the most power and discretion in the courtroom?

Prosecutors are the most powerful officials in the criminal justice system. They decide whether criminal charges should be brought and what those charges should be, and they exercise almost boundless discretion in making those crucial decisions.

Who are the most powerful people in the criminal justice system?

As the most powerful decision-maker in our criminal system, prosecutors have the ability to curb mass incarceration. Prosecutors exercise tremendous control over who enters the criminal system, how each case will be resolved, and whether incarceration will be a part of that resolution.

The Limits of Judicial Discretion

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Who is the most powerful court figure?

But the most powerful official in the criminal justice system who makes the most critical decisions that often lead to unjust results is the prosecutor. The power and discretion of prosecutors cannot be overstated.

Who has the discretion to drop charges if they decide that the evidence against the accused is weak?

When Prosecutors Use Their Discretion

Prosecutors may have a variety of reasons for using prosecutorial discretion. One reason that a prosecutor may decide not to file charges against a defendant is a lack of evidence.

Why do prosecutors have discretion?

There is no doubt that prosecutorial discretion is a necessary and important part of our system of justice — it allocates sparse prosecutorial resources, provides the basis for plea-bargaining and allows for leniency and mercy in a criminal justice system that is frequently harsh and impersonal.

What is the most powerful tool in the criminal justice system?

Discretion provides freedom to make decisions, specifically it is the power to make decisions on issues within legal guidelines. Many people see discretion as for the most powerful tool of the criminal justice system.

Who has the right of discretion?

Constitutional provisions on the discretionary power of judges. Article 136, 139A & 142 of the Indian Constitution defines the discretionary powers which are conferred on the judges of the Supreme Court.

Who has discretionary power?

Professor Harold Laski has defined discretionary power as that authority of the executive « whether in matters of sub- stance or of procedure or both, which it is free to exercise as it thinks fit ». *1 Legally, it is the power to exercise a discre- ' tion with which the courts cannot interfere.

Who can use discretion in the courtroom?

Judicial discretion is the power of the judiciary to make some legal decisions according to their discretion. Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the ability of judges to exercise discretion is an aspect of judicial independence.

Is police discretion legal?

In this case, police are given discretion, or freedom to decide, on the job to make decisions, but there is a 'thin blue line' that the police cannot cross or they will be in violation of the law. When the police perform their official duties, there is a certain level of discretion they must use.

Who are the main actors in a justice system?

Although organized differently, most criminal justice systems are made up of the following parts:
  • Criminal Defense Lawyers.
  • Defendant(s)
  • Executive Office.
  • Judges.
  • Jury (lay people acting as fact finders)
  • Investigators.
  • Legislature.

Who is considered the single most powerful person in the American criminal justice system quizlet?

The judge is considered the single most powerful person in the criminal justice system.

Who is more powerful prosecutor or judge?

Journalist Emily Bazelon says most prosecutors, not judges, are the most powerful people in a courtroom. “The person who gets to decide what the charges are in a criminal case—that person is the prosecutor,” she said. ...

Is prosecutorial discretion good or bad?

Why Good Prosecutors Use Their Discretion

A sensible prosecutor will use discretion because: The prosecution has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If there's not enough evidence, the case may be withdrawn, or other charges could be brought. It can make the judicial system more efficient.

Do defense attorneys have discretion?

Lawyers in any sector of practice have substantial discretion in pursuing clients' goals. ... In contrast, once defense attorneys accept cases, they pursue each one zealously. Discretionary judgment affects only choices about which strategy most effectively serves the client's goals of acquittal or minimal punishment.

Do officers have greater discretion searching vehicles?

Ohio (1968), the US Supreme Court authorized the use of on-the-spot searches of detained individuals if the officer suspects the person is carrying a weapon. T/F Officers have greater discretion in searching vehicles because they can be used to facilitate an escape or hide evidence.

How is discretion used in deciding bail?

A court exercises its discretion with respect to the allowance of bail. In reaching its decision, it evaluates the circumstances of the particular case, including the existence of doubt as to the accused person's appearance at trial. ... The amount of bail set is within the discretion of the court.

How can charges be dropped before court date?

How Criminal Charges Get Dismissed
  1. Prosecutors. After the police arrest you, the prosecutor charges you with a criminal offense. ...
  2. Judge. The judge can also dismiss the charges against you. ...
  3. Pretrial Diversion. ...
  4. Deferred Entry of Judgment. ...
  5. Suppression of Evidence. ...
  6. Legally Defective Arrest. ...
  7. Exculpatory Evidence.

Who is the most important person in the criminal justice system?

Prosecutors are the most powerful officials in the American criminal justice system. The decisions they make, particularly the charging and plea-bargaining decisions, control the operation of the system and often predetermine the outcome of criminal cases.

Which judge has more power?

The Sessions Judge is the highest judicial authority in a district. Below him, there are Courts of civil jurisdiction, known in different States as Munsifs, Sub-Judges, Civil Judges and the like.

Who the most powerful person in the world?

1. Xi Jinping. China, the country which runs the world, the manufacturer of the world, the country which will surpass the super powers in few years & will become the supreme power – Xi Jinping is the President of the People's Republic of China (PRC) & is the most powerful person in the world.