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Chapter Eight: JUDGES. What do Judges do? Inherent Powers of the Judge Patronage Prestige Judicial Independence.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter Eight: JUDGES. What do Judges do? Inherent Powers of the Judge Patronage Prestige Judicial Independence."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter Eight: JUDGES

2 What do Judges do?

3 Inherent Powers of the Judge Patronage Prestige Judicial Independence

4 Public Perceptions of Judges The public believes that the judge is most responsible for ensuring that the system operates fairly and impartially and, the public believes that judges are the principal decision makers in court.

5 Judges and the Courtroom Workgroup Judges are “reactive” to the actions of other courtroom workgroup members. Informally, judges share powers with other courtroom workgroup members, i.e., judges accept bail, plea, and sentence recommendations from other courtroom workgroup members. Judge participation varies between and within jurisdictions, i.e., judge shopping by prosecutors and defense attorneys. Sanctions are a two-sided sword for the judge and the courtroom workgroup members.

6 Legal Duties of the Judge Include the following: The Judge: Appoints counsel if necessary. Signs search warrants if needed. Sets or revokes bail. Determines whether there is sufficient probable cause and informs defendant of charges.

7 Legal Duties of the Judge Include the following: (cont’d) The Judge: Rules on pretrial evidentiary motions. Accepts pleas. Preside over trials if necessary, i.e., rules on evidence and procedures and instructs jury. Sets punishment.

8 The Role of the Judge in the Steps of Criminal Procedure

9 Major Issues for Judges Caseloads and Court Administration

10 Selection of Judges FEDERAL (Article III Judges) Screening by the Deputy Attorney General Approval by the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary and the American Bar Association (informal). Presidential or Executive appointment Confirmation by the Senate Political Influence STATE (3 Selection Processes) Gubernatorial or Legislative appointments Judicial elections, i.e., partisan and nonpartisan. Merit selections – a hybrid system which involves the governor, the public, the legal profession, and popular elections. All three are politically influenced.

11 Selection of State Judges (Trial Courts of General Jurisdiction

12 How can federal and state legislatures control the power of the Judge? How does determinate or indeterminate sentencing affect judges and their decisions?

13 What is a lenient sentence? When judges impose lenient sentences – is that a form of misconduct?

14 Judicial Accountability versus Judicial Independence Questions How should we judge judges? What issues should be considered?

15 Judicial Misconduct Judicial misconduct is a form of ‘misbehavior’ which includes a wide range of behaviors such as making arbitrary decisions, lying under oath, disregarding the law, and corruption, i.e. bribes. Judicial misconduct should not be confused with those judges who become ‘unfit’ for duty due to impaired mental capacity or age. However these are factors in which a judge can become removed from office either forcibly or by law, i.e., age requirements.

16 Formal Methods of Judicial Removal from Office FEDERAL Judicial Councils Reform and Judicial Conduct and Disability Act. Judicial Conference Impeachment proceedings which may include the House of Representatives and the Senate. Sanctions include the imposition of nonpublic sanctions and removal from office. STATE Elections/recall elections; Judicial Conduct Commissions Sanctions include: private admonishment, public censure, retirement, or removal from office.

17 Judicial Diversity The major issue is that females and minorities are significantly underrepresented in both federal and state courts. Question What are some reasons that might explain the lack of diversity in our courts?


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