Law

1.  Robert Misner (1996) argued that given the fragmented nature of the criminal justice system (see Chapter 1), over the past 30 years responsibility has increasingly been centralized in the hands of the district attorney.

What factors support this assessment?

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2.  Should state attorneys general be given authority to supervise locally elected district attorneys? How would such increased authority alter the criminal justice system?

How much authority should assistant district attorneys be given?

As licensed attorneys, should they be given a large amount of discretion to dispose of cases according to their best judgment, or should they have more limited authority so that the office has a uniform policy?

1.  Of the several consequences of delay, which one do you think is the most important? Which one is the least important?

2.  In Barker v. Wingo, the U.S. Supreme Court stressed the legitimate reasons for the 16 trial continuances. But is there a danger that prosecutors might illegitimately seek continuances?

Identify the principal actors in the courtroom work group.

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