March 28, 2012
The exercising of discretion by all system actors, public and private, and from the nature of the criminal process itself is a result of case attrition. Basically, case attrition is when an arrest does not end in a trial conviction, which happens quite often in the court justice system. This is not new experience, nor one limited to the United States; several other Western countries and in the early parts of the twentieth century reported the same high rates of case attrition (encyclopedia.com). The effect case attrition has on the criminal justice system is observed at the different levels of the criminal justice process, because an arrest or no arrest affects everything. Law enforcement officers becomes burnt out, or have negative feelings about the justice system. Full enforcement has never been achieved, nor is likely to be achieved; it may be undesirable citizens and their political leaders must keep these findings in mind when making decisions about criminal justice polices. The high levels of case attrition in modern systems shows that the criminal law has very substantial limitations as an direct crime control such as, deterrence, incapcitation, and rehabilitation. Criminal convictions and penalties impose deserved punishment (retribution) and reinforce important societal denunciation, but if these penal consequences are imposed according to procedure that are widely perceived as fair and just. Attrition can get rid of individuals in the over-worked justice system that were arrested that either had a problem with the legality of the arrest or it was the result of an overworked, or bad officer in a situation where an arrest was not necessary. When these cases are removed from the justice system, it is possible for attorneys and judges to be able to focus on more serious crimes.
Encyclopedia.com retrieved from http:// www.encyclopedia.com/doc Meyer, J. F., & Grant, D.R....
References: Encyclopedia.com retrieved from http:// www.encyclopedia.com/doc
Meyer, J. F., & Grant, D.R. (2003). The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System. Pearson Education
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