CCJ 5450 Critical Issues in Criminal Justice
Dr. Ken Mullen
August 31, 2013
The courtroom is a scene that can be intimidating for those who fear the law but for routine criminals, it is just a formality of the process. The courtroom has major players that plan their course of action with precision. The judge appears to be the one who oversees all of the activity that goes on in his or her courtroom. The bailiff is there to make sure none no one gets out of control or they will be asked to leave or charged with contempt of court. Then you have the defendant who is being charged with a crime but is innocent until proven guilty. The two remaining figures of the court room are the prosecutor and the defense attorney. They are major players in the courtroom. The case is won and lost because of the presentations that these two individuals present to the court. Based on our readings it behooves one to be a law abiding citizen and stay clear of the courtroom because ultimately you are the loser. The three major players of the courtroom strategically work together in an unassuming fashion. If your case is being facilitated by a prosecutor who is overburdened with cases and inadequate support, there are many undesirable outcomes that may come because of his or her caseload.
According to Cole and Gertz, when prosecutors are overburdened with excessive caseloads and do not have ample time and resources for their cases, they fail to identify less culpable defendants who are deserving of more lenient plea bargains. They also do not have time to decide which defendants should or could be transferred to special drug courts in which they would have a better chance at rehabilitation. Overwhelmed prosecutors mistakenly commit misconduct by failing to identify and present favorable evidence that defendants are legally entitled to receive. These overwhelming caseloads lead to conviction of innocent defendants because...