Officers must use discretion when deciding to enforce the law when certain situations arise. For instance, unclear laws, nuisance behavior, ambiguity in state statutes, moral standards, and outdated laws may cause an officer to have an alternate resolution to the problem.
How is discretion used in the criminal justice system?
discretion can enable judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and/or juries to implement sentencing policies in line with their own views, even if these policies conflict with formal law.
Why is discretion important in criminal justice?
Prosecutors have a huge discretional role in the criminal justice process. They have the ability to initiate and terminate all criminal prosecutions. They have to use discretion to weigh the rights of the accused, the feelings of the victim, and the capacity of prisons when determining a proper punishment.
Why is discretion important in law?
This means they must decide whether the person breaking the law is posing some threat to public safety. … Others hold that this is an important function that ensures the law is not too rigid. In addition, officers occasionally have discretion when it comes to who to arrest and how to do it.
What role should Discretion play in the sentencing process?
Judicial Discretion Definition
Its judicious use increases fairness and can help to promote an equitable legal process by allowing the judge to consider individual circumstances in instances when the law is insufficient or silent.
What are the 4 C’s of the criminal justice system?
The justice system’s major components—police, courts, and corrections—prevent or deter crime by apprehending, trying, and punishing offenders. Police departments are public agencies whose purposes are to maintain order, enforce the criminal law, and provide services.
What is an example of discretion?
Discretion is defined as the right of someone to make choices or the quality of someone who is careful about what they do or say. An example of discretion is the ability of a juror to determine a verdict. … All the decisions were left to our discretion.
What is the purpose of discretion?
Studies in this literature generally hypothesize that discretion plays one of two roles: either it serves as the means by which changing broad social norms against crime causes changes in sentencing patterns, or it serves as the means by which internal social norms of the criminal justice system prevent the …
Is police discretion good or bad?
Every person, no matter how minor their offense might be, would get arrested and taken to court to face charges without this presence of this principle. That means police discretion does an excellent job of streamlining our criminal justice system when it is correctly applied.
How discretion affects your decision making?
Discretion is the power or right to make official decisions using reason and judgment to choose from among acceptable alternatives. Only the Constitution, through judicial enforcement, can limit discretionary decision making by legislative bodies to pass laws. …
What is meant by discretion in law?
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.
What role does discretion play in law enforcement?
In a law enforcement context, discretion only concerns decisions that are made in a legal setting. When decisions that are made by officers do not yield the desired positive results, but are made in good faith, these decisions still fall under the umbrella of discretion.
What does abuse of discretion mean?
abuse of discretion. n. a polite way of saying a trial judge has made such a bad mistake (“clearly against reason and evidence” or against established law) during a trial or on ruling on a motion that a person did not get a fair trial.
Do judges use discretion when applying sentencing guidelines to issue a sentence?
As a result of the ruling, judges now have discretion in sentencing defendants unless the offense carries a mandatory sentence (as specified in law).
Is it important to allow judges discretion in their sentencing decisions?
“Judicial discretion plays a pivotal role in the sentencing process. It is the judge’s role to take all relevant factors into account and give a right and just sentence for the offender, the victim, and the community…
How much discretion do judges have?
Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the ability of judges to exercise discretion is an aspect of judicial independence. Where appropriate, judicial discretion allows a judge to decide a legal case or matter within a range of possible decisions.