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Court Process

Need help providing concrete examples of when and how each of the following officials of the criminal justice system (law enforcement officer, the prosecutor, and the judge) may appropriately exercise discretion at the six stages of criminal procedure:
The investigation stage
The arrest stage
The pretrial stage
The trial stage
The appeal stage
The serving the sentence stage
One or more of these officials will have little or no involvement in all six stages of criminal procedure; however, for each stage, indicate which official has the power to exercise discretion and how that discretion can be legitimately exercised by that official.
Then, suggest guidelines that are now, or that could legitimately be, imposed by law to limit the arbitrary use of each official's power of discretion. Provide support or examples for each of the guidelines that you have suggested.

Solution Preview

The investigation stage enables law enforcement officers to display limited discretion during the investigation of a crime because if the evidence indicates a crime has occurred; law enforcement officers are mandated to sufficiently investigate these claims to determine the severity of the crime, the threat to the public, and whether or not an arrest will occur. Although law enforcement officers have wide discretion in who they choose to arrest by analyzing the severity of the crime i.e. drug offenders with marijuana may be released with a warning depending on their age, amount of marijuana that they possess, and other factors, law enforcement must investigate any potential crimes fully without deferring to a discretionary approach as to whether they will choose to investigate the crime.

In the arrest stage, as I alluded to in the previous paragraph, police officers can exert a wide range of discretion ...

Solution Summary

The guidelines to legitimately impose by laws to limit the arbitrary use of each official's power of discretion are determined.