Within the Discussion Board area, write 400–600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.
Discretion in the U.S. criminal justice system was at one time defined by Roscoe Pound, a legal scholar and educator (1960) as follows: “an authority conferred by law to act in certain conditions or situations in accordance with an official’s or an official agency’s own considered judgment and conscience.” Discuss the following:
- Do you think there is too much discretion in the criminal justice system? Explain.
- Are there certain jobs or roles in the criminal trial process (from investigation through appeal) that have more discretion than other jobs or roles?
- Is there too great a concentration of discretion in particular jobs or roles in the criminal justice system?
- Do you think it would be desirable to limit the amount of discretion in the criminal justice system? If so, how would you do this? What might be the effects?
Pound, R. (1960). Discretion, dispensation and mitigation: The problem of the individual special case. New York University Law Review 35. 925, 926.