Legality and Reality: Some Evidence on Criminal Procedure
William M. Landes
University of Chicago Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
NBER Working Paper No. w0040
There is widespread concern that the criminal justice system, particularly in large urban areas, is breaking down under the strain of an increasing demand for its services and inadequate resources. At the center of the system, located between the police and the prisons, are the criminal courts. Statistics on rising crime rates, recidivism, arbitrary sentencing practices, court delay, and prison riots are taken as further evidence that the courts are failing. What has been notably scarcer is systematic empirical research on the criminal court system - research that can contribute to our understanding of the actual workings of the system and enable us to develop policies for improvement. The purpose of this study is to begin to remedy this deficiency by applying the quantitative techniques of economics to an analysis of some important issues in criminal court procedure.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 96working papers series
Date posted: January 5, 2007
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