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Courtroom Workgroup

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Courtroom Workgroup
Bobbi Knapp
CJA/204
August 3, 2015
A. Michael DeFranco

Courtroom Workgroup

The courtroom work group entails courtroom personnel including the judge, the bailiff, the court reporter, the clerk of court, the local court administrator, prosecuting attorney, the defenses counsel and expert witnesses. This group of individuals have frequent an ongoing interactions on a daily basis. As each member of the courtroom workgroup fulfill the duties their profession expects, they are bonded by their unanimous singular goal; to see justice prevail. All workgroup members are influenced by other members and have influence on other members of the workgroup. Stable and familiar relationships among members of the group are more likely to lead to stable and familiar close working relationships. This is more likely to lead to fewer formalities, less formal arrangements and better negotiations.
The prosecutor is an imperative member of the courtroom workgroup. The prosecutor, more commonly known as the district attorney, is responsible for presenting the state’s case against the defendant and with the considerable prosecutorial discretion the position affords, singularly decides to bring charges or not against an individual in the first place. Before a prosecutor can present the state’s case, they first must decide to formally charge the accused. The codes and standards that govern the position of prosecutor hold the upmost importance on seeking justice for victims and not simply on obtaining a conviction. The prosecuting attorney always represents the government or the interests of the public when prosecuting a case. Prosecutors have limited resources and their job description entails too many duties for just one person to handle. For this reason in most jurisdictions, prosecutors supervise a staff of assistant district attorneys who do most of the in-court work. These assistants are, of course, licensed to practice law in their state also. This staff helps the prosecuting attorney better handle a case load that is already backlogged. This backlog of case are the cause of what has been referred to as “assembly line justice”.
Even before a trial begins, judges’ issue warrants, subpoenas, summonses, set bail, rule on pretrial motions and hearings, as well as set their own docket. Judges are another member of the courtroom workgroup that are vital. A judge holds absolute power in his or her courtroom. The courtroom judge has the responsibility of maintaining the rights of the victim, as well ensuring that the rights of the defendant are preserved throughout a trial and thereafter. They have so many cases every day that they cannot possible afford enough attention to every single individual that finds themselves with an appointment with the court. Judges are more likely to have their focus elsewhere, with no time to fully allow the defendants to be heard. Because the number of crimes being committed and the slightly lower number of accused arrested is such a high number, there are too many cases and the prosecutor’s office are looking at the charges in a very basic, black and white, kind of way and coming to a quick, standardized way to handle it.
I believe that focusing on rehabilitating an offender early on is probably the best way to lighten the judicial case load. While the overall goal is to reduce violence and, therefore, crime rates overall to reduce the weight resting on our district attorneys and their staff, if we set more strict, more severe punishments at the juvenile level, then the minors committing these misdemeanors will not mature into adults committing felonies.…...

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