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Legality and Reality: Some Evidence on Criminal Procedure

Listed author(s):
  • William M. Landes

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0040.

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Date of creation: May 1974
Publication status: published as Landes, William M. "Legality and Reality: Some Evidence on Criminal Procedure." Journal of Legal Studies, (June 1974).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0040
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