Courtroom Workgroup

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Courtroom Workgroup

CJA/204

Courtroom Workgroup

In The United States criminal justice system, a Courtroom Workgroup is an informal arrangement between a criminal prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, and the judicial officer. This foundational concept in the academic discipline of criminal justice, recharacterizes the seemingly adversarial courtroom participants as collaborators in "doing justice." The courtroom workgroup was proposed by Eisenstein and Jacob in 1977 to explain their observations of the ways courts, especially lower level courts, actually come to decisions. ("Courtroom Workgroup", n.d.) How Does It Work

The courtroom workgroup is a mechanism for prosecutorial discretion. Various techniques are used to convince the defendant that the evidence against him or her is overwhelming. “Charge stacking” is a process by which police and prosecutors create case with numerous charges or numerous instances of the same charge to convince the defendant that the risk of not pleading guilty is intolerable. The defendant may be convinced to plead guilty to a few of the charges in return for not being prosecuted for the remaining charges. Because the courtroom workgroup deviates from the public consensus of how justice works, it has developed a deviant set of virtues to continue its work and facilitate daily life for its participants. ("Courtroom Workgroup", n.d.) This group interacts daily to make sure that rules are being followed in each individual group but also to make sure it is given in a timely manner. The courtroom work group needs to communicate in order to offer plea bargains and choose jurors. The role of the prosecutor is to protect the government or community’s best interests. With that being said, the prosecutor must take cases based on the facts of each case and the evidence provided. If the prosecutor did not do this and took every case under less stringent requirements it could leave many cases going to trial with a...
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