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The Tilted Playing Field: Is Criminal Justice Unfair?
     

The Tilted Playing Field: Is Criminal Justice Unfair?

by H. Richard Uviller, H. Richard Uviller
 

ISBN-10: 0300075847

ISBN-13: 9780300075847

Pub. Date: 03/28/1999

Publisher: Yale University Press

Although evenly matched adversaries make for a more exciting athletic contest, and a level playing field is essential to a fair game, is the same true in a criminal trial? In this compelling new book, H. Richard Uviller argues that a criminal trial is not analogous to a sporting event. Prosecutors and defense attorneys are, in critical respects, different from each

Overview

Although evenly matched adversaries make for a more exciting athletic contest, and a level playing field is essential to a fair game, is the same true in a criminal trial? In this compelling new book, H. Richard Uviller argues that a criminal trial is not analogous to a sporting event. Prosecutors and defense attorneys are, in critical respects, different from each other, and the allocation of advantages to each must be uneven in order to be fair.

In a lively exploration of the powers of the prosecutor and the prerogatives of the defense, Uviller asks where our criminal justice system is fair though unequal and where its inequalities may subvert fair results. On the one hand, he points out, the prosecutor has unmatched and virtually unreviewable discretion to choose the target of a prosecution, the charge, and to a large extent the timing of an indictment. The prosecution also is first on the scene to develop evidence and is entitled to compel the production of evidence from reluctant custodians. The lawyer for the defendant, on the other hand, enjoys virtually unrestricted license to argue contrary to his or her own sincere belief, as well as broad powers to discover evidence from the prosecutor’s file. Are these unequal advantages necessary? Are they fair? Uviller concludes that although the overall criminal justice system reflects a fair distribution of advantages and disadvantages, in certain areas the imbalance is so severe as to undermine justice. He offers realistic, carefully considered recommendations for reform in these problem areas.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300075847
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
03/28/1999
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
326
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: Metaphorically Speaking 1(6)
1. Level Playing Fields and the Idea of Fairness
7(25)
2. Discretion and the Advantage of Initiation: Choosing a Target, Bringing a Charge
32(41)
3. Access to Information, First-and Secondhand: You Are What You Know
73(40)
4. Voucher and the Virtue of Office: The White-Hat Factor
113(28)
5. Burdens and Presumptions: Rescue from the Quandary of Perhaps
141(21)
6. The Blessing of Bankroll: Financial Disparity and the Riddle of Bail
162(27)
7. Excluding Adverse Evidence: Truth or Justice?
189(27)
8. Appealability and the Ordeal of Jeopardy: Capitalization of Error
216(20)
9. Truth Telling and the Limits of Ethical License: Counsel's Tolerable Deceptions
236(19)
10. Jury Irrationality and Its Insulation: Arousing the Unimpeachable Impulse
255(24)
11. Summary: The Fair Tilt
279(26)
Conclusion, if any 305(4)
Index 309

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