CBAC Economics and Public Policy Forum - US Criminal Justice System
April 22, 2015: 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Please do the pre-reading to be posted two weeks before the event to prepare for our informal discussion group among peers. (Lunch is included in the price.)
Kopecky Schumacher Bleakley Rosenburg PC
203 N. LaSalle St.
In the US, we are inundated with television programs and movies that sensationalize crime and our legal system, but how well do we really understand our criminal justice system? Our intention in this forum discussion will be to get an overview of our criminal justice system as objectively as possible, based on processes and statistics. Our goal will be to try to understand the enforcement process as it exists today. What exactly is the role of police and how is a police force structured? Are our police forces becoming "militarized" and what does this mean? When does the federal government step in to assist (or interfere)? What factors influence whether a prosecutor brings charges against a suspect or asks for a grand jury? What are the inherent strengths and weaknesses of the grand jury process? Do all criminal suspects get a trial? What about plea bargains? Are all criminal trials necessarily by jury? Who is selected for jury duty and who actually serves? Does the criminal justice system vary by state? What does "selective enforcement" mean? How is sentencing determined and who gets an appeal? (Due to time constraints, we will not discuss our prison and parole systems.) Please review the articles on our website (posted two weeks before the event) to help inform you on the issues, then join us for a collegial discussion among peers over lunch.