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Plea Bargaining, Local Legal Culture, and Courtroom Workgroups: Reassessing the Literature and Building a New Research Agenda for Criminal Courts

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Abstract:

In the 1970s and 1980s, the study of criminal courts was a vibrant area of research within criminal justice, law and society, and political science. Numerous studies were down on the politics, structure, organization, and culture of trial courts. Studies such as Eisenstein and Jacob’s Felony Justice, Heumann’s Plea Bargaining, Church’s “Examining Local Legal Culture,” Feeley’s The Process is the Punishment, and the Eisenstin, Flemming, and Nardulli trilogy beginning with The Contours of Justice were a few among the numerous studies done of how the criminal courts functioned. This rich literature provides a foundation for much of what we know today about criminal courts. Yet, for a variety of reasons, that vein of research began to dry up in the early 1990s, and now 25 years later, we still rely on the images of the courts from the 1970s and 1980s. This paper provides a reassessment of the trial court literature, examines the state of the field, and suggests small ways that we can reinvigorate the study of trial courts, by replicating some earlier research methods, and develop a new research agenda for trial courts.
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MLA Citation:

Gizzi, Michael., Semmelroth, Meagan. and Boldt, Ethan. "Plea Bargaining, Local Legal Culture, and Courtroom Workgroups: Reassessing the Literature and Building a New Research Agenda for Criminal Courts" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, Nov 14, 2012 <Not Available>. 2014-09-12 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p576517_index.html>

APA Citation:

Gizzi, M. C., Semmelroth, M. and Boldt, E. D. , 2012-11-14 "Plea Bargaining, Local Legal Culture, and Courtroom Workgroups: Reassessing the Literature and Building a New Research Agenda for Criminal Courts" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL <Not Available>. 2014-09-12 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p576517_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In the 1970s and 1980s, the study of criminal courts was a vibrant area of research within criminal justice, law and society, and political science. Numerous studies were down on the politics, structure, organization, and culture of trial courts. Studies such as Eisenstein and Jacob’s Felony Justice, Heumann’s Plea Bargaining, Church’s “Examining Local Legal Culture,” Feeley’s The Process is the Punishment, and the Eisenstin, Flemming, and Nardulli trilogy beginning with The Contours of Justice were a few among the numerous studies done of how the criminal courts functioned. This rich literature provides a foundation for much of what we know today about criminal courts. Yet, for a variety of reasons, that vein of research began to dry up in the early 1990s, and now 25 years later, we still rely on the images of the courts from the 1970s and 1980s. This paper provides a reassessment of the trial court literature, examines the state of the field, and suggests small ways that we can reinvigorate the study of trial courts, by replicating some earlier research methods, and develop a new research agenda for trial courts.

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