Essay Question For Final Exam

 It is expected that, at a minimum, the answer to each question will require a 500- to 700-word response. Must have in text citations and references, scholarly resources.

 Question 1
Many argue that discretion pervades the  criminal justice system. Some argue that this is a good thing, while  others argue that this is a bad thing. Please begin your answer by  defining the concept of discretion. Next, advance a position as to  whether discretion is a good thing or a bad thing. Cite scholarly  evidence to support your position. Please note that this question is not  simply asking you to give an opinion. It requires evidenced based  reasoning in order to advance a scholarly position. 

 Question 2
The prosecutor is considered the  “gatekeeper” of justice in the criminal justice system. In this regard,  the prosecutor yields copious amounts of power via the use of prosecutorial  discretion. Explain the ways in which a criminal prosecutor may  exercise discretion in their day to day duties. Be specific in your  analysis. Might there be opportunities for a prosecutor to abuse their  discretion? Give at least two examples as to how this may occur. 

Question 3
Taming the System, Samuel  Walker accounts for the two bail reform movements that took place in the  United States beginning in the 1960’s. Please explain, with sufficient  detail, each of the two bail reform movements in the United States. Your  answer should pay particular attention to the decision makers use of  discretion in the bail setting process during each of the bail reform  movements.

Question 4
Police officers  exercise considerable discretion over the course of their day to day  duties. Please provide at least 4 examples of how a police officer may  engage in utilizing discretion from initial contact with an alleged  offender through post arrest scenarios. How has the United States  Supreme Court controlled unfettered police discretion via  jurisprudential interpretations of the 4th and 5th amendments of the  United States Constitution?

Question 5
In the sentencing  process, judges consider a variety of factors (case attributes) that  ultimately dictate the sentence imposed upon a criminal defendant.  Please enumerate several attributes of a criminal case that affect a  judge’s sentencing decision. Do extra-legal factors play a role? If so,  how. Lastly, how have legislatures reduced judicial discretion over the  past 30 years? Please be specific and cite all relevant evidence.

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