CRIMINAL JUSTICE by Abraham S. Blumberg
Kirkus Star


Email this review


What is due process, and how is it insured? Recent Supreme Court decisions, particularly in the Gideon, Escobedo, and Miranda cases, have created a great deal of heated discussion of such questions. Few books, however, have come up with such concrete descriptions and analyses of them as this one contains. Taking a ""Metropolitan Court,"" in an unnamed large city, and studying its occupational and structural features in meticulous detail, Mr. Blumberg has arrived at the decision that the ""adversary model"" of criminal justice ""is no more."" It has been replaced, he finds, by a kind of ""justice by negotiation."" The vast majority of cases never come to trial; instead, the accused are induced to plead guilty to reduced charges, with an explicit or implied promise of lighter punishment. The overwhelming tendency of juries to convict is one reason, and the overcrowded calendars are another, but the main one is the ""rational"" character of the bureaucracy itself. Defense lawyers, probation officers, and court psychiatrists are all as much a part of the system as clerks and judges, and ""efficiency"" is in everybody's interest--except, of course, the defendant's. What can be done to resurrect traditional rules of due process? This author is not optimistic. Additional personnel will only be absorbed by, and strengthen, the present system. This exposition clarifies what it does not resolve.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1967
Publisher: Quadrangle