The criminal justice system has changed tremendously over the decades and so has society. It is important that the court system make changes to keep up with the times. There are parts of the court system that need to be identified to have these changes occur. One of these areas is the way courts are managed including their problems and resolutions. A new trend that has emerged is victims’ rights. Victims can now intervene in the cases before sentencing. In the future, courts could lose cases to arbitration and mediation also known as the private sector of the courts.
Understanding these changes and issues are important so that the courts can correspond with the trends as they occur. The courts are an important piece of the justice system. In order to meet the domains of the criminal justice system the courts evolve with the new processes and trends as they happen. Below the paragraphs will analyze and explore future management issues dealing with technological innovations and how the new technology is impacting the courts. Along with how victims’ rights are impacting the courts.
One of the main issues that the courts are facing in the future is the possible division between the private law sector and the courts. The technological innovations also impacts the courts staff and judges. Current and future trends facing the courts and administrators One of the issues facing the court system today is judges are not able to see many cases because of their administrative role. Judges spend the majority of their time “papering budgets, scheduling cases, supervising employees, and maintaining court records” (Robinson, 2009, pg. 208, para 5).
The courthouse employee’s work together getting cases dispensed as quickly as possible. Some of these cases are dismissed before even being seen because of how many cases there are. Many of the minor cases are plea bargained so that the more serious cases can be seen. In doing this the judges and the courts have more time to spend on the very serious cases such as murder cases. The court system has to make adjustments due to the many cases that they have coming through the courts and they would never caught up because of the fact that there are many people having run in with the law enforcement.
Another problem that courts are facing today is the imbalance of power. In the courtroom today the prosecutors have more power because there are the ones that decide if there is going to be charges filed against someone. This means that if the prosecutor does not prosecute a case the judge and defense attorney will have no say in the outcome of that case. One former United States Attorney General has stated “the prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America” (Robinson, 2009, pg. 209, para 4).
The power that the judges have has been reduced because of the changes in sentencing and rules. The mandatory sentencing laws has given prosecutors the increase power of prosecution control over cases and how they are disposed of. With the power that prosecutors have the justice system is being threatened. If the law was still equal the defense attorney would have the resources they need to help the defendant. The defense attorneys have heavy caseloads because they work for the government and their resources are limited that they can access. Issues and trends regarding language interpretation services
Throughout the United States individuals rely on the court system to solve issues and controversies in their lives. Language barriers between an individual and the courts cause the process to get delayed because it causes communication and understanding problems. When a witness is on the stand testifying that speaks a different language that interpreters need to understand what the witness is saying so they can communicate their true meaning of their statement. The United States accepts many different immigrants and the way of communicating.
One of the fundamental rights that the United States has is to recognize the important reason why immigrants come to the United States, “in our country’s belief in equal justice for all, but to have equal justice, every victim, every witness must understand what is happening in the courtroom” (Board of Directors, 2007, pg. 3, para 2). With the increasing population of immigrants that do not speak English is making it harder to accommodate for people because the courts have to make sure that the interpreter fully understands the language and can translate what the witness is saying. New York courts employ approximately 300 full and part time court interpreters, and 1,200 interpreters on the per diem bases, to provide services in over 100 languages” (Board of Directors, 2007, pg. 4, para 2). The multi-faceted type of communication makes it harder for interpreters in the courtrooms because of the words meaning different things in the different cultures in the United States. An interpreter of the courts also needs to understand legal terminology and procedures of the cultural content that impacts all individuals involved in the case.
Interpreters will succeed in their jobs if they can convey what the speaker is meaning to say without altering the expression or tone of the speaker. There are three types of interpreting, which are; consecutive, simultaneous, and sight. Consecutive interpreting is when the interpreter waits for a group of words to be spoken before they interpret what was said. Simultaneous is when the interpreter listens and interprets in a different language at the same time. The last is sight and this is when interpreters read one language and translates it aloud in another.
Language interpretation services is a permanent component in the criminal justice system so that the constitutional rights requirements are meet for all individuals. Courts are now required to appoint an interpreter when defendants and witnesses do not speak English in a case. Impact that victim rights laws have on court proceedings (past, present, future) Thirty years ago, victims’ rights did not exist. The victims were not notified about the courts processing or if the case was dropped and the defendant was released. Today, every state has an extensive body of basic rights and protections for victims within its statutory code” (Office for Victims of Crime, 2013). Activists discussed amending the Constitution of the United States to recognize victims’ rights statutes in the criminal justice proceedings. It was not until 1982 that a President’s Task Force on victims of crime suggested for the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution to be amended so that victims are included in the judicial proceedings.
California was the first state to adopt the constitutional amendment in 1982 and by the end of the 21 century 49 states passed the victims’ Bill of Rights and this gave victims benefits and options in their case. Two presidents supported the amendment of the constitution at the end of the 21st century. The amendment gave victims the right to receive information, protection, and restitution from the offender. This also gave the victim the right to express their views on sentencing, bail, and parole.
Victims’ rights has come a long way sense the early 1970’s and will continue to change as it needs too. There are several issues facing the courts and courts administrators system today. The analysis above discussed these issues and give information to support the findings. The information of future management issues and trends regarding language interpretation was discussed in the analysis. The past, present, and future impact of victims’ rights laws on the court proceeding were discussed in detail.