The Supreme Court's Role in Mass Incarceration (Hardcover)

The Supreme Court's Role in Mass Incarceration By William T. Pizzi Cover Image
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The Supreme Court's Role in Mass Incarceration illuminates the role of the United States Supreme Court's criminal procedure revolution as a contributing factor to the rise in U.S. incarceration rates. Noting that the increase in mass incarceration began climbing just after the Warren Court years and continued to climb for the next four decades--despite the substantial decline in the crime rate--the author posits that part of the explanation is the Court's failure to understand that a trial system with robust rights for defendants is not a strong trial system unless it is also reliable and efficient.

There have been many explanations offered for the sudden and steep escalation in the U.S. incarceration rate, such as "it was the war on drugs" to "it was our harsh sentencing statutes." Those explanations have been shown to be inadequate. This book contends that we have overlooked a more powerful force in the rise of our incarceration rate--the long line of Supreme Court decisions, starting in the Warren Court era, that made the criminal justice system so complicated and expensive that it no longer serves to protect defendants. For the vast majority of defendants, their constitutional rights are irrelevant, as they are forced to accept plea bargains or face the prospect of a comparatively harsh sentence, if convicted. The prospect of a trial, once an important restraint on prosecutors in charging, has disappeared and plea-bargaining rules.

This book is essential reading for both graduate and undergraduate students in corrections and criminal justice courses as well as judges, attorneys, and others working in the criminal justice system.

About the Author

William T. Pizzi is Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Colorado Law School. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and he also holds an advanced degree in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts. Following law school, Professor Pizzi was a federal prosecutor in the District of New Jersey before joining the faculty at Colorado Law where he taught for thirty-five years. He is one of the foremost scholars in the United States on comparative criminal issues. He has lectured abroad for both the Ford Foundation and the United States Information Agency.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780367331597
ISBN-10: 0367331594
Publisher: Routledge
Publication Date: September 18th, 2020
Pages: 148
Language: English