The Structure of Criminal Procedure: Laws and Practice of France, the Soviet Union, China, and the United States

By Barton L. Ingraham | Go to book overview

and complex system of collateral review of decisions of the lower courts running parallel to the appellate process whereby federal courts can review the proceedings of state courts and state courts can review the proceedings of other state courts on writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, and other ancient and extraordinary remedies. 23 Finally, it is always possible within a limited period after trial for a defendant to obtain some relief from the court which convicted him by moving for a new trial, entry of judgment of acquittal notwithstanding the verdict, or dismissal of the case. 24

Although in the United States judgments of conviction become "final" within a certain time period following their entry whether or not appeals are taken, 25 the net effect of this extremely elaborate system of review is to render the finality of criminal judgments very uncertain and unfinal. By skillful manipulation of the review process, judgments can sometimes be kept in a state of suspended animation for years. Defendants are not, however, subjected to uncertainties they face in inquisitorial process from appeals taken by the state, since as a general rule such appeals are not permitted. 26


SUMMARY

Of the four nations compared here, the one which seems to provide the least appellate review is China and the one which provides the most, the United States (largely because of the provision of free counsel to indigent accused and convicted offenders). On the other hand, the United States provides so many opportunities for direct and collateral attack on convictions that a sense of finality and closure is never achieved, adding both to the public's and the litigant's frustration. 27 Perhaps it was this curious aspect of American criminal procedure which inspired the caustic comment of Mr. Dooley that "in this country a man is presoomed to be guilty ontil he's proved guilty an' afther that he's presoomed to be innicent." 28

-115-

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The Structure of Criminal Procedure: Laws and Practice of France, the Soviet Union, China, and the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Criminology and Penology ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Abbreviations xvii
  • I - Introduction 1
  • I - Opening Remarks 3
  • 2 - The Analytical Model: The Morphology of Criminal Procedure 19
  • II - Use of the Model in the Comparison of Four Modern Procedural Systems 35
  • 3 - Intake 37
  • 4 - Screening 47
  • 5 - Charging and Protecting 61
  • 6 - Adjudication 85
  • 7 - Sanctioning 97
  • 8 Appeal 115
  • 9: Uses of the Analytical Model 117
  • Notes 125
  • Bibliography 173
  • Index to Cases Cited 185
  • Subject Index 189
  • About the Author 197
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