Philosopher, Ronald Dworkin and H.L.A. Hart refers to discretion as “the hole in the doughnut” (doughnut theory of discretion).
In this standpoint, discretion is the vacant area in the middle of a ring consisting of policies and procedures. To be able to make choices freely is called a strong sense of discretion. Discretion lies within the hole of the doughnut. Individualized judgments are often made by police officials, everyday. However, the loose definition often seems to be a bit of a challenge. According to the researched website, the definition of police discretion is broken down into five categories: discretion as judgment, discretion as choice, discretion as discernment, discretion as liberty and lastly, discretion as a license. Discretion is not doing how you please. Police put to good use their power of discretion everyday and different issues involve different discretionary actions and some, none at all. It is the responsibility and the privilege of police officers to render or implement discretion upon their will.
Authors Senna and Siegal, agree with this website’s definition of discretion and the information the website offers. The authors describe discretion as the use of personal decision making and choices in carrying out operations in the criminal justice system. Police discretion can involve the decision to make an arrest and prosecutorial discretion involves acceptance of a plea bargain or lack thereof. The textbook provides factors that influence the power of discretion that police officials hold. Factors contributing to police discretion are legal factors, environmental factors, departmental factors, situational factors, and extralegal factors.
The Essay on The Difficulty Limited and Extensive choices
Abstract The conducted study is based on personal choice in limited and extensive choice experimental groups. It was conducted to further the research in choice overload and paralysis of the mind. The central aim was to assess if people in limited choice groups were more motivated to win, found it less difficult to choose and were more satisfied with their choice. Due to past research, results ...
Legal factors of police discretion involve the seriousness of certain crimes. Less personal discretion is available when police confront a suspect in a case involving murder or rape than there is with an assault, domestic issue or trespass. Research suggests that police are less likely to act quickly on a complaint of domestic violence in hopes that the problem will be solved before they get there or shortly after. Environmental factors of discretion include working or dwelling in a community that either tolerates eccentricities and personal freedoms or expects conservative, professional, no-nonsense behavior on the part of the civilians living in that area as well as social climate, alternatives, attitudes of the community, and treatment facilities. Discretion plays a role in that an officer holding personal values in opposition to members of the community has the ability to exercise discretion in ways that disagree with the community’s values, resulting in effective law enforcement. Departmental factors of police discretion are the policies, practices, and customs of the local police department. Each and every department country wide has a variety of officials in the organizational hierarchy to decide and agree on discretionary issues.
For example: depending on certain circumstances, patrol officers may be asked to issue more tickets and make more arrests or to refrain from arresting given certain circumstances. The size of the department is a factor that determines the level of officer discretion within that particular department. Again, no department mirrors the discretion guidelines of another department. Another factor involving police discretion is situational instance. These are instances such as demeanor (attitude of offender), crime scene, back-up and witnesses. These are issues in which particular crimes are attached to certain degrees of discretion. The manner in which a crime or situation is encountered is also a contributing factor in regards to police discretion. Other factors that might influence police and their use of discretion are the seriousness of the crime, weapons, injury, and drug or alcohol presence etc. When it is the officer’s choice to become involved in a situation without the benefit of a summons or complaint, he is given the right to utilize maximum discretion. Lastly, extralegal factors are also involved in the role that discretion plays in the criminal justice field. Extralegal factors include consideration of the age of the victim, elderly mistreatment, gender, income, and race. This is an important topic of Race, Culture and Gender. All of these factors listed in this paragraph greatly contribute to the instances of police and their discretionary power.
The Essay on Discretion in the Criminal Justice System
Shifting the amount of discretion within our justice system could be for better or worse, but why fix something that's not broken? Although most police officers use discretion, "Many police officers (and whole departments) prefer to focus on the justice aspects of police work: getting offenders off the streets, responding to emergencies, scoring big drug busts, and generally 'catching the bad ...
The website I located offers information on the causes of discretion and these causes are similar to Senna and Siegal’s factors of discretion. The website lists the causes of discretion as offender variables, situation variables, as well as system variables. Offender variables are described as the difference in treatment that adult offender get from that of young offenders. Arrest involving force is most likely seen in instances of crime involving African Americans. Situation variables support the ideas that serious crimes are treated differently by that of discretion than less serious crimes. System variables are when the police system caters to the correctional systems when they are clogged, meaning that the police tend to become more strict when the community needs revenue and less when the correctional system is “backed up.”
Police discretion is a very grey area of the criminal justice system. There are different ranges of discretion for various acts of crime in our policing system. It is the power and dutiful, earned right of our law enforcers to use discretion as they feel right to do so. Discretion is used as a judgment, a liberty, a choice, discernment, as well as a license. Senna and Siegal describe factors of discretion and these factors are legal, extralegal, environmental, departmental, and situational. Combined, the factors involve discretion on class, race, gender, age, crime seriousness, weapons involved, type of crime, injury seriousness, peers, supervisors, treatment facilities, crime scene, type of encounter and witnesses. Similarities between the website pertaining information on discretion and the textbook information really seem to similarly reflect one another in different forms although both of these the resources were really effective informative materials for gathering facts on police and discretion.
The Term Paper on Reasons To Prevent Hate Crime Against Police Officers
Hate crime, also known as bias crime, is a criminal act committed against a person, property, or society which is motivated by the perpetrator’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or ethnicity/national origin. Congress enacted the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990 on April 23 of that same year in response to growing national concern over crimes motivated by bias. ...