Decision Making in the criminal justice system

This week’s discussion will examine decision-making in the criminal justice setting. For each scenario below, indicate the factors you would consider in order to arrive at a proper decision. Explain your reasoning, and comment on the posts of at least two other students. Where possible, utilize terminology and concepts from the week’s lessons.

Scenario 1: Police

While conducting your regular patrol duties as a police officer, you observe a young couple arguing and pushing each other. What are your options for intervention, and what are the possible outcomes of each of these intervention methods? According to the rational model of decision making, what choices do you have for handling the situation? What information do you need in order to make a proper decision? Which option would you choose?

Scenario 2: Judge

As a judge, you possess the ultimate decision-making authority in handing down sentences to offenders. Your state allows judges wide discretion when it comes to sentencing. At today’s sentencing hearing you will determine the sentence of a man convicted of armed robbery. What are the steps you will follow to arrive at a decision? What factors would you take into account when determining the sentence?

Scenario 3: Prosecutor

You are reviewing the case against a defendant who was arrested for sexual assault on a minor. The defendant’s attorney has contacted you and expressed an interest in a plea bargain. What factors will you consider when deciding whether to offer a plea bargain?

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