Document Type



Judicial Organization and Procedure, 25 American Political Science Review 980 (1931)


Felony Trials Without a Jury. Recent crime surveys have shown
that the majority of contested felony cases are never tried in open court,
being settled instead by the striking of a "bargain" between the defendant
and the prosecuting officer. Administrative discretion has thus
largely supplanted judge and jury alike. The practice has been severely
criticized by Professor Moley, who characterizes it as "psychologically
more akin to a game of poker than to a process of justice," being
"an attempt to get as much as possible from an unwilling giver"
rather than "a search for truth."' In view of the technicalities and
delay that were permitted to develop in connection with jury trials,
the utilization of some such avenue of escape would seem to have been
inevitable. The practice may be expected to develop still further unless
judicial procedure is improved to a point where a trial becomes an
efficient means of disposing of contested criminal cases.

Date of Authorship for this Version



felony, trial, jury, settlement