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Series

Columbia Law School

Criminal Law

Law & Contemporary Problems

1984

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Law

Some Unwise Reflections About Discretion, George P. Fletcher Jan 1984

Some Unwise Reflections About Discretion, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

In listening to discussions about discretion in the criminal process, one has the sense of sharply cut distinctions slipping toward a black hole in our language. All decisions by police, prosecutors, judges and jury are routinely called discretionary. This usage pervades respectable, basically sound papers. In a recent article in the Yale Law Journal, Goldstein and Marcus seek to demonstrate that discretion pervades the decisions of French, German and Italian prosecutors. They write: "Claims that prosecutorial discretion has been eliminated, or is supervised closely, are exaggerated. Discretion is exercised in each of the systems [French, German and Italian] for reasons ...