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Crime and the Courts

June 20, 1929

Report Outline
English and American Criminal Procedure
Crime in the United States
The Criminal and the Machinery of Justice
Reforms in Criminal Procedure
Special Focus

Leaders of American public opinion have long been conscious of the need for changes in the machinery of justice and law enforcement. In general, they have asserted: 1. that progress in the administration of justice in the United States has not kept pace with the nation's rapid advance in other branches of activity; 2. that faulty administration of justice has contributed to bringing the law into contempt, and 3. that the country's attitude of lawlessness is reflected in a variety of forms, particularly in the high crime rate. Dean Roscoe Pound of the Harvard Law School has summed up current criticism of the backwardness of legal institutions as follows:

“American law was formative at a time when it took Washington twelve days to ride from Philadelphia to Cambridge in an emergency. Our legal institutions belong to an era when General Grant took nine days to travel by river boat, canal and rail from Ohio to West Point…In short, transportation and communication have made of the land one vast overgrown hetrogeneous community, but our legal institutions speak from the time of small self-sufficient local communities.”

As far back as the 80s, Grover Cleveland noted and deplored the “open criticism of the decisions of the courts which, all at once, has become fashionable.” William Howard Taft said, at the Yale Law School commencement in June 1905:

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Jun. 20, 1929  Crime and the Courts
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Crime and Law Enforcement
Criminal Law Procedure and Due Process
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