CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, June 17, 2019

Chavez & Mathers on How DA's Perceive Justice

Jackie Chavez and Scott Mathers (Troy University - Department of Criminal Justice and Eastern Washington University) have posted An Examination of How District Attorneys Perceive Justice (International Journal for Court Administration, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2019) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Scholars have identified four primary types of justice: distributive, procedural, interpersonal, and informational. These four types of justice correspond, respectively, to the perceived fairness of one’s outcomes, to the perceived fairness of the procedures used to determine one’s outcomes, to the degree to which people are treated with dignity and respect, and to whether individuals receive complete, truthful, and timely explanations of procedures and decisions. A significant amount of criminal justice research has examined how perceptions of justice affect attitudes and behavior (Denver 2011). Understanding how district attorneys view justice gives insight into the decisions they make including how to dispose of cases, what charges to bring against defendants, what sentences to recommend, and even how victims should be treated throughout the court process. As noted by Colquitt (2001), a large number of studies have sought to link justice perceptions to a variety of organizational outcomes, including job satisfaction, organizational commitment, withdrawal, and organizational citizenship behavior (p. 425). Nonetheless, the extant literature is lacking on conceptualizations of justice related to jury trials. Since ensuring that justice prevails is the primary responsibility of the district attorney (Felkenes 1975), this study seeks to examine district attorneys’ perceptions of justice resulting from the use of jury trials.

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