• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Seventeen thought-provoking essays in this sophisticated yet accessible reader demonstrate how political scientists conduct research on law, courts, and the judicial process, and at the same time answer interesting, substantive questions. Illustrating the breadth and depth of judicial politics studies, the essays convey to students the array of contemporary thinking -- both theoretical and methodological -- at work in the field. The book's five parts cover subjects taught in most judicial politics courses. Because each chapter stands alone, instructors have the flexibility of assigning less than the whole book or chapters in a different order. Topics examined range from information used by voters electing judges to the credibility of victims of sexualized violence. Accessible to both undergraduate and graduate students, Contemplating Courts offers fascinating views ...

Plea Bargaining and Local Legal Culture
Plea bargaining and local legal culture

The popular conception of criminal courts is well illustrated by a television series of the 1960s and 1970s that probably had a key role in forming that understanding: Perry Mason. Most of the important action in this program takes place in the courtroom, where momentous questions of guilt and innocence are contested by skillful, dedicated adversaries. Mason is a defense attorney who seems only to defend clients charged with offenses they did not commit. Although these defendants are inevitably exonerated, the audience must worry for much of the hour about whether or not the true perpetrator of the offense will be identified and the innocent party will go free. In the process, the defendants ...

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