Former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Elizabeth Weaver called for increased transparency in the Michigan court system at a discussion panel Monday in the Powers Hall Ballroom.
Weaver is the co-author of "Judicial Deceit: Tyranny and Unnecessary Secrecy at the Michigan Supreme Court." The book reveals many secrets about the Michigan Supreme Court, including accounts of conversations between justices in deliberation.
A growing number of media accounts have highlighted issues with the criminal justice system, especially concerns about wrongful convictions, loss of the presumption of innocence, and equal treatment under the law. To better understand these concerns, the Center for Prosecutor Integrity commissioned a national telephone survey to assess the public's knowledge and opinions regarding prosecutor ethics.
To date, over 1,200 persons have been exonerated following DNA analysis, witness recantation, confession by the actual offender, or by other means.
Estimates of the extent of wrongful convictions vary. A 2007 analysis of persons sentenced to death from 1973 to 2004 yielded a 2.3% exoneration rate. A more recent study of post-conviction DNA analyses in Virginia found that for 15% of persons convicted of sexual assault, the defendant was later excluded due to lack of a DNA match.
In United Kingdom court system reform under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 gives the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice new joint responsibility for the system for considering and determining complaints about the personal conduct of all judicial office holders in England and Wales and some judicial office holders who sit in Tribunals in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
UK Judiciary includes 3,600 members of the full and part time judiciary, approximately 29,000 Magistrates and 7,000 Tribunal members. According Office for Judicial Complaints Annual Report 2012 - 2013 in 2012-2013 there were 55 cases that resulted in formal disciplinary action.
An Informed Opinion: Direct Opinion Review and Appellate Judicial Performance Evaluation (JPE) Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System Trend Report
Official JPE programs—authorized by constitution, statute, or court rule—are in place in 17 states and the District of Columbia. Some of the most comprehensive JPE programs operate in states where voters make retention decisions. In these states—Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Utah—the programs make detailed evaluation results public, providing substantive information to assist citizens in casting an informed vote. In jurisdictions like the District of Columbia and Vermont, results are provided to the judiciary and the legislature for judges seeking reappointment.
Landmark Colorado Supreme Court decision Court Finds Judicial Duty to Manage Discovery
Choosing between "cheap" arbitration and "expensive" court The Answer Is to Fix the Justice System
U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics Appeals of Civil Trials Concluded in 2005