Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Judicial Selection Methods
David C. Brody
Judges are leading actors in the criminal justice system. They interpret the laws and set many of the rules under which every other actor in the system operates. Moreover, it is often judges who determine the final outcome of criminal prosecutions brought by the government. But judges are not only integral participants in the criminal and civil justice systems; they are also looked upon by society as a symbol of justice itself. In a nation built upon reverence for the rule of law and the equal provision of justice for all, judges are the human agents by whom these revered values are put into action. In view of the important role judges play in society and the justice system, the method of judicial selection is an important decision that must be made by a government and its citizens. Five general methods are used to select judges in the United States: ...