Released on Tuesday, August 17, 2021.
Local Courts can offer incredible opportunity for both defendants and for the community. They are positioned precisely at a point to curtail dangerous behavior before it grows worse. The array of problem-solving courts nationally, often managed on a shoestring budget, is astounding. This does not make up for the fact that local courts are often neglected. They are frequently disparaged. In some cases, they manifest structural flaws that clearly need to be corrected. All the while, we remember that local courts are the place where most of the public obtain their first-hand experience of courts and justice.
This month we look at some of the challenges local courts face including:
- How should local court judges be selected?
- Should all local court judges be attorneys?
- Should all defendants in matters before local courts be represented by counsel?
- Should local courts be courts of record?
We will also continue our discussion of three recent Harvard Law Review articles about local courts.
- Criminal Municipal Courts by Alexandra Natapoff
- Kangaroo Courts by Shaun Ossei-Owusu
- Abolish Municipal Courts by Brendan Roediger
Our panel today includes:
- The Honorable Ed Spillane, Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court in College Station, Texas
- The Honorable Mary Logan, Judge of the Municipal Court in Spokane, Washington
- Rashida Davis, Court Administrator for the Municipal Court in Atlanta, Georgia
- Courtney Whiteside, Court Administrator of the Municipal Court in St. Louis, Missouri
- Bettye King, Court Administrator for the Municipal Court in Birmingham, Alabama.
Click here to listen to the podcast. Both audio and video versions are 33 minutes and 58 seconds long.
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