Released on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.
Local Courts are the least analyzed components of the American court system. This is particularly ironic since there are thousands of local courts, far more than there are courts of general jurisdiction. It has been estimated that they process over three and a half million criminal cases and collect at least two billion dollars in fines and fees annually.
When we talk about preserving the public’s trust and confidence in America’s courts, we often miss that most citizens gain their first-hand experience from dealing with a local court.
This month we are looking at three recent Harvard Law Review articles on local courts: Criminal Municipal Courts by Alexandra Natapoff, Kangaroo Courts by Shaun Ossei-Owusu, and Abolish Municipal Courts by Brendan Roediger.
Here to discuss their perspectives on these articles are folks who can honestly reveal the whole story on local courts. They are judges and court administrators all of whom work in municipal courts.
We are going to be looking at questions including:
- Can and should we be collecting more data on local courts nationally?
- Can the problem-solving model, fostered by many local courts, scale-up across the country?
- Can local courts resist the pressure many cities impose to increase revenue?
- What takeaways do these Judges and Court Administrators have for the rest of us?
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. Audio version is 34 minutes 17 seconds long.
Leave a question or comment about the episode at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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