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Is This OK?

Well, maybe Owen ‘settlement is the civil analogue of plea bargaining’ Fiss had a better crystal ball than I gave him credit for in my recent post.

With news this week from Clay County, Kentucky that its crime mediation program – in which felony cases are mediated – was wildly successful.

Heck, they did 19 in one day in Clay County and 12 more in nearby Boyd County, including matters of burglary, drug trafficking, theft, assault, fleeing and evading law enforcement, and manufacturing methamphetamine – all in the name of congested dockets and cost saving.

“Now it’s just a matter of identifying the next areas to use this program, which likely will be jurisdictions with heavy caseloads and an overcrowded jail nearby” says the manager of the program.

And it sounds like mediation confidentiality is screwed too – “If a defendant says something incriminating during mediation and it falls through, I expect to be able to use it at trial,” said Rothgerber, first assistant Jefferson commonwealth’s attorney.

Read more at Judges Successfully Mediate Felony Cases For First Time In Clay County and Mediation can offer swift dose of justice

As I say, is this OK? I mean, it might be – is it just restorative justice in drag?

After all, restorative justice may be part of a sentence that includes prison time or may even take place before sentencing and thereby influence the punishment.

                        author

Geoff Sharp

Geoff Sharp is a Commercial Mediator from Wellington, New Zealand. Geoff works in the Asia Pacific region, including New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand and Pacific Islands. He is a mediator resolving business problems. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and mediates complex and hotly debated litigation covering… MORE >

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