Criminal Procedures: Signs of a Soviet Switch

To Western law experts, the most dangerous defect in Soviet legal thinking is the tacit assumption by Russian courts that a defendant has been brought to trial because he is guilty, and that courtroom testimony at best can serve only to mitigate a sentence. The Soviet attitude stems largely from the fact that the kingpin of the system is not an impartial judge but a procurator, a sort of super district attorney and Big Brother rolled into one. As the state's No. 1 law enforcer he conducts investigations, orders arrests, serves as prosecuting attorney, keeps an eye on courts for...

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