Less than a week ago, I wrote about a case in Colorado where a judge ordered a prosecutor to appear for a hearing to explain why the prosecutors' office did not file charges against a sheriff's deputy. Go here for the details. Today, the ABAJournal.com is reporting that the judge found the prosecutor should have filed charges (which I assume means the judge found the prosecutor abused his discretion in not doing so). However, the judge also found that it was too late to do it now because the statute of limitations had run.
Should the judge have imposed sanctions for the abuse of discretion? I don't think so. It seems to me the prosecutor did not file charges because he did not want to charge a sheriff's deputy. His explanation as to why he decided not to file is simply unbelievable given the evidence available in the videos showing the incident. Yet, for good or for bad, prosecutorial discretion is a necessary component of our criminal justice system. This is one of those cases where doing what the judge did is about as good at creating incentive on the prosecutors to do the right thing as you can do under the circumstances.