Monday, April 13, 2009

New report on prosecutorial misconduct

The Justice Project has released a report on prosecutorial misconduct. The report is available here. It starts: "Prosecutors are arguably the most powerful figures in the American criminal justice system. Prosecutors are heavily involved in the investigation of crimes; they are solely responsible for what charges, plea bargains, and sentences a criminal defendant will face; and they have complete control over what evidence will be disclosed to the defense during discovery. The decisions of prosecutors have far-reaching consequences on defendants, victims, their respective families, and the general public. These broad powers reflect the prosecution’s unique
role in the criminal justice system as defined by the Supreme Court: “not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done.” The role of the prosecutor is not just one of an advocate, but rather an “administrator of justice” whose ultimate goal is to protect the innocent, convict the guilty, and guard the rights of the accused. Prosecutors—unlike defense attorneys—do not advocate for a single individual; they advocate for a just outcome. Given the special duties of prosecutors and the broad power they exercise in the criminal justice system, it is critically important that prosecutors conduct themselves responsibly and ethically."

Thanks to the Legal Profession Blog for the cite.

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