Thursday, December 3, 2015

Do prosecutors have too much power?

Last month, Northwestern University Law School hosted a debate on the topic of whether prosecutors have too much power.  The debate featured two speakers in favor of the proposition that prosecutors do indeed have too much power and two speakers against the proposition.  The speakers for the proposition were Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor and currently a professor at Georgetown Law School and Nancy Gertner, a former federal judge and now a lecturer at Harvard Law School.  The speakers arguing that prosecutors do not have too much power were David Hoffman, former federal prosecutor and partner at Sidley, Austin and Reid Schar, also a former federal prosecutor and now a partner at Jenner & Block.

The debate was organized by a group called "Intelligence Squared" (or "lQ2") which has its own website with lots of useful information on the topic, the panelists and links to the both video and audio versions of the full debate.  Unfortunately, I can't embed the video here, but you can watch it here.

I thought the program was a bit too long, but other than that it was very interesting.  They actually have the audience vote on which side "won" the debate and the results are presented at the end.  I won't spoil it for you, but even if you don't watch the full show, fast forward to the end to see the results.

Check out the IQ2 website for upcoming debates and mark your calendar.

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