Monday, December 7, 2020

New article on the role of the prosecutor and its relation to the need to regulate the discretion related to charging decisions

Long time readers of this blog know that I have posted many stories on prosecutorial misconduct and, within that broad topic, on the issue of whether it is advisable to regulate prosecutorial discretion.  (Go here and scroll down to see all the posts on prosecutors)

I am writing about this today to let you know of a recently published article in which Professor Irene Joe argues that prosecutors' ethical duty should limit their discretion to pursue charges against defendants based on the systemic impact of charging decisions in producing public defender case overload. 

According to this view, because prosecutors have the duty to play the  role of a minister of justice Prof. Joe "makes a novel link between the ethics of prosecution and that of public defense, illuminating the “cumulative effect that . . . discretionary charging decisions have on the public defender’s ability to provide ethical and professional representation.” 

The article is called Regulating Mass Prosecution, 53 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1175 (2020).  You can read the full article here, or a summary and commentary by Scott Cummings here.

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