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prosecutorial discretion - justice system crime the...

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Lindsay Kramer Criminology 110-70 3/27/08 Professor Carollo Prosecutorial Discretion Prosecutorial Discretion can be defined as a wide range of alternatives made  available to a prosecutor in criminal cases. This includes the power to choose  whether or not to bring criminal charges in cases where the evidence would justify  the charges. This authority provides practice in plea bargaining, mode of trial  conduct, and recommendations for sentencing, parole, etc. This guarantees that  prosecutors are being served by the most powerful public officers. It also offers  opportunities for leniency in a criminal justice system that is often full of harsh laws. Factors that influence prosecutorial discretion are legal issues, victim issues,  extra legal issues, and resource issues. Legal issues involve characteristics of the 
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Unformatted text preview: justice system, crime, the criminal, and the victim. More lenient or harsh punishments will be at the discretion of the prosecutor. Victim issues and behaviors influence the charging decisions. For example, domestic violence cases are difficult to prosecute. Extralegal issues, include the offender’s race, gender, age, or ethnic background. In order to provide a bias, a defendant must produce credible evidence. And lastly a resource issue influences prosecutorial discretion which includes the availability of treatment or detention facilities. Some resource issues, for example in a drug case, prosecutors may not bring evidence to trial because it relies on the cost of forensic and lab tests....
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