cj ch10 - Chapter 10: Prosecution and Defense The...

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Prosecution and Defense The Prosecutorial System Prosecutors represent the State in criminal cases Prosecutors exercise a great deal of discretion on the job Whether or not to pursue criminal charges Which charges to make What sentence to recommend Prosecutors U.S. Attorneys handle prosecutions in federal court Appointed by president Part of Department of Justice State prosecuting attorney handles violations of state law Titles vary (district attorney, state’s attorney, etc.) Most are elected Most represent a county Roles of the Prosecutor Prosecutors generally follow one of four distinct roles: Trial counsel House counsel for the police Representative of the court: To enforce the rules of due process. Elected official: Responsive to public concerns and opinions Duty of the Prosecutor There are at least four roles of the prosecutor There is only one duty of the prosecutor To see that justice is done! Discretion of the Prosecutor Decision-making is flexible and decisions can be molded to fit specific interests Please local judges Make decisions based on personal values Desire to impress voters Influence of political allies Federal Prosecutorial Guidelines The U.S. Department of Justice gives its prosecutors guidelines for deciding whether a case should be dismissed or pursued. They include: Federal law enforcement priorities The nature and seriousness of the offense The deterrent effect of prosecution The purpose of this is to limit discretion Federal Prosecutorial Guidelines (cont.) The person’s culpability in connection with the offense
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cj ch10 - Chapter 10: Prosecution and Defense The...

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