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Chapter 6 : PROSECUTORS. IS THE PROSECUTOR THE MOST POWEFFUL OFFICIAL IN THE CRIMINAL COURTS ?

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 6 : PROSECUTORS. IS THE PROSECUTOR THE MOST POWEFFUL OFFICIAL IN THE CRIMINAL COURTS ?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 6 : PROSECUTORS

2 IS THE PROSECUTOR THE MOST POWEFFUL OFFICIAL IN THE CRIMINAL COURTS ?

3 IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STATE AND FEDERAL PROSECUTORS? IF SO, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE DIFFERENCES?

4 The Role of the Criminal Prosecutor The Police Arrest The Courts Initial Appearance To Appeal Corrections Sentencing

5 The POWER of the PROSECUTOR Both State and Federal Courts Discretion (Shapes the Dynamics of the Court) AndDecentralization (Allows Autonomy)

6 The Role of the Prosecutor

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8 DISCRETION With no hierarchy and considerable autonomy, the prosecutor enjoys virtually “unfettered” discretion relating to initiating, conducting, and terminating prosecutions.

9 DECENTRALIZATION Separate prosecutors are found in federal and state courts. There is no hierarchy and considerable autonomy. The structure of prosecutors is not parallel with court structure.

10 Supreme Court Cases Concerning the Prosecutor

11 Prosecution in Federal Courts Executive Branch l President U.S. Dept. of Justice l U.S Attorney General U.S. Attorneys Criminal Division Solicitor General

12 The solicitor general is the third ranking official in the Justice Dept. The solicitor general is the third ranking official in the Justice Dept. The solicitor general’s principal task is to represent the U.S. government before the Supreme Court in all appeals of federal cases. The solicitor general’s principal task is to represent the U.S. government before the Supreme Court in all appeals of federal cases. The solicitor general often appears in amicus. The solicitor general often appears in amicus. The U.S. government is the solicitor general’s sole client. The U.S. government is the solicitor general’s sole client.

13 U.S. Attorneys U.S. attorneys are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. U.S. attorneys are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. There are 93 U.S. attorneys, one for each judicial district. Each U.S. attorney is the chief federal law enforcement officer for the U.S. in their particular jurisdiction. There are 93 U.S. attorneys, one for each judicial district. Each U.S. attorney is the chief federal law enforcement officer for the U.S. in their particular jurisdiction. U.S. attorneys prosecute criminal cases brought by the federal government. U.S. attorneys prosecute criminal cases brought by the federal government. U.S. attorneys initiate and defend civil cases in which the U.S. is a party. U.S. attorneys initiate and defend civil cases in which the U.S. is a party. U.S. attorneys collects certain debts owed the federal government. U.S. attorneys collects certain debts owed the federal government.

14 Decentralized State Prosecution Prosecution in State Courts State Attorney General State’s chief law Enforcement official. Extensive civil responsibilities. Limited authority with criminal prosecutions. Political Influence District or County Attorney County Attorney Chief law enforcement officer of the community. Great autonomy in Felony and appellate cases. Political Influence. Local Prosecutor Prosecutor City attorneys Handles preliminary stages of felony cases. of felony cases. Responsible for processing the large volume of minor criminal offenses. Political Influence.

15 Prosecutors and the Courtroom Workgroup The prosecutor is the most important member of the courtroom workgroup and influences its members in the following ways : The prosecutor has sole discretion on whether to charge or not, and subsequently, the type of charge. The prosecutor has sole discretion on whether to charge or not, and subsequently, the type of charge. The prosecutor controls the nature of the plea bargain; either vertical or horizontal bargaining. The prosecutor controls the nature of the plea bargain; either vertical or horizontal bargaining. The prosecutor controls the evidence. The prosecutor controls the evidence. The prosecutor controls offender information. The prosecutor controls offender information. Therefore, by controlling the charge and the plea – the prosecutor can control the sentence. Therefore, by controlling the charge and the plea – the prosecutor can control the sentence. Socialization, specialization, and informal sanctions keep prosecutors in check. Socialization, specialization, and informal sanctions keep prosecutors in check.

16 Political Styles and Contrasting Workgroups Elected prosecutors choose political styles (p ) What is the difference between the office conservator, the courthouse insurgent, and the policy reformer?

17 Prosecutor’s Proactive Approach Improving Police-Prosecutor Relationshipsand, Community Prosecution What are some examples of each?


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