Prosecutorial Discretion Essay

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Prosecutorial Discretion Prosecutors play very important roles in the courtroom. Prosecutors are granted the right by the courts to have discretion upon a case. Although, prosecutors are obligated to execute the law at both federal and state levels, they still hold the discretion of what charges to try and convict the defendant on. Prosecutors have a wide range of authority in the courts; therefore, the active prosecutor(s) must efficiently analyze any evidence being presented in a case in order to determine if the case will be strong enough to withhold a trial or even if the accused defendant is chargeable. In the case of Bordenkircher v. Hayes (1978), the court stated, “so long as the prosecutor has probable cause to believe that the accused committed an offense defined by statute, the decision whether or not to prosecute, and what charge to file or bring before a grand jury, generally rests entirely in his discretion.” Although there are many factors that come into play when a prosecutor is considering dismissing a case, the most prominent issues are state and federal resources, time, and investigative teams. When there is an insufficient amount of resources and time, the accused may be more subject to leniency from the prosecutors. Moreover, the counter argument for lenient behavior is that because prosecutors are not following through and charging certain cases, then they are not fully executing the law. Additionally, many people believe there is a strong possibility that some prosecutors will abuse their discretion privileges (Slobogin, p548). In the federal courts, prosecutors also have the discretion to join charges. Joinder analysis usually proceeds in two stages under the typical statute. Permissibility of the joinder charges are determined in the first stage, and the second stage decides whether the joinder would prejudice one or both of

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