Prosecution vs. Defense Counsel Paper CJS 220 Prosecution vs. Defense Counsel Paper There are several differences in the roles of the defense counsel and a prosecutor. One of which is what they do and who they work for. The prosecutor works for the state and tries to convict the defense counsels client at all costs. The prosecutor also has the challenge of trying to get the state everything they want in the trial. The prosecutor also has the task of protecting the state in consumer related matters.
Many decisions pertaining to a case going to trial and how actively they pursue the case are left up to prosecutors and how they view the evidence and what the evidence means to them. This can be described as prosecutorial discretion. How does this affect the prosecutor and overall case flow in the criminal court system? Prosecutorial discretion puts an abundance of pressure on the prosecutors and their roles in the courts. The prosecution must without a reasonable doubt prove the defendant is responsible for committing the crime.
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.
Prosecuting those who commit crimes is very important to the overall wellbeing of society and the citizens within society. Prosecuting and convicting criminals not only prevents them from committing another crime, it also serves as a deterrent to others that may be considering breaking the law. Many courts make up the judicial branch and these courts are responsible for applying laws made by the government. The courts are made up of courtroom workgroups that are the basis of the courts proceedings. The courtroom workgroup consists of the participants that work for the court.
Therefore, by having sufficient evidence this would be enough to convict a criminal in the court of law. Crime control is based on handling crimes that occur with a quick and effective outcome. For example if the prosecutor does not have strong evidence to receive a conviction there is a slight chance the offender’s case will get dismissed. Therefore, emphasizing the capacity to arrest, and convict a high proportion of offenders in other words put the criminal in jail first and question later. However, with the “due process an individual is allowed their day in court if suspected of a crime because of United States constitution.
The occurrence of plea bargaining and pleading guilty even though the defendant professes his or her innocence is a rising and questionable phenomenon in the US court system. Pleas are sought to minimize sentence and the number of trials. (Mousseau, 2008) Pleading guilty typically comes with a “built-in incentive,” lessened sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. The defendant
The main purpose of the preliminary hearing is to establish whether there is sufficient evidence against a person to continue the justice process. There are three outcomes you can get from a preliminary hearing: the charges can be dismissed or dropped, a bail or detention hearing can be held, or a guilty plea can be found. There are many challenges that face the defendants, prosecutors, and the entire court when it comes to the preliminary hearing. Most prosecutors would rather go before a grand jury rather than hold a preliminary hearing. Going before a grand jury is favorable to the prosecutor because the jury only hears what the prosecutor has to say and will then deliberate whether the case should go to trial or not.
The U.S. criminal court system is an adversarial process. The adversarial process uses defense attorneys and prosecutors to represent the positions of two opposing families. The process places the burden on the prosecutor, who must prove to a jury that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense attorney argues for the innocence, as well as the legal protections, of the accused. The judge, a disinterested party, ensures that the two sides play by the rules.
The key difference between these two models is that the crime control model is much more harsh and unrelenting; it emphasizes controlling crime via punishing suspects while the due process model emphasizes careful examination to ensure less innocent people are unjustly convicted. The crime control model places an emphasis on "placing as few restrictions as possible on the ability of law enforcement officers to make discretionary decisions in apprehending criminals"(Gaines). Under this model, courts would be more willing to convict offenders, even with an absence of compelling evidence. For example, a court would be more willing to accept a police officer's account of a homicide without careful cross-examination under the crime control model in order to repress crime. In contrast, the due process model emphasizes "protecting the rights of the accused through formal, legal restraints on the police, courts, and corrections" (Gaines).
The prosecution, the judge and the defendant all benefit when defense counsel performs in the way the Constitution envisions. The broken public defense system in our State doesn't have to be like this. It can and must be fixed. As a result of these deficiencies, many individuals facing criminal charges are compelled to appear in court without a lawyer at critical junctures, such as when bail decisions are made. This often results in unnecessary or excessive bail being set and keeps people who cannot afford it in jail awaiting trial Many public defense lawyers also fail to: meet or consult with clients at critical stages in their cases; investigate the charges against their clients or hire experts who can assist with case preparation or testify at trial; file necessary pre-trial motions; and provide meaningful consultation before clients accept plea bargains, regardless of whether a charge is appropriate or a viable defense exists.