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NCJ Number: NCJ 242465    
Title: Persistent Localism in the Prosecutor Services of North Carolina (From Prosecutors and Politics: A Comparative Perspective, P 211-264, 2012, Michael Tonry, ed. - See NCJ-242458)
Author(s): Ronald F. Wright
Date Published: 2012
Page Count: 54
  Annotation: This paper examines the problem of persistent localism in the prosecutor services of North Carolina.
Abstract: The distinct flavor of each local prosecutor’s office persists in North Carolina despite unusually strong efforts to centralize and unify the prosecution function across the entire State. The 44 offices share a common legal framework, including structured sentencing rules that channel the available punishments in predictable directions. Almost all their operating funds derive from the State rather than from the local level of government. The ties that bind the offices together do not, however, create a single organizational identity. Each office pursues a unique mix of criminal charges, responsive to the priorities of local voters. Local offices also differ from one another in the sentencing results they obtain. Thus, the North Carolina experience demonstrates the relatively weak influence of substantive criminal law, sentencing law, and other formal legal structures in the face of demographic differences, local political constraints, office size, and organizational culture. In a democratic society, residents expect prosecutors to make choices consistent with their own values and priorities. Yet in North Carolina, voters also recognize that the State is not culturally homogeneous: Charlotte is not like Shallotte. Localism is a natural consequence of tight popular control over criminal justice in a pluralistic democracy. (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Prosecutors
Index Term(s): Prosecution model ; Prosecution ; Prosecutor training ; North Carolina ; Local
Sale Source: University of Chicago Press
1427 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States of America
Publisher URL: 
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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