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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 115453 Find in a Library
Title: Judicially Initiated Prosecution: A Means of Preventing Continuing Victimization in the Event of Prosecutorial Inaction
Journal: California Law Review  Volume:76  Issue:3  Dated:(1988)  Pages:727-768
Author(s): K L Wainstein
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 41
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This discussion proposes the use of court-appointed prosecutors to represent the interests of crime victims who are vulnerable to revictimization because the public prosecutor has refused to charge the alleged offender despite having probable cause.
Abstract: The American criminal justice system currently gives the public attorney exclusive discretion over the initiation of criminal proceedings and denies the crime victim any formal role in the prosecution of a criminal suspect. This structure is justified in most cases by values of procedural fairness and administrative efficiency, but it denies a certain class of victims the protection of the laws. Victims of crimes like spouse abuse are often subject to continued victimization when the prosecutor fails to charge the responsible party and alternative deterrent remedies are either unavailable or inadequate. Victims should have recourse to judicial review of a public attorney's negative charging decision if that decision leaves the victim vulnerable to further victimization. Such a procedure will provide much-needed protection to this class of victims in accordance with constitutional principles and sound public policy values. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Prosecutors
Index Term(s): Alternative court procedures; Court reform; Prosecutorial discretion; Victims rights
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