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NCJ Number: 155862 Find in a Library
Title: Abusive Prosecutors: Gender, Race and Class Discretion and the Prosecution of Drug-Addicted Mothers
Journal: Buffalo Law Review  Volume:39  Dated:(1991)  Pages:737-802
Author(s): D L Greene
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 66
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Prosecutors have tremendous discretion, particularly at the precharging stage of the criminal justice process, and the extent of prosecutorial abuse in the case of drug-addicted mothers is examined.
Abstract: Prosecutor discretion is virtually unconstrained by courts, legislatures, and the electorate. Consequently, there is great potential for prosecutors to use their discretion against some of the least powerful in society, drug-addicted poor minority women. The extent of prosecutorial discretion and potential abuse is examined using the paradigm of drug-addicted women. Justifications for allowing prosecutors wide latitude and existing inadequate constraints on prosecutor discretion are discussed. Ways in which demographics, pluralistic ignorance, and the ideology of U.S. courts contribute to doctrinal anemia in the area of prosecutor discretion are highlighted. Effects of gender, color, and class on prosecutor bias and ways in which feminist and critical race methodologies reveal such bias are explored. Criminal justice system reforms are recommended to curb prosecutor discretion in the case of drug-addicted mothers. The creation of a board system is proposed to provide information for the democratic control of prosecutors and to provide community perspectives on gender, race, and class biases. 272 footnotes
Main Term(s): Drug dependence
Index Term(s): Criminal justice system reform; Drug abuse; Female offenders; Minorities; Pregnant drug abusers; Prosecutorial discretion; Prosecutors; Racial discrimination
Note: DCC
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