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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 62582 Find in a Library
Title: PROSECUTOR IN AMERICA
Corporate Author: National College of District Attorneys
College of Law
University of Houston
United States of America
Editor(s): J J DOUGLASS
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 127
Sponsoring Agency: National College of District Attorneys
Houston, TX 77004
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE PROSECUTOR'S ROLES, RELATIONSHIPS TO OTHERS, FUNCTIONS, RESOURCES, TRAINING, AND PROFESSIONALISM ARE EXAMINED; THE ORIGIN AND FUNCTION OF THE OFFICE AS AN AMERICAN INSTITUTION IS ALSO DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THE PROSECUTOR IS UNIQUE TO THE U.S. CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. THE OFFICE IS VARIOUSLY TITLED SOLICITOR, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, COUNTY ATTORNEY, COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL, OR ASSISTANT SOLICITOR GENERAL. THE OFFICE GENERALLY CONSISTS OF A LOCAL OFFICIAL SERVING A SPECIFIC, LIMITED GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION. ORDINARILY, THE PROSECUTOR IS ELECTED, ALTHOUGH THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS AS IN CONNECTICUT AND NEW JERSEY WHERE PROSECUTORS ARE APPOINTED. THE OFFICE IS INDEPENDENT AND PART OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT. ALMOST WITHOUT EXCEPTION, THE PROSECUTOR IS A LAWYER, AND THEREFORE SUBJECT TO THE ETHICAL STANDARDS OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION, AN ADMINISTRATOR, AND A PUBLIC OFFICIAL WITH POLICYMAKING RESPONSIBILITIES. HE OR SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHARGING FUNCTION AND AT THE SAME TIME MUST KEEP THE DOCKETS MOVING. IT IS A DIFFICULT OFFICE, INVOLVING CONFLICTING PRESSURES AND RESPONSIBILITES. THE PROSECUTOR'S MAIN ROLE IS TO SEEK JUSTICE AND NOT MERELY TO CONVICT; PROMOTION IS NOT DETERMINED BY THE NUMBER OF CASES WON OR LOST. PROSECUTORS' OFFICES HAVE TRADITIONALLY BEEN UNDERSTAFFED AND UNDERFINANCED, AND MANY ASSISTANT PROSECUTORS ARE INEXPERIENCED AND INSUFFICIENTLY TRAINED. CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAMS AND TRAINING SEMINARS SPECIFICALLY FOR PROSECUTORS HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED RECENTLY. FOOTNOTES AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY ARE INCLUDED IN THE WORK. (LWM)
Index Term(s): District attorneys; Prosecution; Prosecutors; Role conflict
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