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NCJ Number: 171601 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: American Prosecutor in Historical Context
Journal: Prosecutor  Volume:31  Issue:3  Dated:(May/June 1997)  Pages:33-34,36,38
Author(s): J E Jacoby
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This historical review of prosecution in the United States shows prosecutors have a great deal of independence and discretionary power and notes differences between the American prosecution system and the English and French prosecution systems.
Abstract: Between 1620 and 1790, the U.S. criminal justice system diverged from the English tradition. The British used a system of private prosecution whereby individuals hired lawyers to prosecute crimes. Even though some felt the concept of a public officer to conduct prosecutions was borrowed from the French after the American Revolution when French institutions were in favor and British institutions were unpopular, public officers were conducting prosecutions in the United States 75 years before French influence was being felt. A comprehensive study of the historical origins of prosecution in the United States, published in 1976, concluded the American prosecutor developed in response to a combination of factors and influences. Differences between private and public prosecution are examined, particularly in relation to the English and French legal systems and the rise of an organized police force in the United States. The evolution of prosecution is also discussed in terms of the victim rights movement. 12 endnotes
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): Foreign criminal justice systems; France; Great Britain/United Kingdom; History of criminal justice; Prosecution; Prosecutorial discretion; Prosecutors; United States of America; US/foreign comparisons; Victims rights
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