Essay about The United States Criminal Justice System

1408 Words Dec 15th, 2016 6 Pages
In the United States criminal justice system, the prosecutor has the obligation for deciding what and how crimes will be prosecuted. The “legal system has traditionally accorded wide discretion to criminal prosecutors in the enforcement process”. As long as “the prosecutor has probable cause to believe that the accused committed an offense defined by statute, the decision whether or not to prosecute and what charge to file or bring before a grand jury, rests entirely in his discretion”. Granted with such discretion, state attorneys heavily rely upon victims in criminal cases as sources of information and have the ability to use such information in their decision-making. As was noted in Section I of this paper, while prosecutors do represent the government and not the crime victims per se, they still are encouraged and sometimes obligated to take into consideration the victim 's interests also. This is not to say that using such information is an ethical violation. In contrast, it is of the utmost importance that “any efforts to require a wall of separation between prosecutors and victims should be rejected, as counterproductive and unnecessary for any public policy or constitutional reason”.
Nevertheless, some prosecutors are overzealous in protecting victims and may have political, tactical, or personal reasons for portraying themselves the victims “sword of justice”. Such prosecutors create ethical dilemmas. These prosecutors do not solely exist on television shows,…

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