Deciding Whether a Case Should be Prosecuted or Not Essay

1016 Words 5 Pages
When a prosecutor is deciding whether a case should be prosecuted in the courts and charges should be filed against someone, prosecutors consider two important questions: Is it in the best interest of the public to proceed? And, is there a strong reasonable likelihood that there will be a conviction? If the answer to both are yes, then there is the task of deciding whether there is enough evidence to prosecute the case and whether the evidence is reliable and can it be used in court. This means carefully assessing the quality of the evidence from all related witnesses before reaching a final decision. Grand jury indictments will be presented by the prosecutors only when and if a criminal case has not been diverted, downgraded, …show more content…
But, if there is a lack of probable cause, the case is dismissed” (www.uscourts.gov). Defense attorneys or defendants have the right to appear before the grand jury, when a Grand jury convenes to review a case the defense attorney does not have the option to present evidence or be present during the proceeding, however he or she is allowed to speak with witnesses outside the courtroom. Grand jury personnel, prosecutors, and witness transcripts cannot be obtained or revealed. For many years, it was thought to be “smart” that most lawyers avoided grand jury appearances because it increased the chance of unnecessary legal risks, including the possibility of the use of grand jury testimony to discredit the defendant's account of events at trial. Contrary to this practice, the state of New York has made an exception. “Current practice in the state of New York is that defense lawyers are allowing many suspects ranging from police officers to the most hardened of street criminals to testify before grand juries, resulting in much notable success” (Glaberson, 2004). A criminal defendant faces a confusing list of options to resolve a criminal charge. Trials to jury or judges are familiar options, however, plea bargaining and having a case concluded have become very popular. Once the defendant, the lawyer, and the prosecutor become more familiar with a case, an attempt to settle or dispose or

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