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July 8, 2020

Two thoughtful new commentaries on the role of prosecutors in criminal justice reform

Anyone who understands criminal justice systems knows the critical importance of the work of prosecutors, and these two new commentaries speak in thoughtful ways to their work: 

"The False Choice Between ‘Progressive’ and ‘Old-Fashioned’ Prosecutors" by Marc Levin

Excerpt: "Overcoming the failures of the past does not require being “progressive,” but rather an approach to prosecution that draws at least as much from traditionally conservative priorities such as limiting government and measuring results.  Fulfilling the unique obligation of prosecutors to do justice for victims, communities, and defendants should not imply a political agenda.  Instead, it should depend on gathering and analyzing data, being transparent with the public, and collaborating with partners to provide a full spectrum of responses to crime so that liberty is limited only to the degree needed to protect public safety.


"Want to Reform the Criminal Justice System? Focus on Prosecutors" by Joyce White Vance

Excerpt: "Prosecutors’ offices are not factories that produce widgets, and their success should not be assessed based on the number of cases they indict or convictions they obtain, nor the speed with which they obtain them.  Instead, prosecutorial decisions in both the federal and state systems should be the product of critical review that determines whether a case merits indictment and the investigation was sound.  Careful, objective review at each stage in prosecution, from charging to sentencing to post-conviction review, must be an intrinsic part of the culture.  A prosecutor’s job is about doing justice, not getting convictions. If prosecutors take the lead at getting it right, the rest of the system will follow."

July 8, 2020 at 12:07 AM | Permalink


It's great to see that articles are coming out with the focus on what is most wrong in the justice system. I hope this is the start of major reform.

Posted by: restless94110 | Jul 8, 2020 8:32:50 AM

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