Prosecutors are the most powerful actors in the legal system. Their decisions have significant implications for how crime is defined, who is charged, and the punishment they receive. This volume draws together classic and recent scholarship that critically examines how prosecutorial power is constituted through their decision-making processes, the relationships between legal changes and court actors, and the consequences of this for society. Taken as a whole, this collection offers insights into law in action, how social change shapes the legal system, and alternative forms of case resolution.
Contents: Series preface; Introduction; Part I Decision-Making practices: Case Screening and Charging: Prosecutorial discretion: the effects of uncertainty, Celesta A. Albonetti; Organisational horizons and complaint-filing, Robert M. Emerson and Blair Paley; Prosecution and race: the power and privilege of discretion, Angela J. Davis; Convictability and discordant locales: reproducing race, class, and gender ideologies in prosecutorial decision making, Lisa Frohmann. Part II Decision-Making Practices: Plea Bargaining: The prosecutor's role in plea bargaining, Albert W. Alschuler; Gauging the strength of evidence prior to plea bargaining: the interpretive procedures of court-appointed defense attorney, Debra S. Emmelmann; The structure of discourse in misdemeanor plea bargaining, Douglas W. Maynard; Prosecutorial discretion and plea bargaining in the United States, France, Germany and Italy: a comparative perspective, Yue Ma. Part III Legal Reforms and Shifts in Prosecutorial Power: Killing her softly: intimate abuse and the violence of state intervention, Linda G. Mills; Crime control and feminist law reform in domestic violence law: a critical review, Donna Coker; The federal/state criminal prosecution nexus: a case study of cooperation and discretion, Lisa L. Miller and James Eisenstein. Part IV Prosecutorial Power and Ethical Conduct: Victory, not justice, is the goal, Ken Armstrong and Maurice Possley; Prosecution on trial in DuPage, Maurice Possley and Ken Armstrong; Reversal of fortune, Ken Armstrong and Maurice Possley; Break rules, be promoted, Ken Armstrong and Maurice Possley; The prosecutor's duty to truth, Bennett L. Gershman. Part V International Criminal Court and Alternatives to Prosecution: Crimes of war and force of law, John Hagan and Ron Levi; Between vengeance and forgiveness: South Africa's truth and reconciliation commission, Martha Minow; Name index.