Role of the Prosecutor in the United States

Role of the Prosecutor in the United States

Role of the Prosecutor in the United States

In the criminal justice system in the United States, one of the most important tasks is that of the prosecutor. As detailed by the American Bar Association, the role of prosecutors is that of administrators of justice, officials of the court, and champions of strong discretion in carrying out their duties. Prosecutors seek not just convictions, but justice.

In essence, prosecutors are the primary legal representatives in their jurisdiction and have an obligation to bring criminal cases against those alleged to have violated one or more laws.

Although different formal titles are used for those with this responsibility in different areas of the United States, the general purpose of prosecutors is the same. It is important to note that precisely because of the power they have to exercise state power in pursuit of justice, United States prosecutors are legally bound to rules of ethics and professional responsibility that go beyond those of lawyers in other areas of law. the law.

Responsibilities of Prosecutors in the United States   

Regardless of location, prosecutors in the United States tend to share a number of responsibilities related to achieving convictions for those accused of crimes. They not only prepare and present cases against alleged criminals; they are also involved in initiating and, if necessary, assisting in criminal investigations.

The prosecution can also participate in plea bargains and post-conviction recommendations and are the only attorneys allowed to take part in Grand Jury proceedings.

Special Responsibilities and Restrictions of the United States Attorney

Because of the great power that prosecutors wield, it is important that they are held to a higher standard of professional ethics and responsibility. For example, prosecutors must be very careful to avoid conflicts of interest related to their official responsibilities.

They should not make public statements that could influence the outcome of a criminal case. These lawyers also have the obligation to report cases of lack of work ethic among prosecutor colleagues to prevent judicial errors and violations of the rights of the accused parties. What Is The Difference Between US Attorney And Attorney General?

Differences Between the Titles Given to Prosecutors in the United States

As mentioned above, the specific title given to prosecutors depends on the jurisdiction. For example, in Maryland, the lawyers in this position are called “State Attorneys” and these lawyers have an active presence in each of the counties of the state and in the city of Baltimore.

In Virginia, elected prosecutors are called “Commonwealth Attorneys.” Kentucky also uses this nomenclature.

Commonwealth Attorneys are the highest-ranking law enforcement officer within their jurisdiction and are staffed by their deputy chief and assistant attorneys. Misdemeanors are generally not handled by Commonwealth Attorneys, but by their equivalents at the municipal or county level.

The criminal justice system in Georgia uses the services of “District Attorneys” who are the designated prosecutors for criminal matters in the state. These individuals are the chief prosecutors for each of the 49 judicial circuits in Georgia, with coverage ranging from one to eight counties.

District Attorneys in Georgia are elected members of the judicial branch, and represent the state in trials and appeals in criminal cases and in juvenile delinquency court.

District Attorneys typically have a staff of assistant attorneys, an investigative unit, and administrative staff. 61 of the 159 counties employ attorneys general to prosecute misdemeanors first and second instance.

In the District of Columbia, the US Attorney’s Office plays a special role, serving as prosecuting attorney in federal and local cases ranging from misdemeanor drug offenses to homicide.

Other titles for prosecutors in the country at the state level include:

  • “Applicant:” South Carolina
  • Prosecuting Attorney: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Hawaii, Idaho, Washington
  • District Attorney: Tennessee, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma
  • “County Attorney:” Arizona
  • State’s Attorney: Florida, Connecticut, Vermont, Maryland

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