Prosecutorial Discretion in an Adversary System - Essay Example

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The paper 'Prosecutorial Discretion in an Adversary System' focuses on the enforcement officer exercises discretion at various stages in the criminal procedure. Foremost, at the investigative stage, they have the prerogative to investigate complaints lobbied in pertaining to illegalities…
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Prosecutorial Discretion in an Adversary System
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At the trial stage, the prosecutor’s role pertains to disclose all evidence to the defense counsel pertaining to the suspect’s case. Moreover, at the serving and sentencing stage the law enforcement officer is charged with the discretion of acting of as parole officers of sentenced criminals that have been selected for possible freedom based on their character (Mellili, 1992).
The judge exercises discretion at the trial stage by leading the court proceedings against the charged suspect. At the sentencing stage, the judge exercises his or her discretion after the defendant is found guilty after a plea of guilty or judgment by the jury. Consequently, the judge dispenses the sentencing laws cognizant with the crime charged. Furthermore, the judge exercises discretion at the appeal stage. At the instigation by the defense counsel of the sentenced defendant, an appeal may be issued and reviewed a judge in the appellate court (Mellili, 1992). Furthermore, a different judge will lead the proceedings of a new trial based on the review and approval of an appellate court.
Some of the guidelines that are in force to limit the discretionary powers of enforcement officers include the limit on the excessive force while making the arrest. This is in light of the possibility of the officers to use police brutality on unarmed and powerless suspects such as racial minorities (U.S Department of Justice, 2012).
On the part of the judges, guidelines that could be used in limiting their discretion pertain to issues of sentencing. These include sentencing structures that limit and regulate the punishment of convicted criminals. For example, the legal specifications pertaining to the maximum or minimum periods of incarceration and statutory limit.
Finally, there are laws that regulate the prosecutor’s discretion in criminal justice. The most important being the timely and full disclosure of evidence to the defense counsel pertaining to the charged suspect’s case. This law is very much helpful in the clarification of facts and avoidance of power abuse by the prosecutor. For example, in cases in which the prosecutor may have sourced for illegal and biased evidence against a charged suspect, the defense counsel will be able to prove misconduct by the prosecutor. Consequently, the judge revokes the case. Read More
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