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Thu Apr 12, 2012, 06:19 PM

Duties of a government prosecutor.

I've been taken to task for posts about the prosecutor's presser.
Especially her comment about Trayvon Martin's "sweet family"
I have been told, by persons who claim to be knowledgeable of law, that the prosecutor's job is to be an "advocate" for the alleged victim.
I do not, and can not, believe this is true, or should be.

Here's what I think is a pretty good description of what a prosecutor SHOULD do:

"Prosecutors are unique in that they have both powers and duties that other lawyers do not. This does not mean prosecutors are any better or worse than other lawyers, but it does result in many misconceptions about the prosecutor’s role in the criminal justice system. The quotations contained on this page are intended to shed some light on this role.

“The duty of a public prosecutor or other government lawyer is to seek justice, not merely to convict.”

Rule 3.8(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct

“The United States Attorney is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done.

As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor – indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.”
http://www.henrycty.com/codepartments/stateatty/aboutprosecutor.htm

I rest my case.

12 replies, 1537 views

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Response to trof (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 06:46 PM

1. The ideal and the reality are completely different.

Justice is the ideal, getting one in the win column is the reality.

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Response to cloudbase (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 06:58 PM

2. I'll certainly grant you that.

Many times the 'real' world differs greatly from the intended, hoped for, or ideal.
I'm just stating what 'should be' and is directed in legal guidelines, not what is.
And i don't understand why folks seem to have a problem with this.
Whatever...

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Response to trof (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 08:52 PM

4. And that is why the real world is full of unjustly convicted innocents and free felons

 

Making the real world more like the intended world is what separates us from the other great apes.

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Response to trof (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 06:59 PM

3. What precisely is your case that you are resting? n/t

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Response to monmouth (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 05:56 PM

5. My position on the duties/responsibilities of a government prosecutor.

Many on DU believe they are victim's advocates.
One who claimed to be a defense attorney as much as called me an idiot for stating otherwise.
(I can claim to be a supreme court justice online, but that doesn't make me one. )

I know there are politics involved in any elected or appointed office, but ideally (and by statue) the prosecutor's job is to find the truth in a criminal matter.
If exculpatory evidence pointing to the accused's innocence is uncovered, the prosecutor is obligated morally and legally to turn that information over to the court.
It happens.

I said in another OP that the prosecutor's comment about "justice for Trayvon's sweet family" was inappropriate, and I stand by that.

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Response to trof (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:46 PM

6. Thanks. I was a court reporter for years in Jersey, heard it all. I would have to

agree the "sweet family" was a bit over the top.

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Response to monmouth (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:50 PM

7. Thank you. I took a lot of heat on the other thread.

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Response to trof (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 07:17 PM

9. As well you should have. The woman has tried

more than 50 homicide cases over more than 20 years, but you know her "duties and responsibilities" better than she does.

Right.

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Response to Solomon (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 07:30 PM

10. Ya know what? Just piss OFF!

Buddy, YOU just made the list, and it's a VERY short one.

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Response to trof (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 11:00 AM

11. LOL. What else you got to complain about in this

case? Your boy is gonna do some time in spite of your whining. Here's some cheese to go with it.

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Response to trof (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 06:52 PM

8. Hmmm. Wonder why this issue comes up?

After thousands and thousands of prosecutions, it comes up now.

Perhaps the state's attorney should defend Zimmerman like the first state's attorney did.

God this crap is ridiculous. Does it really bother you that most prosecutors bond with the victims, or is it only this case?

Wonder why? I think I know.

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Response to Solomon (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 11:34 AM

12. Knowing trof, it comes up because he's trying to find a way to respond

to the wingnuts.

The duty of any officer of the court is to seek justice. The particular duty of the prosecutor is to advocate for the victim and the wingnuts don't know that or rather, they don't care about it.

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