Ethical obligatons of the criminal prosecutor

Prosecutor conflict of interest

The prosecutor should seek to reform and improve the administration of criminal justice, and when inadequacies or injustices in the substantive or procedural law come to the prosecutor's attention, the prosecutor should stimulate and support efforts for remedial action. Such steps may include: filing motions including motions for reconsideration, and exhibits; making objections and placing explanations on the record; requesting evidentiary hearings; requesting or objecting to jury instructions; and making offers of proof and proffers of excluded evidence. Shortly before trial, one of the victims informed the prosecutor that he had lied to police about one of the counts. But when the need for corroboration of an interview is reasonably anticipated, the prosecutor should be accompanied by another trusted and credible person during the interview. For purposes of consistency, these Standards sometimes include language taken from the Model Rules of Professional Conduct; but the Standards often address conduct or provide details beyond that governed by the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The prosecutor should not obtain a waiver of other important pretrial rights, such as the right to a preliminary hearing, from an unrepresented accused unless that person has been judicially authorized to proceed pro se. A prosecutor should not use other improper considerations, such as partisan or political or personal considerations, in exercising prosecutorial discretion.

If warranted, the prosecutor may judicially challenge such a claim of privilege or seek a grant of immunity according to the law. Close cases should be resolved in favor of disclosure to the court and the defense.

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Compliance with Rule 3. Before offering an expert as a witness, the prosecutor should investigate the scientific acceptance of the particular theory, method, or conclusions about which the expert would testify.

The failure to take the precautions described by the opinion especially harms the poor and minorities, who are disproportionately represented among the defendant population.

The Standards are not intended to suggest any lesser standard of conduct than may be required by applicable mandatory rules, statutes, or other binding authorities.

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Prosecutors should work to identify potential issues of conflict, coordinate with other prosecution offices in advance, and resolve inter-office disputes amicably and in the public interest.

The prosecutor should not offer commentary regarding the specific merits of an ongoing criminal prosecution or investigation, except in a rare case to address a manifest injustice and the prosecutor is reasonably well-informed about the relevant facts and law.

His posts on the topic are here. A title search of WorldCat , the world's largest library network, will start when you click "Continue. In June, the Harvard Law Review posted a blog on the topic. The prosecutor should relay to the grand jury any request by the subject or target of an investigation to testify before the grand jury, or present other non-frivolous evidence claimed to be exculpatory. An extrajudicial statement is any oral, written, or visual presentation not made either in a courtroom during criminal proceedings or in court filings or correspondence with the court or counsel regarding criminal proceedings. The failure to take the precautions described by the opinion especially harms the poor and minorities, who are disproportionately represented among the defendant population. The prosecutor should avoid off-the-record communications with the grand jury and with individual grand jurors. In the rare case where a specific recommendation is made by the prosecutor, the recommendation should be to an independent and competent attorney, and the prosecutor should not make a referral that embodies, creates or is likely to create a conflict of interest. While the Indiana Court did not decide the question, many others have weighed in. A prosecutor should not allow interests in personal advancement or aggrandizement to affect judgments regarding what is in the best interests of justice in any case. Compensation for prosecutors should be adequate and also comparable to that of public defense counsel in the jurisdiction. The office policies and procedures should be augmented by instruction and training, and are not a substitute for regular training programs. The prosecutor should be aware of expert discovery rules and act to protect confidentiality and the public interest, for example by not sharing with the expert confidences and work product that the prosecutor does not want disclosed.

The opinion comes at a time when misdemeanor criminal enforcement has received heightened attention. A private attorney who is paid by, or who has an attorney-client relationship with, an individual or entity that is a victim of the charged crime, or who has a personal or financial interest in the prosecution of particular charges, or who has demonstrated any impermissible bias relevant to the particular matter, should not be permitted to serve as prosecutor in that matter.

The prosecutor should relay to the grand jury any request by the subject or target of an investigation to testify before the grand jury, or present other non-frivolous evidence claimed to be exculpatory.

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This trend disproportionately impacts poor and minority people. Under Rule 3.

Ethical obligatons of the criminal prosecutor

Constitution, a criminal prosecutor engages in a balancing act under conflicting obligations. In communicating with witnesses, the prosecutor should know and abide by law and ethics rules regarding the use of deceit and engaging in communications with represented, unrepresented, and organizational persons. But when the need for corroboration of an interview is reasonably anticipated, the prosecutor should be accompanied by another trusted and credible person during the interview. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. If it is determined that the prosecutor should nevertheless continue to act in the matter, the prosecutor and supervisors should consider whether any disclosure to a court or defense counsel should be made, and make such disclosure if appropriate. These Standards are intended to apply in any context in which a lawyer would reasonably understand that a criminal prosecution could result. Because there is little independent control over a prosecutor's discretion in charging or not charging a suspect, the prosecutor's ethical and legal commitment to justice is critical.

However, the prosecutor should be circumspect in publicly commenting on specific cases or aspects of the business of the office. Barbara Gillers.

Aba prosecution standards

A private attorney who is paid by, or who has an attorney-client relationship with, an individual or entity that is a victim of the charged crime, or who has a personal or financial interest in the prosecution of particular charges, or who has demonstrated any impermissible bias relevant to the particular matter, should not be permitted to serve as prosecutor in that matter. Effective measures to retain excellent prosecutors should be encouraged, while recognizing the benefits of some turnover. Because there is little independent control over a prosecutor's discretion in charging or not charging a suspect, the prosecutor's ethical and legal commitment to justice is critical. The failure to take the precautions described by the opinion especially harms the poor and minorities, who are disproportionately represented among the defendant population. This might not be a burning topic in Vermont. Because prosecutors have the sole power to initiate judicial action in a criminal case, they are the most powerful players within the criminal justice system. The opinion comes at a time when misdemeanor criminal enforcement has received heightened attention. However, a prosecutor may reasonably accommodate media requests for access to public information and events.
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Criminal Justice Standards for the Prosecution Function