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LAWS 2301 (138)

Desiree Hayward

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LAWS 2301
Saunders- Carleton University

1 November 20 2012 LAWS2301A Criminal law; Lecture 10 Prosecutors Prosecutors; Powers - Duties and realities of work - Accountability mechanisms (Romeo) Defense; (Sometimes agents of the state) - Roles, issues, control - Rockwood Plea-bargaining; - Types, definitions - Benefits given Duties/principles •Act as “Minister of Justice”/”servant of justice”/officer of the court; they are meant to act as ministers of justice, do not always do so (how they are meant to assist in the ascertainment of truth and justice) “Temple of justice”- sometimes referred to in deciding their role in the CJS •Assist court in understanding facts—Assist the judge, jury, use discretion in choosing facts and evidence BUT must show all relative evidence (no hiding evidence favorable to defense cause) •Assist in understanding law/rules—meant to present all the rules, site all relevant cases, then allow court to decide •Convict guilty/acquit innocent—Goal to achieve justice, not just get a conviction •Be independent: stand apart from rich & poor & in-betweens—“Stand above and apart from the clamor of the court room”—Not supposed to take an interest in the case USA: District Attorney supposed to take a more political role •Presume innocence—until the end of the case Realities: Nature of the job itself is very different •Administrative pressures—often respond to administrative demands—Argument is that they need to do so efficiently (great deal of pressure to process a lot of cases quickly) •Prosecutorial values more managerial than adversarial or justice oriented—Prosecutors do not have time or resources to hold to that higher standard of temple of justice Look to plea-bargaining •Often assume guilt & proceed—Procedural judicial requirements are perceived as obstacles; assumption taken that yes, this is the person and this is what they did •Social bonds/trust important—you need to have a relationship with the defense so to avoid many trials will lead to backlog (Your part of a bureaucracy more than a Templar of justice) •Great deal of discretion & little accountability; secretive process—there are very few checks, little accountability some say prosecutorial independency is freedom Work is often secretive- we do not say why they proceeded as they did with charges Accountability mechanisms •accountability of AG to legislature Sometimes the AG has accountability on the part of his/her employees, but not often (prosecutor of an employee of the AG) -Often AG does not like to interfere - AG can issue general directions on part of the prosecution (Mc Gill policy—Saskatchewan case where the AG told Prosecution to pursue case on domestic assault 2 •accountability of Crown to AG)—look to reasons/limits for denying a plea-bargain (in text, Mackenzie reading) •accountability to individual citizen—Victims generally have small role in case, 2 types of remedies for the individual when wronged by prosecution 1) Civil suit—malicious prosecution 2) Pursue on account of violated Charter Rights proliferated by prosecution (Prosecution assumed to have ultimate immunity until Nelles case)—talked about in class last week Courts—if you are going to sue a prosecutor you need to have deliberate and malicious intent •accountability to the courts—Generally speaking, the courts do not interfere with the prosecutorial decision making process (don’t want to do each other’s jobs) – Courts allow prosecutorial discretion  CJS said to operate best this way 2 ways the courts could interfere; 1
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