July 21, 2022
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Preemption of Prosecutorial Discretion
This session examines state preemption of prosecutorial discretion. Increasingly, as prosecutors have begun to use their discretion to further criminal justice reform and shift from a punitive approach to a restorative one, states have begun to step in to constrain this use of prosecutorial discretion. States have preempted prosecutorial discretion by creating concurrent jurisdiction over certain offenses at the state level, by forcing prosecutors to pursue certain charges or limiting their ability to decline to prosecutor, and even by targeting certain specific prosecutors directly. These uses of preemption not only upsets the tradition of discretion - which has been a practical necessity as prosecutors must prioritize cases - but it also rejects the mandate of the local electorate calling for criminal justice reform.
Speakers: Jorge Camacho, Nicholas Goldrosen, Rick Su and Marissa Roy
Jorge X. Camacho is a Clinical Lecturer in Law and the Policing, Law, and Policy Director of the Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School. Prior to joining the Law School, Camacho served as Senior Counsel at the New York City Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice and as Senior Counsel in the Legal Counsel Division of the New York City Office of the Corporation Counsel. He started his career as an Assistant District Attorney at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and served on multiple task forces and citywide committees throughout his years in government service, including serving on the Steering Committee of the New York City Mayor’s Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and chairing its Subcommittee on Law Enforcement and Social Justice. He received his B.A. from Swarthmore College, where he was a Philip Evans Scholar, and his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as a Notes Editor on the Yale Law Journal.
Nicholas Goldrosen is a Gates Cambridge Fellow pursuing his MPhil and PhD in Criminology. In much of his own work — interning with the Inspector General for the New York Police Department, analyzing local criminal justice data in Massachusetts, and serving on a user group for the US Administrative Office of the Courts — he has seen how transparency and data can enable reform in the criminal legal system, particularly with regards to racism and inequity. As a current criminology MPhil student, he is researching how police react to criminal legal reforms, such as progressive prosecution, and how these reactions affect the efficacy of reform. For my PhD, he will study how misconduct and discrimination spread throughout police peer networks. He hopes that by using quantitative tools to identify barriers to reform, he can contribute to a reimagining of how we prevent and respond to harm as a society.
Rick Su is a Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he teaches and writes in the areas of local government law, immigration, and federalism. His research focuses on the intersection between cities and immigration. His work has appeared in the Columbia Law Review, the William & Mary Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, and the North Carolina Law Review.
Su received his B.A. from Dartmouth College in 2001 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2004. After graduating from law school, he clerked for The Honorable Stephen Reinhardt on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and worked in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Prior to joining the Carolina Law faculty in 2019, Su taught at the University at Buffalo School of Law, where he won the faculty teaching award in 2009 and 2015. He was a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School in 2015 and Washington University in St. Louis School of Law in 2018.
Marissa has spent her career working with local governments to engage in high-impact litigation. As a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles, Marissa helped bring one of the Office's first large-scale workers' rights lawsuits to hold accountable port trucking companies that were classifying truck drivers as independent contractors rather than employees and deducting thousands of dollars from their wages. In addition to protecting workers' rights, Marissa worked with the City of Los Angeles and later the County of Los Angeles to challenge the Trump Administration's hostile immigration agenda, from the federal district court all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Marissa earned her J.D. from Yale Law School as well as her Master in Public Diplomacy and B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Law from the University of Southern California.