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.
Speaker: Jorge Camacho, Nicholas Goldrosen, Rick Su & Marissa Roy