Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Wise Prosecutor

In chapter 2 of my book, Governing through Crime (OUP 2009 pap), I describe how the war on crime transformed the political significance of prosecutors:

The prosecutor has long been a unique and important officeholder within the American systems of justice and government, with deep but limited powers and a special claim to represent the local community as a whole. In the last decades of the twentieth century, however, the war on crime reshaped the American prosecutor into and important model for political authority....

That authority was on display in the past two days of Sotomayor hearings as the Judge deflected some of the harshest attacks of Republican Senators by invoking either her law enforcement perspective generally, or her prosecutorial experience in particular. The tactic has been quite effective. Not surprisingly, Senators of both parties are disinclined to follow their critique of Judge Sotomayor's subject perspective into a concern for her possible bias against criminal defendants or to question the appropriateness of empathy when it comes to real or possible victims of violent crime. Below the fold I offer a few examples.

[read the rest of this post at Prawfsblawg]

No comments: