The Perverse Power of the Prosecutor


How responsible are prosecutors for holding back progressive criminal justice reform?

BY JOHN PFAFF
One of the more important shifts in criminal justice reform over the past five or so years has been a growing awareness of just how powerful and influential prosecutors truly are. Perhaps startled to find themselves under such attention after decades of little to no scrutiny, prosecutors are now pushing back. One common rebuttal prosecutors make is that they don’t actually have that much power. It is the legislature, theyargue, which passes the laws and thus really calls the shots. Prosecutors simply impose what the legislature enacts.
 
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