Much of the work of the criminal justice system will never be seen by the general public. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and grand juries determine the course of criminal cases well before a case is even committed to a public docket. In your paper, detail the special responsibilities prosecutors have towards initiating a criminal case against a defendant. In other words, how does a prosecutor make the decision to charge someone? In your paper:
- Explain why a grand jury is used rather than the prosecutor simply issuing a criminal charge.
- Based on the evidence presented by the prosecutor and the finding of probable cause that a crime was committed, discuss the purpose of a grand jury issuing a true bill (criminal charge) or not.
- Discuss whether or not a defense attorney and/or the defendant can address a grand jury and provide reasoning for why a defense attorney and/or the defendant would choose to attend or not attend the grand jury proceeding.
- Provide all the procedural and substantive ways that a prosecutor and a defense attorney can resolve a case before it goes to a grand jury.
- Explain all the procedural and substantive dispositions of a case between a prosecutor and a defense attorney before it goes to a trial.
In your analysis, include your personal opinion of the morality of a system where so much of the charging and plea bargaining process is in the hands of lawyers, often out of view from the general public. What are the potentials for abuse? What effects on “equal justice” can this system have?