Reforming the Role of Prosecutors

Reforming the Role of Prosecutors.



1.Listen to the National Public Radio (NPR — 88.7 on Houston FM radio) 36-minute interview with the author of a new book Charged by Emily Bazelon. Her book looks at a new reform movement among some prosecutors:
2.Listen to a 15-minute TED talk by Adam Foss: A Prosecutor’s Vision for a Better Justice System

3. Discuss whether you agree with the perspectives and the recommendations for reform as featured in BOTH the NPR and TED talk you’ve listened to. Explain your position but be certain to take into consideration and address these issues:

Remember that the prosecutor’s role includes a responsibility to speak up for the victims of crime – whether they be victims of violent crimes or property crimes and to hold accountable those who do wrong. Perhaps you, a family member, or friend have been a victim of crime with the experience of what it took to recover physically, emotionally, or financially.
Providing support services in a diversion program sounds reasonable, but what about holding someone accountable for the decision they made to break the law? You managed to be get to college without stealing 30 laptops!
Plea bargaining is nothing new in the criminal courts. It didn’t just arrive on the scene with mandatory minimum sentences. It allows the system to function. Without plea bargaining, there is a legitimate question about how the system could work.
Prosecutors charge the most serious offense in the attempt to encourage plea bargaining.
The majority of those arrested are guilty.
Mass incarceration (jails and prisons), which we are experiencing in the U.S., is not a good thing for our society. It is outrageously expensive and has had a disproportionate impact on poor and minority communities.


To do well in this assignment you must:
Discuss both the NPR audio and the TED talk video in your assignment
Make sure you address some of the issues raised in the bullet point lists. You don’t have to discuss all of them, but make sure you let me know in your answer that you considered some of the issues. The issues demonstrate the complex role of prosecutors and how complex/difficult/controversial reform might be. You might favor reform, but you’ll have to consider and address some of the issues.

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Reforming the Role of Prosecutors


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