A criminal prosecutor is vested with both special powers and special ethical constraints. Because of these special powers and ethical constraints, criminal prosecutors are the subject of much attention in the media and in scholarly discourse. This essay will examine the duties and the ethical problem-areas of the criminal prosecutor in the American criminal justice system.
Prosecutors most often represent the government in criminal cases, work closely with the police, and are considered in many ways to be the public's prosecutor. Criminal prosecutors may work for local governments, for state governments, or for the federal government.
The duties of a criminal prosecutor can be complex and varied. Consequently, it is a common practice to grade prosecutors by experience and specialization. In Utah County, for instance, there are several grades of criminal prosecutor (Criminal Prosecutor I-IV). The Attorney I is a training classification and this type of prosecutor deals with easier cases and serves in a support role to more senior prosecutors. The Attorney II classification can perform prosecutorial tasks with minimal supervision and the Attorney III class can begin to work on more difficult cases with less supervision. The Attorney IV classification is a "work leader" classification and can work on criminal prosecutions independently and assign other prosecutors to perform legal tasks and support work.
Criminal prosecutors are also responsible for fulfilling a diverse array of functions as public representatives. As a part of their screening function, they work closely with police to evaluate investigations. ...