Prosecutorial Reform

The Issue

Prosecutors review the facts, decide charges and determine how the case will resolve. If infused with the unmitigated ability to influence the outcome by a mandatory minimum sentence, the prosecutor also determines the defendant’s sentencing fate.  Simply put, prosecutors are the most powerful actor within the criminal justice system, and since the 1980s, their power has only grown.

The Impact

Prosecutors wield tremendous power in the outcome of every criminal case. Prosecutors decide who to charge and with what charges as well as pretrial sentencing, bail and plea bargaining. In most cases, the influence of the judge is greatly reduced which tips the criminal justice balance of power in favor of prosecutors who should be partial actors in the system.

The Conservative Solution

Right On Crime Arizona Director Kurt Altman launched our Prosecutorial Reform Project while continuing our involvement in the Prosecution Leaders of Now (PLN) program, which encourages ethical and innovative prosecution.