Department of Justice Guidelines: Balancing 'Discretionary Justice'
Ellen S. Podgor
Stetson University College of Law
13 Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy 167 (2004)
Prosecutors are afforded enormous discretion in a multitude of decisions. Internal guidelines of the Department of Justice (DOJ) assist federal prosecutors in making the decisions that fall within their discretionary realm. Although these guidelines are policy statements and not legislative rules, they offer an element of consistency to the decision-making process, provide education for newcomers to the department, and can serve as a restraint on prosecutorial discretion.
Prosecutors do not always adhere to these internal guidelines. This article studies ways to achieve better compliance. It examines remedies that achieve a balance between continuing the practice of having guidelines and yet also having meaningful policies that are adhered to by department employees.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: DOJ, white collar crime, guidelines, federal criminal law, criminal law, administrative policy
JEL Classification: K14, K22, K23, K42, K49
Date posted: April 15, 2008