Prosecutorial Training Wheels: Ginsburg's Connick v. Thompson Dissent and the Training Imperative

48 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2013

Date Written: December 1, 2012

Abstract

This comment picks up on a section of Justice Ginsburg's dissent from the impactful 2011 decision in Connick v. Thompson that criticized the majority for assuming that law schools teach prosecutors all they need to know about criminal procedure and, specifically, compliance with the Brady doctrine. By testing this claim empirically through a survey of ABA-accredited law school curriculum, the author determines that only a quarter of schools make criminal procedure a graduation requirement. Similarly, most criminal procedure textbooks provide only cursory treatment of the Brady doctrine, making the point that even law schools that require criminal procedure may not address that specific topic in sufficient detail. Concluding that law school does not provide enough training in criminal procedure, despite the Supreme Court majority's claims, the author proceeds to identify a number of proposals -- legislative, executive, and judicial -- that would help train new prosecutors and/or increase accountability for offices' failures to train after the Court eliminated civil liability as a possibility in Connick.

Suggested Citation

Fry, Timothy, Prosecutorial Training Wheels: Ginsburg's Connick v. Thompson Dissent and the Training Imperative (December 1, 2012). Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 102, No. 4, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2230839

Timothy Fry (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

McGuireWoods LLP ( email )

77 West Wacker Dr
Suite 4100
Chicago, IL 60601
United States
312-750-8659 (Phone)

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