The Progressive Prosecutor's Handbook

50 UC Davis Law Review Online 25 (2017)

Stanford Public Law Working Paper No. 2916485

18 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2017 Last revised: 29 Mar 2017

Date Written: February 13, 2017


A growing number of chief prosecutors are winning office by pledging a more thoughtful and evenhanded approach to criminal justice—an approach more attentive to racial disparities, the risk of wrongful conviction, the problem of police violence, and the harms of mass incarceration. But there is no roadmap for progressive prosecutors, no consensus set of “best practices” for elected prosecutors who want to make criminal justice not just more effective but also fairer and more humane. This short essay starts to develop such a roadmap. It offers ten suggestions to reform-oriented chief prosecutors: decide in advance how you want to be judged, evaluate and reward your attorneys for what you care about, collect and share data, build in second looks, have a clear and generous disclosure policy, do not turn a profit, reduce case delays, investigate police shootings independently and transparently, pay attention to office culture, and diversity your staff.

Keywords: prosecutors, criminal justice

Suggested Citation

Sklansky, David Alan, The Progressive Prosecutor's Handbook (February 13, 2017). 50 UC Davis Law Review Online 25 (2017) , Stanford Public Law Working Paper No. 2916485, Available at SSRN:

David Alan Sklansky (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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