Undue Influence: A Prosecutor's Role in Parole Proceedings
13 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2018
Date Written: September 10, 2018
Professor Cassidy explores what it means for a prosecutor to act as a “minister of justice” in the context of parole proceedings. He argues that prosecutors should not perceive themselves as zealous advocates in what is essentially an administrative setting, and that prosecutors should not oppose release simply because they believe that the nature and circumstances of the crime warrant continued incarceration. Rather, Cassidy argues that prosecutors ordinarily should refrain from personally testifying at parole hearings, and should submit written comments to the parole board only in those rare situations where the prosecutor is in possession of otherwise unavailable information pertaining to an inmate’s post-conviction behavior that would assist the board in making an accurate legal and factual determination. Cassidy surveys the approaches taken by parole board statutes and regulations in fifty states and discusses which of those approaches properly calibrate the scope and limits of a prosecutor’s input in release decisions.
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