Defending Progressive Prosecution
30 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2019
Date Written: November 1, 2019
“Progressive prosecutors” are taking over District Attorney’s Offices in cities across the nation, with a mandate to reform the criminal justice system from the inside. Emily Bazelon’s new book, Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration, chronicles this potentially transformative moment in American criminal justice.
This Book Review Essay highlights the importance of Charged to modern criminal justice debates, and leverages its concrete framing of the issues to offer a generally applicable theory of prosecutor-driven criminal justice reform. The theory seeks to reconcile reformers’ newfound embrace of prosecutorial discretion with long-standing worries, both inside and outside the academy, about the dangerous accumulation of prosecutorial power. It also offers the potential to broaden the movement’s appeal beyond progressive jurisdictions.
Keywords: prosecutors, progressive prosecution, charged
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