The (Immediate) Future of Prosecution

11 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2023

Date Written: March 5, 2023


Even as others make cogent arguments for diminishing the work of prosecutors, work remains – cases that must be brought against a backdrop of existing economic inequality and structural racism and of an array of impoverished institutional alternatives. The (immediate) future of prosecution requires thoughtful engagement with these tragic circumstances, but it also will inevitably involve the co-production of sentences that deter and incapacitate. Across-the-board sentencing discounts based on such circumstances are no substitute for the thoughtful intermediation that only the courtroom working group – judges, prosecutors and defense counsel – can provide. The (immediate) future also requires prosecutors to do more to recognize the distinctive role they can play in combating illegitimate domination.

Keywords: prosecutors, criminal justice

JEL Classification: K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Richman, Daniel C., The (Immediate) Future of Prosecution (March 5, 2023). Fordham Urban Law Journal, Forthcoming, Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 4378890, Available at SSRN:

Daniel C. Richman (Contact Author)

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

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