Why Should Prosecutors Seek Justice"?


We often exhort a prosecutor to be a "minister of justice" and to "seek justice." What do these admonitions mean? In our last ethics column, "Are a Prosecutor's Responsibilities "Special"?", 20 (No. 1) CRIM. JUST. 58 (Spring 2005), we discussed whether and how prosecutors' standards of ethical conduct differ from those governing civil litigators and criminal defense lawyers. We noted that few ethics rules specifically address prosecutors, that in most situations prosecutors are subject to precisely the same rules as other litigating lawyers, and that the differences between prosecutors' obligations and the obligations of criminal defense lawyers and civil advocates often occur when prosecutors exercise discretion. In this column, we address the rationales for creating distinct obligations for prosecutors. Under the adversary system, lawyers are expected to pursue their client's interests in prevailing without concern for the fairness or accuracy of the result



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Criminal Justice

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20 (2) Criminal Justice 65 (2005)

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COinS Peter A. Joy Faculty Bio