The decision to prosecute is a political judgment that the fundamental interests of society require the application of federal criminal law to a specific set of circumstances – recognizing both the need to prosecute serious violations of federal law and the fact that prosecutions have far-reaching consequences for the accused. victims of crime and their families, whether a conviction or not. Other decisions of the Public Prosecutor`s Office may be just as important. Decisions, for example, on specific charges or on procedural orders do determine the extent of sanctions that can be imposed for criminal conduct. The rare decision to accept nolo contendere`s objections may affect the success of related civil actions for damages. And the government`s position during the criminal case will help the court impose a sentence consistent with 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). (b) If, at any stage of the criminal proceedings, a prosecutor finds conduct or omission on the part of counsel that could reasonably amount to ineffective assistance by counsel, the prosecutor should take reasonable steps to protect the right of the accused to effective assistance and the public interest in a final conviction, without infringing the constitutional right of the accused to A legal adviser intervened. During an ongoing defence representation, the prosecutor should not raise concerns about possible ineffective assistance in the public register without a clear legal basis or court order and should not communicate these concerns directly to the accused.
In the context of the evidence base for the selected charges, the prosecutor should also pay particular attention to the different evidentiary requirements under different laws for similar conduct. For example, the bribery provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 201 require proof of “intent to bribe,” while the “tipping” provisions do not. Similarly, the “two witnesses” rule applies to perjury proceedings under 18 U.S.C. § 1621, but not 18 U.S.C. § 1623. As mentioned earlier, a federal prosecutor should first charge the most serious and easily provable offense or offenses consistent with the defendant`s conduct. Charges should not be laid solely to exert influence, to compel a plea, nor should charges be dropped in order to reach an agreement that does not reflect the seriousness of the defendant`s conduct.
JM 9-27 300. It is particularly important that the accused not know his guilt in circumstances that would later allow him to confess his innocence or even his complete innocence. Such consequences can only be avoided if the court and the public are properly informed of the nature and extent of the illegal activity and of the defendant`s complicity and guilt. To this end, government counsel is strongly advised to enter into an agreement only with the assurance of the accused that he will admit the facts of the crime and his culpable involvement in it. In the absence of such assurance, an agreement can be reached, but only if the defendant is prepared to accept a statement from the government in open court on the facts he could prove in order to prove his guilt beyond a doubt. Except as provided in JM 9-27.440, government counsel should not enter into an agreement with a defendant who admits guilt but disputes an essential element of the government`s argument. In their report on the 1953-1969 American Bar Foundation survey (Ohlin and Remington, 1993), editors Lloyd Ohlin and Frank Remington emphasized the central importance of discretion to the functioning of the criminal justice system (SJC). They describe the SJP as a complex group of interrelated actors acting in cases involving people accused of a crime. Samuel Walker 1992 adds that the term system is perhaps misleading because police, courts and prisons are largely independent of each other, although the actions of each group of actors clearly have an impact on the others. The Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice and Katzenbach in 1967 explained the American Bar Foundation`s investigation by describing the complex web of relationships between these actors.