You are thus required to win an expression of confidence in your character by both the legislative and the executive branches of the government before assuming the responsibilities of a federal prosecutor.
Your responsibility in your several districts for law enforcement and for its methods cannot be wholly surrendered to Washington, and ought not to be assumed by a centralized department of justice.
In such a case, it is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him.
It is in this realm-in which the prosecutor picks some person whom he dislikes or desires to embarrass, or selects some group of unpopular persons and then looks for an offense, that the greatest danger of abuse of prosecuting power lies.
Also, to put it mildly, there were differences in the degree of diligence and zeal in different districts.
Fifty Great Essays Robert Anni Nature Essay By Emerson Summary
To promote uniformity of policy and action, to establish some standards of performance, and to make available specialized help, some degree of centralized administration was found necessary.Experience, however, has demonstrated that some measure of centralized control is necessary.In the absence of it different district attorneys were striving for different interpretations or applications of an act, or were pursuing different conceptions of policy.At the same time we must proceed in all districts with that uniformity of policy which is necessary to the prestige of federal law.Nothing better can come out of this meeting of law enforcement officers than a rededication to the spirit of fair play and decency that should animate the federal prosecutor.THE FEDERAL PROSECUTOR BY ROBERT H JACKSON “The qualities of a good prosecutor are as elusive and as impossible to define as those which mark a gentleman.And those who need to be told would not understand it anyway.” It would probably be within the range of that exaggeration permitted in Washington to say that assembled in this room is one of the most powerful peace-time forces known to our country.I think the Hatch Act should be utilized by federal prosecutors as a protection against demands on their time and their prestige to participate in the operation of the machinery of practical politics. One of the greatest difficulties of the position of prosecutor is that he must pick his cases, because no prosecutor can even investigate all of the eases in which he receives complaints.There is a most important reason why the prosecutor should have, as nearly as possible, a detached and impartial view of all groups in his community. If the department of justice were to make even a pretense of reaching every probable violation of federal law, ten times its present staff would be inadequate.The prosecutor can order arrests, present cases to the grand jury in secret session, and on the basis of his one-sided presentation of the facts, can cause the citizen to be indicted and held for trial.He may dismiss the case before trial, in which case the defense never has a chance to be heard. If he obtains a conviction, the prosecutor can still make recommendations as to sentence, as to whether the prisoner should get probation or a suspended sentence, and after he is put away, as to whether he is a fit subject for parole.