Election 2020

Prosecution

Electing reform-minded prosecutors

Prosecutors are the most powerful actors in the criminal legal system.

They decide who to charge with a crime, what crime to charge, whether to ask for bail, what plea offer to make, what evidence to give to the defense, and what sentence to request. They can use their discretion to help end mass incarceration, or they can be a driving force in perpetuating a system that cages more people than anywhere else in the world. But voters have the power to hold them accountable. The vast majority of the more than 2,300 local prosecutors are elected, which allows communities to ensure that their prosecutors actually represent their interests.

Explore our prosecution-related resources below.

From the Blog

What’s in a Name? A Small Step Prosecutors Can Take to Build a More Humane System

Prosecutors are supposed to dehumanize people charged with crimes. That’s what we’re taught in law school. As my professor instructed, if you’re a prosecutor, always refer to the person accused as “the defendant.” Using “defendant” distances the judge or jury from seeing the accused as a person and makes it easier to pass judgment on them. But if y ...

Blog Post
  • Akhi Johnson
    Akhi Johnson
July 24, 2020
Blog Post