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Today, American prosecutors exercise enormous discretion in a sequence of decisions-from initial case acceptance or declination, to charging and plea bargaining, to pre-trial and trial strategy, to sentencing upon conviction-often without meaningful internal or external review. In many jurisdictions, the prosecution effectively makes the Law, enforces it against particular individuals, adjudicates their guilt, and sets their punishment. For all intents and purposes, prosecutors are the criminal justice system through their awesome, deeply problematic powers.


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