Think about that. One person has the power to bring charges against a citizen and present evidence to a grand jury. One person has the power to choose whether a citizen should be charged with a murder, manslaughter, or not charged at all because a killing was legally justified. One person has the power to offer a plea bargain to a reduced charge that may allow a person to seek treatment or probation whereas the higher charge could lead to state prison.
The powers are broad and each prosecutor must remember our ethics when making such decisions. There is a tremendous responsibility in this discretion and I watch the people in the district attorney's offices work hard everyday to remember this responsibility.
That is why I wanted to start this blog. There are wonderful people in law enforcement doing their absolute best to uphold the laws of this country and I hope to give the public a forum to understand exactly what we do. I'll use my discretion on here to talk about criminal law issues, the court system, police work, amusing court stories, books, and probably a lot of other issues that may relate to criminal prosecution.
The idea for this blog came to me when I answered a question for the thousandth time - What do you do? It's simple enough to answer. I usually tell people I work for the DA's office, or the District Attorney's Office. 999 times out of 1000 the response from the person asking the question is a variation of "how does it feel representing those criminals?"
Maybe they think DA stands for defense attorney? I usually follow this up with "No. Have you seen Law and Order? I'm like Jack McCoy. The prosecutor." Then, they nod to say they understand. I hope they do and the conversation ends while the questioner probably thinks I'm a little full of myself for acting like I'm a famous actor. It would take me hours to explain what a prosecutor does, which is more than the polite cocktail conversationalist was looking for. So I take the shortcut and give them an example. Now that the show is cancelled, I'm going to have to work on my answer. Or, we can get a few million people to read this blog and understand what a prosecutor does.
I hope to enlighten, inform, and amuse. I appreciate your feedback in any form you wish.