Kathie Rhind

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Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


The state’s attorney has the sole discretion to initiate criminal charges. Only exceptional cases are subject to judicial review (Nissman and Hagen, p. 13). Taking this discretionary power into account, the question at hand is raised: Does the state’s attorney, when exercising his discretionary power, follow a structured decision-making process like one that is explained in the system’s model? The question is important because the state’s attorney has the power to determine the future of the individual. In exercising his power, the prosecutor has only one restraint: probably cause must be determined before charging the defendant (Nissman and Hagen, p. 13). In some cases, the prosecutor’s decision may ruin the individual’s life. Even if the individual is not convicted, his reputation may still be hurt. Without any checks on the prosecutor’s discretion, the individual who is not guilty does not have a chance to regain his reputation. This power of the prosecutor is unlimited. The problem here is that the individual’s right of due process may be denied.


Includes bibliographical references.


43 pages




Northern Illinois University

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