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Criminal Procedure

Arrest

2019

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Justice On The Line: Prosecutorial Screening Before Arrest, Adam M. Gershowitz Aug 2019

Justice On The Line: Prosecutorial Screening Before Arrest, Adam M. Gershowitz

Faculty Publications

Police make more than eleven million arrests every year. Yet prosecutors dismiss about 25% of criminal charges with no conviction being entered. Needless arrests are therefore clogging the criminal justice system and harming criminal defendants. For instance, Freddie Gray was fatally injured in police custody after being arrested for possession of a switchblade knife. Prosecutors later announced, however, that they did not believe the knife was actually illegal. If prosecutors had to approve warrantless arrests before police could take suspects into custody, Freddie Gray would still be alive. Yet prosecutors’ offices almost never dictate who the police should or should ...