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2000

Columbia Law School

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Criminal Procedure

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Of Prosecutors And Special Prosecutors: An Organizational Perspective, Geoffrey Moulton, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2000

Of Prosecutors And Special Prosecutors: An Organizational Perspective, Geoffrey Moulton, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

The Independent Counsel statute, designed to restore public trust in the impartial administration of criminal justice after Watergate, ultimately fueled rather than quieted the perception that partisan politics drives the investigation of high-ranking government officials. Following the enormous controversy surrounding the investigation conducted by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, Congress allowed the statute to sunset. This article assesses and seeks to refute both the standard objections to the now-expired statute and the arguments in favor of a new and improved version. It rejects as false the so-called “discretion dilemma” – the idea that we must choose between under zealous investigation by regular ...