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Criminal Law

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Accountability

Publication Year

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Presidential Accountability And The Rule Of Law: Can The President Claim Immunity If He Shoots Someone On Fifth Avenue?, Claire Oakes Finkelstein, Richard Painter Jan 2022

Presidential Accountability And The Rule Of Law: Can The President Claim Immunity If He Shoots Someone On Fifth Avenue?, Claire Oakes Finkelstein, Richard Painter

All Faculty Scholarship

Can a sitting President be indicted while in office? This critical constitutional question has never been directly answered by any court or legislative body. The prevailing wisdom, however, is that, though he may be investigated, a sitting President is immune from actual prosecution. The concept of presidential immunity, however, has hastened the erosion of checks and balances in the federal government and weakened our ability to rein in renegade Presidents. It has enabled sitting Presidents to impede the enforcement of subpoenas and other tools of investigation by prosecutors, both federal and state, as well as to claim imperviousness to civil …


Prosecutorial Regulation Versus Prosecutorial Accountability, Stephanos Bibas Apr 2009

Prosecutorial Regulation Versus Prosecutorial Accountability, Stephanos Bibas

All Faculty Scholarship

No government official has as much unreviewable power or discretion as the prosecutor. Few regulations bind or even guide prosecutorial discretion, and fewer still work well. Most commentators favor more external regulation by legislatures, judges, or bar authorities. Neither across-the-board legislation nor ex post review of individual cases has proven to be effective, however. Drawing on management literature, this article reframes the issue as a principal-agent problem and suggests corporate strategies for better serving the relevant stakeholders. Fear of voters could better check prosecutors, as could victim participation in individual cases. Scholars have largely neglected the most promising avenue of …


Rewarding Prosecutors For Performance, Stephanos Bibas Feb 2009

Rewarding Prosecutors For Performance, Stephanos Bibas

All Faculty Scholarship

Prosecutorial discretion is a problem that most scholars attack from the outside. Most scholars favor external institutional solutions, such as ex ante legislation or ex post judicial and bar review of individual cases of misconduct. At best these approaches can catch the very worst misconduct. They lack inside information and sustained oversight and cannot generate and enforce fine-grained rules to guide prosecutorial decisionmaking. The more promising alternative is to work within prosecutors' offices, to create incentives for good performance. This symposium essay explores a neglected toolbox that head prosecutors can use to influence line prosecutors: compensation and other rewards. Rewards …