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Criminal Law

2009

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

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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 …