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Penn State Dickinson Law

Administrative Law

2019

Administrative Conference

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The Policing Of Prosecutors: More Lessons From Administrative Law?, Aaron L. Nielson Apr 2019

The Policing Of Prosecutors: More Lessons From Administrative Law?, Aaron L. Nielson

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

On a daily basis, prosecutors decide whether and how to charge individuals for alleged criminal conduct. Although many prosecutors avoid abusing this authority, prosecutors’ discretionary decisions might result in biased enforcement, inappropriate leveraging of authority, and a lack of transparency. These problems also arise when agency enforcement officials decide whether to act on conduct that violates a legal prohibition.

An inherent tension between the desire to avoid overburdening the system and the need to prevent inconsistent decision-making exists in the exercises of both prosecutorial discretion and regulatory enforcement discretion. It is clear from the similarities between the two that administrative …