The prosecutor plays an essential role when it comes to criminal justice. The office of the attorney is mandated with various responsibilities in its jurisdiction as the prosecutor acts as an officer of the court, advocate, and administrator of justice. This office also plays an essential role in reforming and improving the administration of justice. With such responsibilities, American Bar Association has come up with various standards that are anticipated to be used as a guide to professional performance and conduct within the prosecution function. The standards have been formulated to be used as guidance but not to be used as a mechanism for the fair evaluation to enable the prosecutor to decide on the legality of a conviction. The standards provide details beyond what is provided by the model rules of professional conduct and address the behavior of the prosecutors in every aspect of their professional work. Some of the goals that have been achieved as a result of codifying standards for prosecution function and they include transparency, professionalism and commitment (Green, 2016)).
Preserving the Record
The standards intended to prevent dishonest conduct by those in power or key players in a particular case. Individuals may temper with this files by changing some information that have been presented earlier and which is so influential to the outcome of the case. It is, therefore, essential for a neutral individual to maintain the original records while providing copies to the court, defense team or the compliant whenever necessary. This a critical standard bearing in mind that some of the cases attract a lot of submissions and takes a lot of time before the final verdict is arrived at. For example, this standard can govern a case procedure that has been hit by missing of files or presentation of false records in the courtroom
Improper bias prohibited
ABA aimed to prevent nepotism and tribalism in the judiciary system. The judicial system is composed of different people with different background, and the prosecutor may use the powers he/she has to influence the outcome for someone of his/her race, sex or religion. This standard is necessary due to the composition of our judicial system. Take for example a country where black people are discriminated, and the prosecutor is a white while a black person is a key suspect. The probability that such a case will be dominated by bias is high, and the person who may end up not getting justice is the black individual.
Prosecutors should handle a workload that is not excess or complicated at any particular time. The standard aims at preventing lack of commitment by the prosecutors on certain case procedures as they are involved in a lot of work and cannot commit themselves to a particular activity or case. The standard is necessary since handling a lot of prosecution function at the same time may interfere with quality of representation or has a substantial probability to result to the breach of professional obligations, when the prosecutor handles one issue at a go; the level of concentration commitment is very high. Consider a scenario whereby a lot of criminal activities have happened in a particular region at the same time, the prosecutor need to act as the attorney either indirectly or directly in investigating or prosecuting these criminal cases. With such workload, the quality of the prosecutor’s contribution may not be good as he/she will be handling a lot at the same time (Gershman, 2005).
Gershman, B. L. (2005). Prosecutorial ethics and victims’ rights: the prosecutor’s duty of neutrality. Lewis & Clark Law Review, 9.
Green, B. A. (2016). Access to Criminal Justice: Where are the Prosecutors?.