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49 votes

Can the President of the United States pardon proactively?

Yes. The precedent is President Gerald Ford's pardon of his predecessor Richard Nixon in proclamation 4311 before any possible prosecution had started. The pardon was granted specifically to prevent ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
44 votes

What happens to Donald Trump if he refuses to turn over his financial records?

According to this Washington Post story: Vance is seeking the records from Trump’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars. Thus Trump himself will not be able to refuse to provide the tax return ...
David Siegel's user avatar
34 votes

What legal recourse do citizens have when law enforcement refuse to address crimes for political reasons?

A lawsuit would be unsuccessful. Prosecutors have discretion to prioritize whichever offenses they think are most important, and they are generally immune from civil liability. This is a political ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 60.4k
33 votes
Accepted

Why does Double Jeopardy apply if you confess?

In the United States, prohibition against double jeopardy is a constitutional protection. As long as one was actually at jeopardy for an offence by a particular sovereign, that sovereign may not ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 57.4k
29 votes

Can the President of the United States pardon proactively?

Questionable and Unsettled First, I am not a lawyer, nor a constitutional scholar. but Ford's pardon of Nixon was never tested in court so there is no precedent here. Some would like to claim that the ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 459
28 votes

What happens to Donald Trump if he refuses to turn over his financial records?

The recent SCOTUS ruling on the ability of the Manhattan DA's office to enforce their subpoena applies to the accounting firm Mazars (who has copies of the tax returns and acts as Trump's agent in ...
BlueDogRanch's user avatar
  • 18.8k
26 votes

Why does Double Jeopardy apply if you confess?

Just because I believe I’m guilty doesn’t mean I am All crimes contain elements, each of which must be true for someone to be guilty. Yes, I shot the victim, yes, I intended to kill him, yes, he’s now ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
22 votes
Accepted

What happens if a prosecutor refuses to file charges?

united-states Bob could do any number of things to try to convince someone to prosecute Alice: call the prosecutor's boss, or the district attorney (or their equivalents in DOJ if it's a federal crime)...
Ryan M's user avatar
  • 10.3k
19 votes
Accepted

(Your unlawful act) "will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law." For real?

How close is such a statement corresponding with the reality? Legally, such language is a meaningless statement of future intent that at best makes clear that the person making the statement isn't ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
18 votes

If you try to charge someone for something and it doesn't stick, can a less severe charge be made as a follow-up?

It depends on what you mean by "doesn't stick." If Mark is acquitted of murder in state court, he can't be tried again in state court for the same act of homicide. If the charges are ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 37.5k
14 votes

Can a prosecutor hold back charges so they can try again?

united-states For a particular sovereign in the United States, the criminal law test for this is from Blockburger v. United States (emphasis mine) 12 Each of the offenses created requires proof of a ...
IllusiveBrian's user avatar
14 votes

How do prosecutors prepare to cross-examine defendants?

I'd imagine that testimony from the defendant is rare enough that in the majority of cases, prosecutors do not meaningfully prepare for a cross examination. To the extent they do, I'd expect the ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 60.4k
13 votes
Accepted

Why prosecute Kyle Rittenhouse if there is no real chance of a guilty verdict?

The trial was held because A Kenosha County Court Commissioner ruled there is enough evidence for Kyle Rittenhouse to stand trial for homicide charges. “All this court needs to find was that a felony ...
Tiger Guy's user avatar
  • 7,100
12 votes

What legal recourse do citizens have when law enforcement refuse to address crimes for political reasons?

Almost every crime has a civil counterpart for the victim to sue for a judgement, and certainly any private property or personal violence related crime does. Victims of crimes can sue the perpetrator ...
IllusiveBrian's user avatar
11 votes

What happens if a prosecutor refuses to file charges?

The other answers are all generally correct. I'll add just a few additional points. But suppose Alice is a billionaire and she bribes the local prosecutor to not prosecute. What happens next? ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
10 votes

Why does it take so long to get a guilty verdict in obvious cases?

You've got four cases there with four different reasons for substantial delays: In the case of the Aurora theater shooting, the shooter pled not guilty by reason of insanity. There's no doubt about ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 6,392
9 votes

How do prosecutors prepare to cross-examine defendants?

I'm not familiar with criminal court procedure, but in a civil case the most common approach I've seen and used is: Go through both sides' statements of case (whether or not that includes a defence) ...
JBentley's user avatar
  • 8,311
9 votes

Can a judge or prosecutor be compelled to testify in a criminal trial in which they officiated?

The answer to this question will be almost entirely informed by the why that you've asked us not to consider. If the prosecutor or judge is a witness, the defendant should be able to call them, but ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 60.4k
9 votes
Accepted

Imbler v. Pachtman and Texas prosecutor Ken Anderson

Imbler says that a prosecutor is immune from civil damages in suits brought under Section 1983. The Court made a point of noting that it was not shielding protectors from criminal penalties: We ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 60.4k
9 votes
Accepted

Is TfL a public body as under s17(6)(d) POA1985?

Not under 17(6)(d) but under 17(6)(c) Transport for London is a local government body. Section 17(6)(c)(i) allows "public authority" to be: (c) a local authority or other authority or body ...
Greendrake's user avatar
  • 27.6k
7 votes
Accepted

What is the history of rules requiring prosecutors to disclose evidence?

In 1935, the Supreme Court held in Mooney v. Holohan that the prosecution lying about evidence betrays the duty of the prosecutor to seek justice. As such, any evidence that could be in the defense's ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 23k
7 votes

Is it possible that the prosecutor trying a case can become a witness of such case and be taken off it?

In every U.S. jurisdiction this is controlled by Rule of Professional Conduct 3.7 which is modeled on the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct, although the exact language is ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
7 votes

Defendant's right to surprise prosecution at trial

Although there have long been requirements to disclose certain types of defenses -- alibi, insanity, etc. -- common law jurisdictions have more recently moved in the direction of greater disclosure ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 60.4k
7 votes
Accepted

Are DAs and other prosecutors prohibited from being defense attorneys, such as in a pro bono fashion?

Most prosecuting attorney positions in a District Attorney, or State Attorney General's office are full time salaries positions that prohibit individuals holding those positions from having any other ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 218k
7 votes
Accepted

What is the "public interest"?

The "public interest" from a charging perspective is not the same as public popularity. From the charging guide, prosecutors: should consider each of the questions set out in paragraphs 4....
Jen's user avatar
  • 57.4k
7 votes

If you try to charge someone for something and it doesn't stick, can a less severe charge be made as a follow-up?

canada Criminal Code, s. 662 provides that the accused is at jeopardy of all lesser included offences that are subsumed within the offence charged or as described in the count. An offence is “...
Jen's user avatar
  • 57.4k
7 votes

Could a trial be held against a sitting President?

That remains to be determined. This article (100 Tex. L. Rev. 56 (2021)) discusses the possibility. To start, the Constitution does not directly say that a sitting president cannot be prosecuted. The ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
7 votes
Accepted

If a getaway driver drives away while a bank robbery is in progress, will he/she still be arrested as a participant in this crime?

united-stateswashington As described, the driver's conduct is probably criminal complicity. Under the Revised Code of Washington, 9A.08.020: (3) A person is an accomplice of another person in the ...
Cadence's user avatar
  • 953
6 votes

Can a prosecutor hold back charges so they can try again?

new-zealand This has been codified, and case law has provided some nuances. A great overview of it is given by Jeremy Finn and Don Mathias in "Criminal Procedure in New Zealand" which is ...
Greendrake's user avatar
  • 27.6k

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