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 ...
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  • 45.3k
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)...
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  • 10.1k
19 votes

Can the jeopardy of being judged be fought against in court?

In some jurisdictions, California probably being the most well-known in the US, there are Anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) statutes, which allow a defendant to file an anti-...
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15 votes
Accepted

How can people confess to their drug use in a book without any legal consequences?

Not all illegal things are crimes. Lack of evidence. They are asked to testify, and they say "what I said in my book was a lie". There is no general law against lying, except when under oath. Statute ...
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  • 4,615
10 votes

What methods exist to provide relief in criminal cases where the state refuses to prosecute?

I have encountered this problem in Pennsylvania. The PA Code requires a District Attorney to approve all private criminal complaints. If the DA declines to prosecute, then an affiant can petition ...
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10 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? ...
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  • 140k
10 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 ...
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9 votes

Is it legal for a District Attorney to choose a policy to not prosecute certain crimes?

Not only is it legal for the DA to decide which cases his office will prosecute, that is his primary function. The job of a DA is to decide if, when, and how cases will be prosecuted.
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  • 716
8 votes

Can the jeopardy of being judged be fought against in court?

TL;DNR: YES! A "motion to dismiss" a suit asks the Court do exactly what you say. It asks the Court to dismiss the suit as legally invalid, even if the facts alleged in the suit are correct. A ...
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  • 7,997
7 votes

What methods exist to provide relief in criminal cases where the state refuses to prosecute?

As @feetwet points out, there are a few jurisdictions (New Hampshire and Pennsylvania are the only two I'm aware of) where a private citizen may initiate a criminal prosecution. However, these are ...
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  • 5,587
7 votes

Will police arrest the perpetrator if the victim doesn't care about the crime?

Police have discretion whether to arrest and prosecute or not. In exercising this discretion they may take into account whether victim is identified and what he/she says, but there are no legally ...
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  • 20.3k
7 votes

What happens if a prosecutor refuses to file charges?

Prosecutorial discretion is a thing, however, Bob still has some recourses. In the U.S. the Prosectors are typically elected at the state and local level, and where they are not, they are appointed ...
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  • 17.1k
6 votes

What happens if a prosecutor refuses to file charges?

In many countries, an individual has the right to raise a private prosecution if the public prosecutor decides not to pursue a case. This is generally expensive, as with all things legal. The reason ...
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  • 2,032
5 votes

Does the President of the USA execute prosecutorial discretion?

Mr. Comey answered this in his testimony. LANKFORD: Okay. Fair enough. If the president wanted to stop an investigation, how would he do that? Knowing it is an ongoing criminal investigation or ...
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  • 111
5 votes

Can the state change its mind about dropping charges?

In the United States, jeopardy attaches to a criminal trial when a jury is empanelled, the first witness is sworn in or guilty plea is accepted. Before that point the prosecution can dismiss the case ...
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  • 1,141
5 votes
Accepted

To what extent can the government saying "we won't prosecute X" be used as a defense?

The short answer is "yes". There is U.S. Supreme Court authority that supports this position, In particular, United States v. Laub, 385 U.S. 475 (1967), Cox v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 599 (1965),...
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  • 140k
5 votes

What happens if a prosecutor refuses to file charges?

The question reads: I gather from the answer to the linked question that what happens in principle is that the police would investigate, and the local prosecutor would file charges against Alice. ...
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  • 98.2k
5 votes

What happens if a prosecutor refuses to file charges?

In united-states this varies significantly by state, but I am at least familiar with provisions in pennsylvania law for judicial review of refusals to file criminal charges. Pennsylvania Rule 506 ...
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4 votes

Is it unethical for a prosecutor not to try his hardest to get an indictment?

On the contrary, it is unethical for a prosecutor to bring a case where there is no reasonable prospect of conviction. The prosecutor is an officer of the court and as a representative of the state, ...
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  • 158k
4 votes

Why would a Canadian Crown Prosecutor continue with a proceeding with no evidence?

Once a case has been commenced, you can definitely lose, or you can probably lose. If you decline to proceed, you definitely lose. If you proceed, the jury (or judge as the case might be), might find ...
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  • 140k
4 votes

Does or should a prosecutor in the US interview the victim and the suspect, if they are physically available, to file charges?

There is no requirement to interview the victim and/or the suspect prior to filing charges. Often statements are taken from the parties involved/witnesses by police and presented to the District ...
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  • 9,105
4 votes
Accepted

Is there a limit to the number of trials on a criminal charge permitted due to hung juries?

Are there any legal constraints on the number of times that a defendant can be retried following mistrials due to hung juries? No. A fairly recent case in Louisiana, for example, involved someone who ...
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  • 140k
4 votes
Accepted

Does charging a defendant with more than can be proven confer some advantages to a prosecutor in the US?

Overcharging does confer an advantage on the prosecution, specifically, it enhances the prosecutor's position in plea bargaining, allowing the prosecutor to "compromise" while still getting ...
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  • 140k
4 votes

How much of law enforcement is discretionary?

So what causes the heavy handed enforcement of US tax laws, but near-total non-enforcement of Cannabis as a Schedule 1 Federal drug? Tax Enforcement In The U.S. Is Not Particularly Heavy Handed First ...
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  • 140k
4 votes

When does an officer's discretion end, and where does an officer's duty begin?

There is an important distinction between moral duty and legal obligation. Even if an officer should arrest a person, given some moral standard, they are not legally obligated to do so. A test for ...
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  • 165k
3 votes

Can the jeopardy of being judged be fought against in court?

Based on the comments, it appears you are interested in a mechanism for preemptively declaring that your conduct is not wrongful without waiting for someone to bring charges or a lawsuit against you. ...
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  • 45.3k
3 votes
Accepted

Why did Jim Garrison investigate the Kennedy assassination?

Garrison claimed that the assassination was the result of a conspiracy, involving various meetings and other overt acts that allegedly took place in New Orleans. If that were true, then the ...
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3 votes

Technically, can the prosecutor have advocate?

The prosecutor always has an advocate The prosecutor in a criminal matter is the State. Since the State is an artificial entity it has to act through agent(s) who advocate for it. In Commonwealth ...
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  • 158k
3 votes

Has punishment for precedent-setting decisions ever been recognized as retroactive enforcement of a new law?

Your premise that "the law did not exist previously" is, from the perspective of how courts work, mistaken. The law always existed, it's just that some people (maybe even judges) mistakenly ...
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