Question and answer
Is it ethical for a prosecutor to file criminal charges when the prosecutor does not have sufficient evidence of guilt, but believes the individual is guilty? Explain.
The simple fact is that no, a prosecutor need not have legally sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges. "Sufficient evidence" is something which must be determined by a trier of fact. [ However, to make sure that a prosecutor does have ample evidence to justify a defendant being bound over for trial on a criminal charge- - the court allows the defendant to have a Preliminary Hearing in certain circumstances. This hearing follows the arraignment and is an opportunity for the defendant to have a mini-trial. The prosecutor at the Preliminary Hearing must show to the judge that there is
Probable Cause to believe that a defendant has acted in violation of the law as they are charged. This is a low burden- -quite unlike the requirement in a criminal trial that requires a defendant to be found guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt". Now, there is another way a defendant can be brought to trial and that is to be indicted by the Grand Jury. If a prosecutor goes before a grand jury to seek an indictment, the defendant does not have the right to a preliminary hearing, and if the grand jury returns an indictment, the defendant will proceed directly to trial. So, as regards XXXXX XXXXX of it all- -clearly it is not ethical for a prosecutor to file charges against an individual if there are insufficient facts to convince the prosecutor of the defendant's participation is a crime. However, the amount of evidence needed by the prosecutor to charge, is not as much evidence as will be needed to convict. Read more: Is it ethical for a prosecutor to file criminal charges when - JustAnswer ]
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Expert answered|selymi|Points 9022|
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Asked 10/13/2012 9:45:54 AM
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