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Parties and Pretrial Procedures

Criminology

Detail the special responsibilities prosecutors have towards initiating a criminal case against a defendant. In other words, how does a prosecutor make the decision to charge someone? Address the following questions in your paper:

a. What is a grand jury, and when is a grand jury used rather than the prosecutor simply issuing a criminal charge?

b. What is the purpose of a grand jury and when is it used?

c. Can a defense attorney address a grand jury?

d. Can the defendant attend a grand jury hearing?

e. How can a prosecutor and a defense attorney dispose of a case before it goes to a grand jury?

f. How can a prosecutor and a defense attorney conclude a case before it goes to trial?

In your analysis, include your personal opinion of the morality of a system where so much of the charging and plea bargaining process is in the hands of lawyers, often out of view from the general public. What are the potentials for abuse? What effects on ?equal justice? can this system have?

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