Prosecutors, as agents for the state, take an oath to uphold the Constitution and to seek justice on behalf of the state and its citizens.
Summarize the duties of a prosecutor in a criminal case, emphasizing those tasks that allow the prosecutor to wield strong influence over the case. Discuss how these particular tasks might present the prosecutor with ethical dilemmas.
Given that a defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty under the American judicial system, is the prosecutor also required to consider the defendant as being among the citizens he or she is protecting? Identify and explain the conflicting moral imperatives present in the duties of a prosecutor.
Recap the landmark Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland (1963). Discuss the ramifications of this decision for prosecutors, with an emphasis on the ethical conflicts that may result.
Discuss the prosecutor’s ethical responsibilities when faced with a case that he or she would rather not pursue. For instance, consider a case in which a formerly battered wife is accused of attempted murder against her husband. Explain whether the “ethics of duty” or “ethics of care” outweigh utilitarianism for criminal prosecutors.