Arbitrary Justice | The Power of the American Prosecutor

nscribed on the walls of the United States Department of Justice are the lofty words: "The United States wins its point whenever justice is done its citizens in the courts." Yet what happens when prosecutors, the most powerful officials in the criminal justice system, seek convictions instead of justice? Why are cases involving educated, well-to-do victims often prosecuted more vigorously than those involving poor, uneducated victims? Why do wealthy defendants frequently enjoy more lenient plea bargains than the disadvantaged? In this timely work, Angela J. Davis examines the expanding power of prosecutors, from mandatory minimum sentencing laws that enhance prosecutorial control over the outcome of cases to the increasing politicization of the office. Drawing on her dozen years of experience as a public defender, Davis demonstrates how the everyday, legal exercise of prosecutorial discretion is responsible for tremendous inequities in criminal justice.

Winner of the Association of American Publishers 2007 Professional and Scholarly Publishing Award for Excellence in the "Law and Legal Studies" category. Read more