Topic: Prosecutor v. Defense Attorney – Boundaries of Advocacy
As stated in the lecture note for this module/week, the prosecutor is charged with finding and pursuing justice. Conversely, the defense attorney is to zealously advocate on behalf of his/her client. Both sides are required to adhere to the constitutional mandates for justice. However, the lecture note and the textbook confirm that each side can lose their way in the search for justice and exceed the boundaries of advocacy. The most common boundary violations are prosecutors withholding exculpatory evidence and defense attorneys manipulating the system in an effort to thwart justice, but let us look at the issue from another angle.
Thread: Drawing from the textbook, the lecture note, Scripture, and your scholarly research, discuss the following question and using scholarly criminal justice sources as support. Provide the rationale for your position:
- Would it be acceptable for a prosecutor to destroy evidence of a defendant’s guilt? (Note: The question is not asking about a prosecutor withholding evidence of a defendant’s innocence, which is the usual concern.)
- Analyze from a legal and moral perspective whether it might be acceptable for a defense attorney to let his/her client be found guilty?
- Examine what impact of the decisions described above (prosecutor and defense attorney) would have on the public’s trust in the criminal justice system.
- You must support your opinions with scholarly sources.
Replies: Evaluate how a classmate’s view on the choices by the prosecutor and defense attorney might affect the search for justice in the future. For example, if the prosecutor’s/defense attorney’s actions are acceptable to your classmate, what could that mean in cases next year?
Reply to one classmate regarding the prosecutor question and a different classmate for the defense attorney’s decision.
Whether you agree or disagree, the grading rubric in this course requires you to support your opinions with scholarly sources.
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