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Author Topic: I want to be a PROSECUTING ATTORNEY (a.k.a assistant district attorney).  (Read 15787 times)

angiej

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Re: I want to be a PROSECUTING ATTORNEY (a.k.a assistant district attorney).
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2008, 04:58:46 PM »
It would be called [XXX County] District Attorney's Office.

Our Local office in Indiana is called the XXXX County Prosecutors Office.

I have also heard of Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

hbb

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Re: I want to be a PROSECUTING ATTORNEY (a.k.a assistant district attorney).
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2008, 05:14:24 PM »
No one's biting on the 3.9 in neuroscience?

Twiigg

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Re: I want to be a PROSECUTING ATTORNEY (a.k.a assistant district attorney).
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2008, 05:21:59 PM »
You're so naive. Please, please research what the criminal justice system actually works like. It's not like Law & Order!

Are there any problems you have specifically with system?  It puts away the parasitical threats to society, does it not?  I will be the first to admit that there have obviously been a number of people who were in fact "innocent" according to later DNA testing, etc.  Cases like these, however, are obvious minorities.  Wouldn't you agree?
If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
--Albert Einstein

Matthies

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Re: I want to be a PROSECUTING ATTORNEY (a.k.a assistant district attorney).
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2008, 05:26:45 PM »
You're so naive. Please, please research what the criminal justice system actually works like. It's not like Law & Order!

Are there any problems you have specifically with system?  It puts away the parasitical threats to society, does it not?  I will be the first to admit that there have obviously been a number of people who were in fact "innocent" according to later DNA testing, etc.  Cases like these, however, are obvious minorities.  Wouldn't you agree?

As are the magority of inmates in the US
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Jamie Stringer

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Re: I want to be a PROSECUTING ATTORNEY (a.k.a assistant district attorney).
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2008, 05:37:08 PM »
You're so naive. Please, please research what the criminal justice system actually works like. It's not like Law & Order!



Damn!  You mean there aren't hotties like Adam Beach or Jesse Martin roaming around squad rooms?

Hmmm...well is the criminal justice system anything like NYPD Blue or Raising the Bar?  I'd like some Mark-Paul Gosselaar action too!
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heartbreaker

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Re: I want to be a PROSECUTING ATTORNEY (a.k.a assistant district attorney).
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2008, 06:52:24 PM »
You're so naive. Please, please research what the criminal justice system actually works like. It's not like Law & Order!

Are there any problems you have specifically with system?  It puts away the parasitical threats to society, does it not?  I will be the first to admit that there have obviously been a number of people who were in fact "innocent" according to later DNA testing, etc.  Cases like these, however, are obvious minorities.  Wouldn't you agree?

Even though you're a flame, I'll bite. This is a topic I'm really passionate about and maybe someone out there might find the information useful.

My main problem with the criminal justice system is that its standards for success inherently doom it to fail at making any significant inroads at reducing crime or improving the standards of life in neighborhoods that are rotting from the inside because of crime. Take the drug trade for example. Both federal and state prosecutors throw around numbers of drugs seized or numbers of dealers arrested. That's all well and good, but the people up top, the ones running the drug rings, plan for this. Drug lords are smart, they are running a business and they can account for these costs. By continually going after Joe Schmo who sells coke on 168th Street and counting his conviction a success, prosecutors set themselves up for failure. After Joe is in jail, Jack will fill his spot right away. It's like Sysiphus' rock - you never make it anywhere. The methods of prosecution are self-defeating, and no one is willing to do anything about it.

Secondly, you say that wrongful convictions are a minority of cases. Let's say that's correct. In Actual Innocence, the author makes this analogy. Let's say that one out of every 100 or 200 cases results in a wrongful conviction. Let's say one out of every 1000 cases does. If I was a rep from Boeing and I was selling a plane to American Airlines and I told them that this plane would crash every 100, 200 or even 1000 times it flew, they'd look at me like I was insane. Even if it's a minority of cases, it is SHAMEFUL that this happens and even more shameful that people are willing to write this off as a consequence of the system.

Thirdly, minorities and poor people make up a disproportionate amount of prisoners. Fine, you'll say. It's because minorities and poor people commit the most crimes. Let's say that they do. Ever think about why? How does locking people up solve the problems that create this situation in the first place? It doesn't. If as a society we say that the best way we can serve people's interests is by putting them in jail, rather than ensuring that people have equal opportunity to go to school, live in a peaceful environment, etc., then we are doing a bad job as a society.

*gets off the high horse*

Twiigg

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Re: I want to be a PROSECUTING ATTORNEY (a.k.a assistant district attorney).
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2008, 07:33:08 PM »
As are the magority of inmates in the US

And, as any sociologist will tell you, this is not due primarily to discrimination or racial profiling, but to the imperfect society in which we live.  Anyway, the criminal justice system fulfills its intended purpose IMHO.
If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
--Albert Einstein

DrLazarus

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Re: I want to be a PROSECUTING ATTORNEY (a.k.a assistant district attorney).
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2008, 07:35:45 PM »
No one's biting on the 3.9 in neuroscience?

Agreed, what a mess.  This is a pathetic flame.  149.
Michigan 2010.  Brr.

Twiigg

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Re: I want to be a PROSECUTING ATTORNEY (a.k.a assistant district attorney).
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2008, 07:42:49 PM »
Not sure why it's so obvious.  Which is not to say I disagree.

Even assuming, however that most of the people who are in prison are guilty of a crime, would it bother you at all if you knew that a defendant's chances of getting acquitted or getting a lenient sentence were directly proportional to the amount of money that defendant had available for legal services?  Or would that not matter?

Note that I posed the question as a hypothetical.  I did not say that was the way it is.

I think it is a reality.  We live in a capitalist society.  More money equals better resources.  I'm not saying that this is right because justice is supposed to be blind.

Additionally, I must admit I am less concerned with this hypothetical situation as I would be with the health care situation, for example (it is a similar "problem").  But I would assume the two accused are guilty anyway so I don't have any more sympathy for the person who can't get the "better" lawyer, because he or she is guilty and deserves the consequences.
If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
--Albert Einstein

Twiigg

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Re: I want to be a PROSECUTING ATTORNEY (a.k.a assistant district attorney).
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2008, 08:36:27 PM »
Even though you're a flame, I'll bite. This is a topic I'm really passionate about and maybe someone out there might find the information useful.

First of all, please do not mistake me for a troll simply because I admire the criminal justice system and what it tries to do.  I really don't know how to argue against the accusation that I'm flaming besides telling you that I'm not.  I'm not!

My main problem with the criminal justice system is that its standards for success inherently doom it to fail at making any significant inroads at reducing crime or improving the standards of life in neighborhoods that are rotting from the inside because of crime. Take the drug trade for example. Both federal and state prosecutors throw around numbers of drugs seized or numbers of dealers arrested. That's all well and good, but the people up top, the ones running the drug rings, plan for this. Drug lords are smart, they are running a business and they can account for these costs. By continually going after Joe Schmo who sells coke on 168th Street and counting his conviction a success, prosecutors set themselves up for failure. After Joe is in jail, Jack will fill his spot right away. It's like Sysiphus' rock - you never make it anywhere. The methods of prosecution are self-defeating, and no one is willing to do anything about it.

I have to disagree with your statement that the criminal justice system is doomed to fail at reducing crime.  I think most people would agree that the criminal justice system, as imperfect as it may be, does reduce crime substantially, and much more than it would if there was no system at all.  Concerning your drug lord example.  You are right.  It would be optimal if the actual drug lords were convicted and punished, but this is easier said than done.  Are you saying that just because we can't catch a drug lord we shouldn't concentrate on the "Joe Schmo" characters as well?  I think convicting "lesser" offenders such as these will prevent more "Joe Schmo" characters from arising.  It would be crazy to argue that we shouldn't prosecute them just because we can't hook the "big fish." 

I'm not saying that this is what you are proposing, but I have to say I do not believe anyone, including the prosecutors on state and federal levels, are ready to kick back and relax with these smaller victories.  They have to focus on the problem from both fronts.  If someone's dying of an incurable cancer, you don't throw your hands in the air because you can't fix the root of the problem, you still treat the symptoms.  Likewise, prosecutors have a duty to convict all offenders of the law.  You mentioned Sysiphus' rock.  It may seem like we're not getting anywhere, but at least the rock's not rolling backwards over us, crushing us to dust!

Secondly, you say that wrongful convictions are a minority of cases. Let's say that's correct. In Actual Innocence, the author makes this analogy. Let's say that one out of every 100 or 200 cases results in a wrongful conviction. Let's say one out of every 1000 cases does. If I was a rep from Boeing and I was selling a plane to American Airlines and I told them that this plane would crash every 100, 200 or even 1000 times it flew, they'd look at me like I was insane. Even if it's a minority of cases, it is SHAMEFUL that this happens and even more shameful that people are willing to write this off as a consequence of the system.

While I don't believe that one out of every one thousand cases is a wrongful conviction, for argument's sake, I'll fly with it.  You mentioned an analogy about planes crashing.  Let me give you another one.  Car accidents cause the most unnatural deaths in the US right now.  1.8 out of every 1,000 drivers died in a car accident in 2004 [].  Yet Americans still drive despite these inherent risks.  Would it be realistic for the government to suddenly ban the American people from driving privately-owned vehicles?  Would it be realistic for the American people to seek the destruction of the criminal justice system because of a very few wrongful convictions?  Again, I reiterate that I do not believe that one out of every one thousand convictions is false.

Thirdly, minorities and poor people make up a disproportionate amount of prisoners. Fine, you'll say. It's because minorities and poor people commit the most crimes. Let's say that they do. Ever think about why? How does locking people up solve the problems that create this situation in the first place? It doesn't. If as a society we say that the best way we can serve people's interests is by putting them in jail, rather than ensuring that people have equal opportunity to go to school, live in a peaceful environment, etc., then we are doing a bad job as a society.

*gets off the high horse*

I completely agree.  I will be the first to say that social problems exist that cause certain minorities/areas/socioeconomic groups to commit more crime.  That said, just like anything else, the criminal justice system must change by evolution, not revolution.  Your ideas are very idealistic, but IMHO they are not realistic.  Our first duty is to protect the innocent, and then we can deal with the sociological and psychological problems that "made" the offenders do what they did.  People want, first, justice when dealing with criminals, and then rehabilitation.

I also should add that I agree with many of your hypothetical scenarios in principle, but I do believe that the criminal justice system fulfills its function in the real world in which we live.  That said, I also believe there is much needed room for improvement.

Sorry for the long post!


If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
--Albert Einstein