Mcclesky V. Kemp Case

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In McClesky v. Kemp the Supreme Court held that a study showing the death penalty in Georgia was imposed on black defendants disproportionately to white defendants failed to establish that any of the decision makers involved in the process acted with a discriminatory purpose. McClesky is a notable case in several respects. First, it highlighted the integrated nature of the criminal justice system and how each component functions to reach a certain result. Second, it emphasized the debate on which actors in the justice system have the most power and what role that power plays in reaching the result. Third, the case also underscored the importance on prosecutors keeping records of their decisions at varying stages of the criminal justice process.…show more content…
The decision to charge or drop charges, what type of charge (such as felony or misdemeanor), or whether to offer a plea, are just a sample of the many powers that prosecutors hold. The greatest form of accountability currently on prosecutorial power are elections. However, despite this, there is still a gap between the powers of a prosecutor and the amount of accountability they hold to the people they serve. This often is a result of many prosecutors across the country running in unopposed elections or elections hinging on the outcomes of individual, high profile cases. Given the vast amounts of power prosecutors hold and how this power is exercised at various stages of the justice system, data-driven prosecution has the potential to provide more accountability for prosecutors. Electing prosecutors at a local level has been a great democratic tradition in our country. However, electing prosecutors also presents certain challenges. One main challenge among them is the tendency for these elections to focus narrowly on noteworthy individual cases the prosecutor either tried or oversaw instead of an overall pattern of outcomes the office has produced. Campaigns either focus on the legal skills or the personal integrity of the candidates. A candidate may be criticized as overly aggressive, or for failing to bring charges in a particular…show more content…
It would be less likely that an office which retains data on its own decisions in many different facets will not be able to run an election explaining to the public the issues and policies it is trying to promote and demonstrating to the public that it seeks to be held accountable. Offices will also have better ways to explain how the policies they ran on are working to prevent crime and at the same time reduce recidivism. Data-driven prosecution will also allow officers to work with other institutions in the community. Accountability can come from many places. Offices will be more proactive and more responsible to the communities on its decisions and its impact. The office will be able to go out into the community and explain its choices, and the office will be able to rebuild community relations. Therefore, the issues touched on in McClesky v. Kemp over twenty years ago still ring true, but data-driven prosecution can alleviate some of the things that hamper prosecutors or create avenues for

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