Volume 60

Prosecutorial Mutiny

by Cynthia Godsoe and Maybell Romero

Elected progressive prosecutors face resistance on many fronts to their reforms of the overly harsh and racist criminal legal system. One of these forms of resistance is particularly corrosiveinternal dissension by line prosecutors. This resistance flummoxes criminal legal system reform and undemocratically interferes with the will of the electorate. This resistance, which we term prosecutorial mutiny, is also unethical under the American Bar Association’s Model Rules. Given the pervasiveness of such mutiny alongside other sources of backlash to criminal system change, we argue that progressive prosecutors are not the panacea to all the criminal legal system’s ills as many have hoped, and that resources should be focused on supporting other sources of change to the system.

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