PROSECUTION FUNCTION

In February 2015, the ABA House of Delegates approved these “black letter” standards that will be published with commentary in ABA Standards for Criminal Justice: Prosecution and Defense Function, 4th ed., ©2015 American Bar Association. Work is underway to provide commentary to accompany these Standards.To go directly to individual “black letter” standards (without commentary), click on the links below.

TABLE of CONTENTS

PART I.          GENERAL STANDARDS

Standard 3-1.1       The Scope and Function of these Standards

Standard 3-1.2       Functions and Duties of the Prosecutor      

Standard 3-1.3       The Client of the Prosecutor    

Standard 3-1.4       The Prosecutor’s Heightened Duty of Candor    

Standard 3-1.5       Preserving the Record    

Standard 3-1.6       Improper Bias Prohibited      

Standard 3-1.7       Conflicts of Interest      

Standard 3-1.8       Appropriate Workload 

Standard 3-1.9       Diligence, Promptness and Punctuality

Standard 3-1.10     Relationship with the Media      

Standard 3-1.11     Literary or Media Rights Agreements Prohibited 

Standard 3-1.12     Duty to Report and Respond to Prosecutorial Misconduct              

Standard 3-1.13     Training Programs

 

 PART II.         ORGANIZATION OF THE PROSECUTION FUNCTION

Standard 3-2.1       Prosecution Authority to be Vested in Full-time, Public-Official Attorneys                                      

Standard 3-2.2       Assuring Excellence and Diversity in the Hiring, Retention, and Compensation of Prosecutors          

Standard 3-2.3       Investigative Resources and Experts   

Standard 3-2.4       Office Policies and Procedures

Standard 3-2.5       Removal or Suspension and Substitution of Chief Prosecutor

 

PART III.       PROSECUTORIAL RELATIONSHIPS 

Standard 3-3.1       Structure of, and Relationships Among, Prosecution Offices                                                                                      

Standard 3-3.2       Relationships with Law Enforcement                   

Standard 3-3.3       Relationship with Courts, Defense Counsel, and Others 

Standard 3-3.4       Relationship with Victims and Witnesses  

Standard 3-3.5       Relationship with Expert Witnesses           

Standard 3-3.6       When Physical Evidence With Incriminating Implications is Disclosed by the Defense

 

PART IV.       INVESTIGATION; DECISIONS TO CHARGE, NOT CHARGE, OR DISMISS; and GRAND JURY                                                             

Standard 3-4.1       Investigative Function of the Prosecutor          

Standard 3-4.2       Decisions to Charge Are the Prosecutor’s              

Standard 3-4.3       Minimum Requirements for Filing and Maintaining Criminal Charges                                                                      

Standard 3-4.4       Discretion in Filing, Declining, Maintaining and Dismissing Criminal Charges                                                                      

Standard 3-4.5       Relationship with a Grand Jury                         

Standard 3-4.6       Quality and Scope of Evidence Before a Grand Jury

 

PART V.         PRETRIAL ACTIVITIES AND NEGOTIATED DISPOSITIONS

Standard 3-5.1        Role in First Appearance and Preliminary Hearing     

Standard 3-5.2        The Decision to Recommend Release or Seek Detention                                                                                  

Standard 3-5.3       Preparation for Court Proceedings, and Recording and Transmitting Information                                                            

Standard 3-5.4       Identification and Disclosure of Information and Evidence                                                                               

Standard 3-5.5       Preservation of Information and Evidence               

Standard 3-5.6       Conduct of Negotiated Disposition Discussions          

Standard 3-5.7       Establishing and Fulfilling Conditions of Negotiated Dispositions                                                                             

Standard 3-5.8       Waiver of Rights as Condition of Disposition Agreements                                                                                 

Standard 3-5.9       Record of Reasons for Dismissal of Charges

 

PART VI.  COURT HEARINGS AND TRIAL                                                                              

Standard 3-6.1       Scheduling Court Hearings                            

Standard 3-6.2       Civility With Courts, Opposing Counsel, and Others 

Standard 3-6.3       Selection of Jurors                                      

Standard 3-6.4       Relationship With Jurors                                      

Standard 3-6.5       Opening Statement at Trial                             

Standard 3-6.6       Presentation of Evidence                              

Standard 3-6.7       Examination of Witnesses in Court                  

Standard 3-6.8       Closing Argument to the Trier of Fact                     

Standard 3-6.9       Facts Outside the Record                                

Standard 3-6.10     Comments by Prosecutor After Verdict or Ruling

 

PART VII.  POST-TRIAL MOTIONS AND SENTENCING

Standard 3-7.1       Post-trial Motions                                             

Standard 3-7.2       Sentencing                                                

Standard 3-7.3       Information Relevant to Sentencing

 

PART VIII  APPEALS AND OTHER CONVICTION CHALLENGES

Standard 3-8.1       Duty To Defend Conviction Not Absolute              

Standard 3-8.2       Appeals – General Principles                              

Standard 3-8.3       Response to New or Newly-Discovered Evidence or Law                                                                                                

Standard 3-8.4       Challenges to the Effectiveness of Counsel          

Standard 3-8.5       Collateral Attacks on Conviction

 View Other Standards

 

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