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August 30, 2022 Gavel Talks | Season 4 - Episode 16

Trustee of the Public's Law Enforcement Conscience or Political Pawns - Now It's Prosecutorial Independence Under Fire

Featuring Melba Pearson, Miami Beach, FL, and John Chisholm, Milwaukee, WI

Hosted by Hon. Richard Ginkowski, Pleasant Prairie, WI

Several candidates for governor of Wisconsin are threatening to remove prosecutors who decline to enforce the state's 1849 abortion law. A Florida prosecutor had capital cases removed from her office for vowing not to seek the death penalty. 60 former and current elected prosecutors signed onto a brief calling on the Virginia Supreme Court to step in after its governor removed a case from the Loudon County Commonwealth Attorney because he disagreed with how her office is handling a case.

Traditionally prosecutors have wide discretion in deciding who to prosecute and how with limited judicial, executive or legislative oversight as they are politically answerable to voters.  

In this extended in-depth report, Gavel Talks host Richard Ginkowski is joined by Melba Pearson, Co-Chair of the ABA Prosecution Function Committee and a vice-chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section, and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm to discuss how in the wake of Dobbs v. Jackson, the United States Supreme Court case overturning Roe v. Wade, local prosecutors are becoming embroiled in the abortion controversy and heightened efforts to impair prosecutorial discretion.

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