When legislatures enact statutes, furtherance of legislative intent depends on the behavior of actors in the executive and judicial branches of government. In the criminal justice system, prosecutors may frustrate legislative intent when they exercise prosecutorial discretion. This Article examines an instance in which prosecutors’ choices work to the detriment of children.
This Article reviews the failure of juvenile shielding statutes to take hold in the prosecution of cases involving child witnesses because of prosecutors’ discretionary decisions not to use these statutes. The Article investigates prosecutors’ pragmatic and doctrinal justifications for not utilizing juvenile shielding statutes and concludes that the proffered reasons are legitimate. Building on these insights, the Article concludes by offering legislative reform designed to revitalize juvenile shielding statutes.
Andrea L. Dennis,
Prosecutorial Discretion and the Neglect of Juvenile Shielding Statutes
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/fac_artchop/886