Date of Award
Public Policy Leadership
This thesis seeks to create a policy proposal in order to address incidences of prosecutorial misconduct and abuse of discretion in the Mississippi criminal justice system. To do so, the author has summarized and analyzed seven criminal cases in which defendants have become victims of prosecutorial misconduct in order to shed light on the lack of prosecutorial accountability in the state’s criminal justice system. In an attempt to solve the problem, the author has developed a novel grading rubric in order to objectively and systematically analyze and evaluate previously proposed policy recommendations by legal experts and justice organizations. The successes and failures of each policy according to their evaluations of hypothetical implementation revealed the unique challenges to criminal justice reform attempts in the state of Mississippi. Taking these challenges and further characteristics of the state into account, the author recommends greater prosecutorial transparency policies be implemented in the state, mandating that prosecutor’s offices disclose necessary data and information upon requests to the research agencies and judicial organizations studying incidences of prosecutorial abuse of power in Mississippi. The author also recommends that the Mississippi legislature and government officials create a research funding mechanism that would support and foster collaboration across such organizations.
Pruitt, Lucy, "Analyses of Prosecutorial Power and Discretion in Mississippi: Evaluating Proposals to Address Misconduct and Abuse" (2020). Honors Theses. 1480.
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