Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Public Policy Leadership

First Advisor

Kyle Fritz

Second Advisor

Kimberly Kaiser

Third Advisor

John Samonds

Relational Format



There is perhaps no other actor within our legal system that shares more power and control over the carceral state than the American prosecutor. This thesis examines the powers of the prosecutor at every stage of criminal procedure, how these powers contribute to the carceral state, and how prioritizing prosecutorial policy reform can effectively reduce persistent mass incarceration in the United States. This thesis uses three criteria- effectiveness at reducing overincarceration, feasibility of implementation, and ethical impact- to critically evaluate several proposals for addressing prosecutorial power and discretion. Ultimately, the thesis recommends a combination of three proposals for a more amplified effect: restricting the Federal Joinder of charges, expanding the provisions of Brady v. Maryland to be upheld in plea negotiations, and eliminating the cash bail system of pretrial detention.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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