It’s Not Anti-Law-and-Order to Back Prosecutorial Reform

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Souce: The American Conservative

If conservatives really want to fix the system, they will have to change the way criminal cases file through it.

If there is an invisible hand to the justice system, then it belongs to a prosecutor. Prosecutors stand at many of the most momentous points in the criminal justice process, wielding the power to transform someone from a defendant and free person into a prisoner. Yet as conservatives in state after state work to reshape the justice system, prosecutorial reform is conspicuously absent from the agenda. Why?

The answer is surely not that prosecutors are unable to advance new criminal justice priorities. While the political right is largely asleep on the potential of prosecutors, the left awoke to it a few years ago and embraced a vision of “progressive prosecutors.” Since then, a growing number of progressives have been elected in urban centers and other liberal enclaves on promises to reduce mass incarceration and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities. Many have made remarkable strides, and their successes ought to be celebrated.

But “progressive” is hardly synonymous with fair, just, or effective prosecution. Plenty of prosecutors interested in all of those things have no desire whatsoever to wear the

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