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Date of Award
Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)
Prosecutorial discretion is emerging as an important criminal justice reform issue in the United States. Several high-profile non-indictment decisions sparked mass protests and severely damaged the reputation of the nation’s criminal justice system. Although police officers are often implicated in fatal shooting of civilians while in the investigation, they are almost never charged and convicted. Under the current rules, two mechanisms are used to limit and monitor exercises of prosecutorial discretion in the United States - the grand jury process and preliminary hearings. However, these tools are limited.
The dissertation proposes a prosecutorial supervision system by reviewing prosecutorial oversight systems in one common law and two civil law jurisdictions. Notably, the dissertation reviews public prosecution system in the United States with public prosecution systems in Taiwan and Japan. For example, Taiwan has a unique prosecutorial supervision mechanism. It empowers individuals to proceed with private prosecutions and also allows relevant parties to seek judicial review of non-prosecution decisions. Japan created Committees composed of citizens who are randomly selected by local government offices. Committees review non-prosecution decisions and order investigations. These and other review mechanisms are considered throughout this dissertation. The experiences of these two foreign jurisdictions with prosecutorial supervision are used in developing a prosecutorial supervision framework for the United States.
This study of foreign jurisdictions is supplemented with a review of literature on prosecutorial discretion. The study references several academic works on victim participation in prosecutions to highlight the power of private prosecutions in supervising public prosecutors.
Chair and Committee
Peter A. Joy, Supervising Professor Daniel Epps, Examining Professor Gerrit De Geest, Examining Professor
Yang, Nai-Hsuan, "Managing Prosecutorial Discretion Through Victim Participation in Prosecutions – a Comparative Study of the United States, Japan and Taiwan" (2020). School of Law Dissertations. 68.