For years, advocates have claimed that the criminal justice system in the United States is unjust toward certain groups of people. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), one in three black men and one in six Latino men can expect to be incarcerated in their lifetimes, compared to only one in 17 white men. A majority of the country agrees that the U.S. criminal justice system needs to be reformed. One of the main ways of doing this is through the actions of prosecutors, who play a crucial role in the criminal justice process.
Bill Passes in Both CT House and Senate
A bill was recently passed in both the Connecticut Senate and House of Representatives that will require more transparency when it comes to Connecticut prosecutors in the criminal justice system. The bill, which was passed with a rare unanimous vote in both the House and Senate, will require the state to create a public website to publish information such as demographic information about defendants that prosecutors do and do not prosecute, in addition to information about prosecutors’ actions on charging, diversionary programs, plea deals, and sentencing.
The Significance of Prosecutors
Many people believe that prosecutors hold the key to criminal justice reform in the United States. Prosecutors are responsible for many different decisions that are made during the criminal justice process. They determine whether or not a charge is changed or dropped, whether or not a plea deal is offered to a defendant, whether or not bail is recommended, how a case is investigated, and whether or not defendants get the opportunity to participate in diversionary programs, such as drug court.
People often believe that criminal cases are decided by juries or judges, but the fact of the matter is that around 95 percent of criminal cases in the United States end in plea bargains. This means that it is not judges or juries who are deciding the fate of defendants — it is prosecutors. By encouraging prosecutorial transparency, the state of Connecticut is working to ensure that everyone is treated fairly in criminal cases.
Contact a Connecticut Criminal Defense Attorney Today
There are many rules and regulations that are followed in the criminal justice system, and they often do not work in the favor of those who are facing criminal charges. People of color, such as Latinos and black Americans, have been disproportionately affected by how prosecutors approach criminal cases. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we believe that all defendants should be treated equally. If you have been charged with a crime, our persistent Hartford, CT criminal defense lawyer fight for your rights and help you reach a positive outcome to your case. Call our office today at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.