I have long felt that special prosecutors, while justified in exceptional cases, often lead to public policy error. All prosecutors are invested with enormous power, and so we demand and expect them to use caution and judiciousness. And in theory, all prosecutors face some kind of check on their power, either from voters electing a district attorney or state attorney general, or a president who appoints U.S. attorneys.
But special prosecutors face no such check. Because they have no other job, they are not compelled to consider the importance of their investigation compared to other factors—and they often think they have failed if they do not bring an indictment. At the federal level, the inherent problem with special prosecutors has been recognized, and the federal law which created an Office of Independent Counsel (special counsel appointed to investigate, among others, high level federal officers) has been allowed to lapse.
This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.
To view this content, please continue to their sites.
LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.
For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]