Tuesday, August 03, 2021
Carol C. Lam, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California: Prosecutors know they should bring criminal charges only if they believe they can convict the defendant; to operate under any other standard would be unethical. That is true no matter who the defendant is, but in the case of a high-profile defendant, prosecutors aren't likely to file charges unless they are as certain as humanly possible that they will be able to obtain a conviction. And because prosecutors must convince an unanimous jury of 12 ordinary citizens that a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, bringing a politically charged or divisive case puts that certainty further out of reach.
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