Listen: Prosecutor, Brian Rattigan, Justice Center discussed on Serial
"I ended up spending a bunch of time with Brian Rattigan hanging around while he did his job in part because I liked him right away. And also because he is one of the most powerful people in the Justice center, he'd never admit that. I'm not sure he sees it, but it's true. Prosecutors are the most powerful people in any courthouse. Defense attorneys will tell you would rather have a fair prosecutor, an unfair judge than affair. Judge an unfair prosecutor because of all the people who shape criminal case the prosecutor has the most discretion, especially at the crucial beginning when the thing is still germinating, the prosecutors, deciding whom to charge and with what crimes. He's also deciding what the plea deal is gonna look like and don't tell the judges in the building. But often the prosecutor is more or less deciding the sentences. People get. Because of this big power, they hold prosecutors of late, have been the focus of blame for a lot of the problems in our system and the focus of reform efforts. And that's not undeserved, but it is incomplete. Most of the prosecutors I've talked to, it's not that they're gunning for cheap assembly, line Justice or for unprecedented discriminatory, devastatingly high rates of incarceration. It's that that's the job we've given them. I feel like I can't explain this without telling you some history of how we got here, but I want to explain it. So here goes. Our worst modern era of crime in the US. If you look at the FBI stats began in the nineteen sixties and seventies most people now agree we were under policing and also under incarcerating. Then we swung way way the other way cops made more arrests, which meant more prosecutions, but the huge increase in arrests in charges did not person to commence an increase in the number of prosecutors or the number of cops. But that's another story is one statistic really hit me in nineteen seventy four there around seventeen thousand local prosecutors, dealing with around three hundred thousand felony prosecutions by two thousand seven. The number of prosecutors had jumped to about thirty two thousand a significant increase, but they were dealing with nearly three million felony prosecutions that's a tenfold increase from nineteen seventy four. The upshot vastly more prosecutions handled by relatively fewer prosecutors.."