The Race to the Top to Reduce Prosecutorial Misconduct
By Adam M. Gershowitz
This Essay offers an unconventional approach to detering prosecutorial misconduct. Trial judges should use their inherent authority to forbid prosecutors from appearing and handling cases in their courtrooms until the prosecutors have completed training on Brady v. Maryland, Batson v. Kentucky, and other types of prosecutorial misconduct. If a single trial judge in a medium-sized or large jurisdiction imposes training prerequisites on prosecutors, it could set off a race to the top that encourages other judges to adopt similar (or perhaps even more rigorous) training requirements. A mandate that prosecutors receive ethics training before handling any cases is comparable to the enhanced training requirements that some state legislatures impose on indigent defense lawyers. This Essay argues that trial judges arguably have the inherent authority to impose a training requirement on prosecutors to ensure the orderly administration of justice.