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The Politics of Federal Prosecution - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Politics of Federal Prosecution

Christina L. Boyd, Michael J. Nelson, Ian Ostrander, and Ethan D. Boldt


Federal prosecutors have immense power and discretion to decide when to bring criminal charges, what plea bargains to offer, and how to implement the federal government’s legal priorities in their districts. While U.S. Attorneys take pains to emphasize their independence, we know relatively little about the extent to which politics colors federal prosecutorial staffing and decision-making. The Politics of Federal Prosecution draws upon a wealth of data from 1990s to the present to examine the interplay of political factors and federal prosecution. First, the authors find that congressional and ... More

Keywords: prosecutors, U.S. Attorneys, Department of Justice, plea bargaining, asset forfeiture, Senate confirmation, president, Congress, bureaucracy, criminal justice

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780197554685
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780197554685.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christina L. Boyd, author
Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Georgia

Michael J. Nelson, author
Jeffrey L. Hyde and Sharon D. Hyde and Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professor in Political Science, Associate Professor of Political Science and Social Data Analytics, and Affiliate Law Faculty, The Pennsylvania State University

Ian Ostrander, author
Assistant Professor of Political Science, Michigan State University