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date: 31 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Prosecutors are central to the public enforcement of law. They play a key role in the criminal justice system and have primary responsibility for the preparation and presentation of cases against persons accused of breaking the criminal law, although they do not themselves have powers of arrest or imprisonment. Over the past forty years, economics literature on prosecution has made explicit some of the key trade-offs prosecution lawyers have to resolve and some of the key issues faced by policymakers in this field. This chapter reviews some of the key themes in the economics literature on prosecution and prosecutorial strategies. It sets out the basic model of prosecution developed by Landes (1971); explores some of the subsequent elaborations; and reviews some recent empirical evidence.

Keywords: prosecution, prosecutors, prosecutorial strategy, economic analysis, publice enforcement

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