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Civil Rights

Keith Swisher

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Pro-Prosecution Judges: "Tough On Crime," Soft On Strategy, Ripe For Disqualification, Keith Swisher Dec 2009

Pro-Prosecution Judges: "Tough On Crime," Soft On Strategy, Ripe For Disqualification, Keith Swisher

Keith Swisher

In this Article, I take the most extensive look to date at pro-prosecution judges and ultimately advance the following, slightly scandalous claim: Particularly in our post-Caperton, political-realist world, “tough on crime” elective judges should recuse themselves from all criminal cases. The contextual parts to this claim are, in the main, a threefold description: (i) the "groundbreaking" Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal decision, its predecessors, and its progeny; (ii) the judicial ethics of disqualification; and (iii) empirical and anecdotal evidence of pro-prosecution (commonly called "tough on crime") campaigns and attendant electoral pressures. Building on this description and the work of ...