United States District Court
Northern District Of Illinois
LR83.53.8. Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor
(a) A public prosecutor or other government lawyer shall not institute or cause to
be instituted criminal charges when such prosecutor or lawyer knows or
reasonably should know that the charges are not supported by probable cause.
(b) A public prosecutor or other government lawyer in criminal litigation shall
make timely disclosure to counsel for the defendant, or to the defendant if the
defendant is not represented by a lawyer, of the existence of evidence known to
the prosecutor or other government lawyer that tends to negate the guilt of the
accused or mitigate the degree of the offense.
(c) A public prosecutor or other government lawyer in criminal litigation shall
exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel,
employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a
criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be
prohibited from making under LR83.53.6.
Committee Comment. A prosecutor has the responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply
that of an advocate. This responsibility carries with it specific obligations to
see that the defendant is accorded procedural justice and that guilt is decided
upon the basis of sufficient evidence. Precisely how far the prosecutor is
required to go in this direction is a matter of debate and varies in different
jurisdictions. Many jurisdictions have adopted the ABA Standards of Criminal
Justice Relating to the Prosecution Function, which in turn are the product of
prolonged and careful deliberation by lawyers experienced in both criminal
prosecution and defense. See also LR83.53.3(d), governing ex parte proceedings, among which grand jury proceedings are included. Applicable law
may require other measures by the prosecutor and knowing disregard of those
obligations or a systematic abuse of prosecutorial discretion could constitute a
violation of LR83.58.4.