United States District Court

Northern District Of Illinois

Local Rules

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.