National Prosecution Standards

1. The Prosecutor’s Responsibilities

1-1.1 Primary Responsibility
The prosecutor is an independent administrator of justice. The primary responsibility of a
prosecutor is to seek justice, which can only be achieved by the representation and
presentation of the truth. This responsibility includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that
the guilty are held accountable, that the innocent are protected from unwarranted harm,
and that the rights of all participants, particularly victims of crime, are respected.

1-1.2 Societal and Individual Rights and Interests
A prosecutor should zealously protect the rights of individuals, but without representing
any individual as a client. A prosecutor should put the rights and interests of society in a
paramount position in exercising prosecutorial discretion in individual cases. A
prosecutor should seek to reform criminal laws whenever it is appropriate and necessary
to do so. Societal interests rather than individual or group interests should also be
paramount in a prosecutor’s efforts to seek reform of criminal laws.

National District Attorney’s Association, National Prosecution Standards, 3d. ed.

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