Discussion of prosecution reform is haunted by anachronistic conceptions of judgment and organization. These conceptions see professional judgment as inherently individual and ineffable and professional organization as inherently informal and opaque. The appeal of these conceptions is due in part to the assumption that the only alternative to the judgment and organization they prescribe is bureaucracy. In fact, post-bureaucratic forms of organization have become dominant in recent decades in several professions. They key elements of postbureaucratic organization are presumptive rules, root cause analysis, peer review, and performance measurement. Each of these elements can be found in recent reforms in prosecution, but the field, like the legal profession generally, lags other occupations. Although post-bureaucratic reforms are sometimes resisted as inconsistent with democracy, they are better understood as democracy-reinforcing.
William H. Simon,
The Organization of Prosecutorial Discretion,
Prosecutors and Democracy: A Cross-National Study, Maximo Langer & David Sklansky, Eds., Cambridge University Press, 2017; Stanford Public Law Working Paper No. 2836662; Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-524
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