Some New York legislators are calling for a New York State commission to investigate complaints against prosecutors, including District Attorneys and Special Prosecutors, similar to the panel that oversees the state’s judges. While many traffic violations are prosecuted by the police office who issued them, a large number of traffic tickets are represented by the Assistant District Attorney in the County where the ticket was issued, up until the Trial.
District attorneys are elected in each of the state’s 62 counties, and they are in charge are appointing assistants as there is no way one person is going to file all the cases in each county! Prosecutors have more discretion than any public officials in determining who, how and where to prosecute. They basically decide which laws to enforce and which ones not to enforce. When misconduct occurs, it’s usually discovered years later with the state paying a lot of money.
Complaints against Prosecutors almost always go unnoticed as Prosecutors are nearly immune to prosecution themselves for wrong doing which arises in the course of their service, and also, who is going to investigate them?
District attorneys are elected in each of the state’s 62 counties, and they are in charge are appointing assistants as there is no way one person is going to file all the cases in each county!
Assemblyman Nick Perry, a Brooklyn Democrat, says there’s an atmosphere of pressure on prosecutors to produce convictions, which can result in malfeasance even when it’s unintended.
Both have sponsored legislation to establish the commission. The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the bill last week. We will be watching to see the effects of these committees on traffic ticket proceedings, and local traffic ticket prosecutors.