Investigation of the Criminal Case
Depending on the nature of the crime, the initial investigation will be carried out by the police, the prosecutor’s office, or the grand jury. The ultimate decision to prosecute is reserved to the prosecutor. This is an important safeguard to prevent aggrieved victims or political enemies from forcing the prosecution of innocent individuals. Prosecutors have a unique role in the legal system in that their duty is to see that justice is done, not just to prosecute every case they think they can win. The prosecutor should not file a case unless he or she believes that the defendant is guilty. Although this is certainly abused in some circumstances, most prosecutors take the duty seriously. This is very different from the defense attorney, who should not be concerned with the guilt or innocence of the defendant, but only with poking holes in the prosecutor’s case. The victim does not prosecute the criminal case and does not have the right to determine if the state will prosecute.