How "progressive" prosecutors are betraying the Constitution

In stark contrast, progressive prosecutors exploit what they disingenuously call “prosecutorial discretion” to change the controlling law. They do not plea-bargain; they fact-bargain, reimagining the criminal’s conduct until it fits their standards for low-level disposition, no-incarceration treatment, or — often — no prosecution at all.

When prosecutors do this, they are not, as Alvin Bragg feigns, upholding the Constitution. They are betraying the Constitution. When they engage in a pattern of doing it — or, worse, when progressive prosecutors celebrate themselves for doing it — their dereliction of duty is misconduct warranting removal from office.

It is true enough that authentic prosecutorial discretion — allocating limited law-enforcement resources to achieve maximum rule-of-law effect — is an executive power. Legislatures may not tell prosecutors whom to charge, or with what. But invoking “prosecutorial discretion” as cover for what is a scheme to gut and distort applicable laws is an executive usurpation of legislative power. It is unconstitutional. It needs to be de-normalized and outlawed. And then, if our cities are to be safe again, the restored norm needs to be vigorously enforced.

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