The Decisions on
Charging and on
WHEN WE LOOK at criminal justice as a process rather than as a set of rules associating certain punishments with certain crimes, the concept of rigorously mandatory linkage between act and punishment fades out. It begins to fade when we consider the process of charging. How and by whom is it decided what crime to charge, after the raw factual picture-or, more accurately, the raw evidence, in hand and anticipated-is digested in part and in part forecasted?
The rough answer (not subject to sufficient qualification to make analysis of the qualifications here worthwhile) is that the prosecutor makes this decision, and that his decision is within large limits "discretion‐