Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2021


Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law





First Page


Last Page



The 2020 murder of George Floyd catalyzed a national reckoning on race, and scrutiny of barriers to racial justice, rightfully focused on policing. However, as this Symposium has demonstrated, it is also critical to interrogate the prosecutorial function, given the outsize role prosecutors play in the criminal legal system. Scholars and advocates have utilized a number of frames to explore a key topic of this symposium-the intersection between prosecutorial discretion, prosecutorial ethics, and racial inequity.'

Although the renewed interest in the prosecutor's role in the pursuit of racial justice raises many new questions and opportunities, the scaffolding for such work already exists in many of the current ethical rules and standards governing the prosecution function. This brief essay, based on my remarks at the Symposium, explores some of the ways in which the ethical guidance provides a justification for-and in some instances even compels-the active pursuit of racial justice by prosecutors.



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