Read the following scenarios and respond to the discussion post.
Albert thinks crime victims should be able to participate in all phases of a criminal prosecution, and should be able to direct the public prosecutor to drop the case or bring it to trial. He was a victim. The trial ended up being more difficult and embarrassing to him than to the perpetrator, who was a relative. He is angry that the prosecutor did not drop the case when he asked for it to be dismissed.
Betty disagrees. She thinks crime victims should testify as witnesses, and file a restitution affidavit at the end, but otherwise not direct the case. Betty was a victim in a case where she felt she would have been intimidated into dropping it if she had been able to do so. She truthfully stated, “It is not up to me. It is a public prosecution and I have no control over it.”
Argue both sides, in separate posts. Use and cite laws that are used for victim’s rights in Wisconsin. Wisconsin may have these rights in statutes, rules of court, or both. After you post on both sides reply two or more times and see if you can arrive at a compromise solution.
Your discussion forum topic looks to the ability of a victim to “drop the charges.” That is, should victims be able to dictate whether the prosecution shall proceed, or should that decision rest solely in the hands of the prosecutor. Albert is frustrated that he didn’t have control over a case that ended up being a frustrating experience for him, while Betty feels that having the ability to drop the case would leave her open to intimidation and coercion to “dropping the charges” (something that is very common in domestic abuse cases).
Assignment modification: You only have to discuss one side of the topic in your initial post.
As you consider your response, remember the role of the prosecutor. Regardless of what state you live in, the prosecutor has absolute discretion to decide how the case will proceed, including what charges will be filed, how the case will proceed, and any plea agreements entered. Nonetheless, depending on the jurisdiction, the victim’s position may still have weight in the prosecutor’s position on to proceed with the case. In addition, there are some categories of cases where the prosecutor is unwilling to proceed unless they have the victim’s cooperation, for example, a sexual assault case.