Rethinking Prosecutorial Discretion: Towards A Moral Cartography of Prosecutors | New in the British Journal of Criminology

April 28, 2021 by Cate MacLeod

Diego Tuesta's Ericson Prize winning paper has now been published in the British Journal of Criminology.

Rethinking Prosecutorial Discretion: Towards A Moral Cartography of Prosecutors is an advanced version of the manuscript that was recognized last fall as "a paper that contains theoretical or empirical original research and that has the potential to grow into a refereed journal article. It can be either a course paper, a dissertation chapter, or part of a dissertation chapter."

This article examines the justifications that a group of prosecutors employs when coordinating human trafficking investigations in the Amazon. The study is based on interviews with officials who work in Madre de Dios, Peru, a region affected by small-scale gold mining, whose demand for labour has increased the incidence of human trafficking. I draw from Boltanski and Thévenot’s polity model to elucidate three moral principles regularly endorsed by prosecutors in the course of criminal investigations: efficiency, civic and domestic values. Together these comprise a moral cartography of prosecution. This study from the Global South contributes to a more holistic—and pragmatic—understanding of prosecutors’ charging decisions, complementing research approaching this topic from the perspective of bounded rationality.

You can read more about both winners of the 2020 Ericson Prize, Grace Tran and Diego Tuesta, here