What Do Prosecutors Maximize? Evidence from the Careers of U.S. Attorneys
This study examines the performance of chief federal prosecutors (U.S. attorneys) and their subsequent careers. In a sample of 570 attorneys in office from 1969 to 2000, the length of prison sentences is positively related to subsequent favorable career outcomes for U.S. attorneys. In contrast, conviction rates do not appear to affect the careers of U.S. attorneys. These results are consistent with longer total prison sentences' being personally beneficial to prosecutors, and prosecutors' maximizing the length of prison sentences. Overall, the results suggest that sentence length, as opposed to convictions rates, is the relevant performance metric. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.
Volume (Year): 7 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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