Bar Rules

RULE 3.8 SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF A PROSECUTOR

Ethics & Discipline / Current Rules / Part IV (After January 1 / 2001) - Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct (also includes Disciplinary Proceedings and Advisory Opinion rules) / CHAPTER 1 GEORGIA RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND ENFORCEMENT THEREOF

The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

  1. refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause;
  2. refrain from making any effort to prevent the accused from exercising a reasonable effort to obtain counsel;
  3. Reserved.
  4. make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or that mitigates the offense;
  5. exercise reasonable care to prevent persons who are under the direct supervision of the prosecutor from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under subsection (g) of this Rule;
  6. not subpoena a lawyer in a grand jury or other criminal proceeding to present evidence about a past or present client unless the prosecutor reasonably believes:
    1. the information sought is not protected from disclosure by any applicable privilege;
    2. the evidence sought is essential to the successful completion of an ongoing investigation or prosecution; and
    3. there is no other feasible alternative to obtain the information; and
  7. except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor's action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused.

The maximum penalty for a violation of this Rule is a public reprimand.

Comment

[1] A prosecutor has the responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply that of an advocate. This responsibility carries with it specific obligations to see that the defendant is accorded procedural justice and that guilt is decided upon the basis of sufficient evidence. Precisely how far the prosecutor is required to go in this direction is a matter of debate and varies in different jurisdictions. Many jurisdictions have adopted the ABA Standards of Criminal Justice Relating to the Prosecution Function, which in turn are the product of prolonged and careful deliberation by lawyers experienced in both criminal prosecution and defense. Applicable law may require other measures by the prosecutor and knowing disregard of those obligations or a systematic abuse of prosecutorial discretion could constitute a violation of Rule 8.4: Misconduct.

[2] Reserved.

[3] Reserved.

[4] Paragraph (f) is intended to limit the issuance of lawyer subpoenas in grand jury and other criminal proceedings to those situations in which there is a genuine need to intrude into the client-lawyer relationship.

[5] Paragraph (g) supplements Rule 3.6: Trial Publicity, which prohibits extrajudicial statements that have a substantial likelihood of prejudicing an adjudicatory proceeding. In the context of a criminal prosecution, a prosecutor's extrajudicial statement can create the additional problem of increasing public condemnation of the accused. Although the announcement of an indictment, for example, will necessarily have severe consequences for the accused, a prosecutor can, and should, avoid comments which have no legitimate law enforcement purpose and have a substantial likelihood of increasing public opprobrium of the accused. Nothing in this Comment is intended to restrict the statements which a prosecutor may make which comply with Rule 3.6(b) or 3.6(c): Trial Publicity.



GO TO RULE 3.7 LAWYER AS WITNESS
GO TO RULE 3.9 ADVOCATE IN NONADJUDICATIVE PROCEEDINGS
Return to handbook browser.

© Copyright MMXIV State Bar of Georgia