Prosecuting Attorney

Statue of woman holding scales of justice.

Adapted from Justice Sutherland; Berger v. United States; Supreme Court of the United States; 1935

The Prosecutor is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, she is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. She may prosecute with earnestness and vigor - indeed, she should do so. But, while she may strike hard blows, she is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much her duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.