Emory Law Journal


Recent high-profile cases of police violence that have ended with non-indictments of the involved officers have increased public scrutiny of criminal justice systems¿ approach to police-suspects. This Comment focuses on the assertion made by many that local prosecutors cannot fairly prosecute their law enforcement counterparts because of unfair bias. This Comment puts to the side the issue of whether such bias actually exists and instead focuses on the perception that these biases exist, arguing that systemic changes are needed to address the appearance of injustice they cause. The perception of bias degrades the appearance of justice to the public and police alike, endangering the legitimacy of the legal system; for that reason, we ought to presumptively disqualify local prosecutors from handling cases involving police-suspects. Instead, an independent special prosecutor, an outsider appointed by the state attorney general, or a civilian review board should handle such cases.