Unconstitutional Exploitation Of Delegated Authority: How To Deter Prosecutors From Using "Substantial Assistance" To Defeat The Intent Of Federal Sentencing Laws

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Golden Gate University Law Review, Vol: 32, Issue: 2, Page: 2

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Hrvatin, Adriano
Forum on Law & Social Change; prosecutorial discretion; delegation of powers; informers; public prosecutors; sentences; criminal procedure; Criminal Law
commentary description
This Comment addresses whether the intent of the federal sentencing system is defeated when prosecutors reward high-level drug offenders with lenient sentences in exchange for testimony against less culpable co-conspirators. This Comment argues that prosecutors violate separation-of-powers principles when they move for downward departures on behalf of kingpins who provide substantial assistance in a case against less culpable co-defendants because Congress did not authorize such an exercise of prosecutorial discretion. In such instances where the intent of Congress is defeated, the prosecutor is essentially making law and thereby encroaching upon the law-making function of Congress. To cure this constitutional abuse of prosecutorial discretion, the trial court should suppress the testimony of high-level conspirators pursuant to the exclusionary rule.