Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
This dissertation addresses three fundamental questions regarding the politics of prosecutorial behavior. Specifically, it examines how the selectors of prosecutors influence prosecutorial decision-making under different selection methods, including electionbased systems and appointment-based systems. By using a political responsiveness framework and utilizing empirical strategies, including an experiment and the construction of prosecutor policy position data, this study offers novel insights into the subject. First, I find that voters care about prosecutors’ issue positions and rely on various cues to identify candidates whose policy positions align with their preferences, even in low-information elections. Second, elections show promise as a mechanism for holding elected prosecutors accountable, with a stronger connection between prosecutors and public preferences observed under high electoral pressure. Third, the governor’s selection effect shapes the policy alignment between prosecutors and political elites in appointment-based systems.
Sung, Y.(2023). Prosecutorial Discretion: District Attorneys, Public Opinion,and the Localized Rule of Law. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/7417