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See also: Prosecutor

The district attorney (DA), in many jurisdictions in the United States, represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses. The district attorney – an elected or appointed official – is the highest officeholder in the legal department of the jurisdiction – generally the county in the U.S. – and supervises a staff of assistant (ADA) or deputy district attorneys. Depending on the system in place, district attorneys may be appointed by the chief executive of the region or elected by the voters of the jurisdiction.

The title "district attorney" is used by several jurisdictions of the United States, including Massachusetts, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas.

History and role[edit]

The United States Judiciary Act of 1789, Section 35, provided for the appointment of a person in each judicial district to prosecute federal crimes and to represent the United States in all civil actions to which it was a party. Initially, there were 13 districts to cover the 11 States that had by that time ratified the constitution. Each State was a district, except for Massachusetts and Virginia which formed two. Districts were added when additional States were admitted. The statute did not confer a title upon these local agents of federal authority, but subsequent statutes and court decisions referred to them most frequently as “district attorneys.” In 1948, the Judicial Code adopted the term “United States attorneys.”[1]

This term for a prosecutor originates with the traditional use of the term "district" for multi-county prosecutorial jurisdictions in several U.S. states. For example, New York appointed prosecutors to multi-county districts prior to 1813. Even after those states broke up such districts and started appointing or electing prosecutors for individual counties, they continued to use the title "district attorney" for the most senior prosecutor in a county rather than switch to "county attorney."

An executive assistant district attorney (EADA), chief assistant district attorney (CADA), or first assistant district attorney is a title given the senior-most manager in a prosecutor's office under the district attorney.[citation needed] The people who hold these titles are generally considered the second-in-command for the office, and usually report directly to the head prosecutor. The exact roles and job assignments for each title vary with each individual office, but generally include management of the daily activities and supervision of specialized divisions within the office. Often, the EADA may oversee or prosecute some of the larger crimes within the jurisdiction. In some offices the executive assistant district attorney has the responsibility of hiring lawyers and other staff members. Often, the EADA supervises press-releases and oversees the work of the office staff.

At the local level in other jurisdictions, officers such as the commonwealth's attorney, state's attorney, county attorney, circuit solicitor, or county prosecutor carry out functions similar to those performed by a district attorney.

Other jurisdictions[edit]

In the United Kingdom, positions equivalent to a district attorney are the chief Crown prosecutors (or Crown prosecutors in the case of deputy or assistant district attorneys) of the Crown Prosecution Service in England and Wales, the Procurator Fiscal in Scotland, and the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland. In many other countries, the title of the chief prosecuting officer is Director of Public Prosecutions.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_attorney — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

151205 news items

 
OCRegister
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:41:15 -0700

IRVINE – Orange County's district attorney wants copies of everything the Great Park's auditor has and continues to collect, as well as the final audit once it's ready, according to a letter sent from the District Attorney's Office to the firm of ...
 
WDSU New Orleans
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:37:30 -0700

WASHINGTON--ST. TAMMANY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SQUARED OFF THIS MORNING IN MANDEVILLE. EMBATTLED VETERAN D-A WALTER REED IS NOT SEEKING RE-ELECTION.. AND AS NORTH SHORE REPORTER HEATH ALLEN SHOWS US.
 
WWL
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:15:00 -0700

NEW ORLEANS -- Innocence Project New Orleans has freed more than two dozen wrongfully convicted inmates since 2001, often by exposing blatant prosecutorial misconduct. The Orleans Parish District Attorney's office has a long history of fighting ...
 
AL.com
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:27:23 -0700

BAY MINETTE — A judge said Wednesday that he does not believe he has authority to bar Baldwin County District Attorney Hallie Dixon from prosecuting a case. The issue is before Circuit Court Judge Joseph Norton as a result of an attempt by Edward ...
 
Contra Costa Times
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:13:15 -0700

Four years ago, he was engaged in a grueling slog to the summit, professionally speaking, battling Dan O'Malley for district attorney and the right to head an office plagued by dysfunction and scandal. Peterson, the presumed underdog, won by 15 ...
 
Topeka Capital Journal
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 02:45:00 -0700

Marc Bennett said Thursday that thieves are targeting government checks and credit card applications. He says they typically steal during the day. Wichita police recorded 134 cases of mail theft since January. Sixty of those happened in the past three ...
 
K2 Radio
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:43:31 -0700

The Natrona County School District is conducting an investigation into key personnel at Natrona County High School, but its attorney declined to offer specifics on Thursday. “There is a personnel investigation, ongoing, that involves Natrona County ...

Boston Globe

Boston Globe
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:46:16 -0700

FRAMINGHAM — Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan and the man vying to unseat her, Michael A. Sullivan, clashed Wednesday night on several hot-button issues, including the handling of the Jared Remy case and questions surrounding each ...
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