Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Angela Kline, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michelle Wade, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ronald "Ron" Wright, J.D.


Prosecutors are one of the most powerful actors in the American criminal justice system, yet there is a lack of qualitative research related to the topic. There is also a lack of policy reform that has affected prosecutors in the way that it has other actors of the system such as police officers and judges. The research seeks to increase understanding of how prosecutors view the discretion and power prosecutors hold and seeks to provide more information on the institutional and organizational pressures that can affect prosecutors and their decision-making process. The study further explores how cognitive biases along with prosecutorial immunity affect decision-making and more importantly, provides first-hand input from prosecutors themselves relating to the discretion they have and how outside influences can affect their decision-making process.

Available for download on Thursday, May 22, 2025