Professor R. Michael Cassidy of Boston College Law School had a long and, so far as I know, distinguished career as a Massachusetts prosecutor. He has been teaching law for the last 17 years. He has recently written a piece, which can be found here
on SSRN, in which he takes the view that prosecutors have an ethical duty as, in effect, "ministers of justice," to support (if not campaign for) what he terms "sentencing reform."
By that phrase, Prof. Cassidy means something specific: He means that prosecutors are ethically obligated to support an end to many or perhaps most mandatory minimum sentencing statutes. In the SSRN abstract, the argument is made that the prosecutor's ethical responsibilities (emphasis added):
...compel her to join in the effort to repeal mandatory minimum sentencing provisions for most drug and non-violent offenses. Not only are mandatory sentences in most instances unduly harsh, coercive, and inefficacious, but they allow for an arbitrary and discriminatory application that is essentially unreviewable by courts. The author distinguishes this argument against mandatory minimum penalties from the so-called "Smart on Crime" movement, by grounding a prosecutor's duty to promote sentencing reform in ethical reasoning as opposed to pragmatic or cost-savings considerations.
When a prosecutor has an ethical duty and breaches it, he should be and is subject to discipline -- a reprimand, suspension from practice or, in severe cases, disbarment. Unless I am missing something, then, a prosecutor who does not speak out to support Prof. Cassidy's views on mandatory minimum sentencing should, by the Professor's logic, be punished, perhaps severely.
Does anyone see anything wrong with this?