Campaign contributions are a necessary feature of governments that elect their prosecutors. But those contributions can also present a potential source of inequality.
UNC School of Law has launched the Prosecutors and Politics Project to focus on campaign contributions that prosecutors receive when they run for office, making that information more accessible to the public.
“Wealthy defendants are represented by wealthy attorneys who are able to make such contributions, while poor defendants are represented by less affluent attorneys or public defenders, who are less likely to be in a position to make large campaign contributions,” said Carissa Byrne Hessick, Ransdell Distinguished Professor of Law and director of the project.
Making it easier for voters to find this information, Hessick explained, “will ensure transparency and accountability—both of which are absolutely necessary in a system that relies on elections to select prosecutors.”
This is story number 53 in the Carolina Stories 225th Anniversary Edition magazine.