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"Prosecutorial perceptions of discovery reform on a local level" (by Gabrielle A. Roubanian, Janne E. Gaub, Marthinus C. Koen, and James J. Willis): Review 3

Published onApr 04, 2024
"Prosecutorial perceptions of discovery reform on a local level" (by Gabrielle A. Roubanian, Janne E. Gaub, Marthinus C. Koen, and James J. Willis): Review 3

Vote: Publish pending minor changes

This manuscript, with its well-crafted narrative and crucial insights into discovery reform, is a timely addition to the ongoing prosecutorial reform discourse. By addressing a significant gap in current scholarship, it underscores the authors' contribution to this field. The manuscript's recognition of the influence of organizational factors and resource constraints on prosecutorial reforms further enhances its relevance. While the manuscript is commendable, a few changes could enhance its impact:

  1. There is a recent scholarship that discusses barriers to the implementation of prosecutorial reforms or policies that are relevant, e.g., Richardson & Kutateladze, 2021 and Krinsky, Murray, & Romero, 2023. These outline the overarching issue of resistance to reforms or organizational issues within prosecutors’ offices that shape decision-making and influence case outcomes. These could be included in the section about prosecutorial discretion and workload as a potential barrier to policy changes or the discussion section as context for the possible reasons for the mixed feelings about Order 66.

  2. For a more comprehensive analysis, it would be beneficial to include a breakdown of the sample in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender, in addition to their roles within the office. This could potentially reveal patterns that could significantly contribute to the understanding of the study's findings.

  3. There are several spots in the results section that need quotations to provide examples of prosecutor sentiment that the authors report. The authors add that several prosecutors said they felt a certain way, but some assertions have no corresponding quotes. This is not a consistent pattern throughout the results section. For example, in “Perceptions of Implementation,” the authors add shorter quotes like “ridiculous timeframes” to explain a group of prosecutors’ sentiments about the policy change. However, in “Perceived Organizational Impacts,” there is ample discussion of BWC with only one quote from an IT specialist. Adding more quotes from respondents in various roles would be beneficial to show the scope of this issue with Order 66. If prosecutors had specific quotes about BWCs, that would be important information to add.

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