The Prosecutor Project challenges pervasive abuses of power by criminal prosecutors. We create accountability for officials who have historically acted with impunity, and we change entrenched narratives about the purposes and effects of criminal prosecution. The Prosecutor Project replicates what Civil Rights Corps has done with modern debtors’ prisons and the money bail system: we use rigorous, innovative litigation; advocacy centered on directly impacted communities; and storytelling to change the legal discourse and cultural narrative around long-settled and entrenched norms that created and that perpetuate our country’s era of mass human caging.
County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County, Arizona and TASC, Inc. operate a diversion program that charges hundreds of dollars in fees to people accused of possessing small amounts of marijuana. They do this by threatening jail time, six-figure fines, and a felony conviction if the participant does not pay. This program traps poor people in cycles of debt, and funds the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) and TASC on the backs of low-level marijuana offenders.
The Prosecutor Project's initiating piece of litigation, this lawsuit seeks to end the unconstitutional deception and jailing of crime victims and witnesses by the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office. The lawsuit details District Attorney Cannizzaro’s illegal scheme of fabricating subpoenas to coerce crime victims and witnesses of crimes into submitting to interrogations, and presenting fraudulent information in court to persuade judges to issue arrest warrants.