I broadcast a new episode of Philosophy in Action Radio on Wednesday, 30 January 2013, interviewing former Arizona prosecutor William E. Perry about “What It’s Really Like to Be a Prosecutor.”

If you missed the live broadcast, you can listen to or download the audio podcast any time. You’ll find the podcast on the episode’s archive page, as well as below.

Podcast: 30 January 2013: William E. Perry on “What It’s Really Like to Be a Prosecutor”

What is the work of a prosecutor really like? In this interview, former Arizona prosecutor William E. Perry discussed the cases he prosecuted and various issues in criminal law – including the role of juries, standards of evidence, the drug war, confessions, and plea bargaining.

William E. Perry was a lawyer for 34 years. He spent seven years as a defense attorney and one year as a temporary judge. Most of the rest of the time he was a prosecutor for the Navajo Nation and four counties in Arizona. Mr. Perry supervised the criminal prosecutors in Arizona’s third largest county. He was was a major fraud and public corruption prosecutor, and then a homicide prosecutor, in Maricopa County. (That county includes Phoenix and the surrounding area. It was the sixth largest county in the United States at the time.) He is now retired.

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Topics:

  • Becoming a prosecutor, including prosecuting for the Navajo Nation
  • How criminal cases get to trial
  • Preliminary hearings and grand juries
  • The problem of corruption
  • The trial process
  • Prosecutor caseload
  • Sentencing
  • The reliability of juries
  • Judges versus juries
  • The problem with “the drug war”
  • Police as hamstrung versus out-of-control
  • Confessions
  • Plea bargaining
  • Most interesting and rewarding cases

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