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An earlier version of this article is included in the NELLCO Legal Scholarship Repository, Roger Williams University School of Law Faculty Papers: Margulies, Peter, "Above Contempt?: The Attorney General, the Courts, and Informational Overreaching in Terrorism Prosecutions" (2004). Roger Williams University School of Law Faculty Papers. Paper 2.


Prosecutors face the continual temptation to overreach in decisions about the control of information. At each phase of a criminal proceeding, from investigation through trial, prosecutors make crucial decisions about information to disclose and highlight with courts, juries, and the public. In ordinary times, courts, defense counsel, the media, and internal sources of oversight can place some constraints, however tenuous, on the prosecutor’s efforts to monopolize the management of information. However, external events, such as the attacks of September 11, 2001, can weaken these constraints, producing alarming spikes in prosecutorial power.


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