Prosecutor Definition

Learn about the important role of prosecutors in the criminal justice system and their impact on society. Discover qualifications, examples, and statistics in this comprehensive guide.


A prosecutor is a legal professional who represents the government in criminal cases. They are responsible for bringing charges against individuals or organizations accused of violating the law.

Roles and Responsibilities

Prosecutors work closely with law enforcement agencies to investigate crimes and gather evidence. They also evaluate police reports, interview witnesses, and make decisions on whether to proceed with criminal charges.

  • Bringing charges against defendants
  • Negotiating plea deals
  • Presenting evidence in court
  • Arguing cases before judges and juries


Prosecutors are usually required to have a law degree and pass the bar exam. They also need to have strong communication and analytical skills, as well as the ability to work under pressure.


In the infamous O.J. Simpson case, prosecutor Marcia Clark led the legal team that tried to convict Simpson of murder. Despite formidable challenges, including a well-funded defense team, Clark’s prosecution ultimately failed.

Case Studies

In 2019, prosecutor Kimberly Gardner made history by charging Missouri Governor Eric Greitens with felony invasion of privacy. The case garnered national attention and eventually led to Greitens’ resignation.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 300,000 lawyers working as prosecutors in the United States as of 2020. The median annual salary for prosecutors was $126,930.

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