District Attorney's Office (Paragon City)

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The role of the prosecutor for Paragon City was always something that was taken for granted in the City of Heroes MMO.

The police and the heroes make the arrests, and then people expect that the criminals simply go to prison. But in between that is the trial and successful prosecution of those that commit crimes, and in Paragon City, that responsibility falls on the District Attorney and his or her office.

Historical Significance

From the founding of Paragon City until the advent of Prohibition, the role of the District Attorney was relatively simple, limiting themselves to prosecuting basic crimes.

From Prohibition forward, though, the DA's office expanded greatly when city officials took on the crime bosses over the sale and distribution of alcohol. Their diligence mirrored similar efforts in Chicago being conducted by Eliot Ness.

The advent of the superheroes in the 1930's, however, changed things for the prosecutor's office. Although they were publicly celebrated, heroes in those days were legally considered vigilantes. Prosecutors could not bring charges against criminals that were apprehended by heroes without eyewitness testimony from a third party to the crime. Indeed, the first few bank robberies foiled by Statesman had to be dismissed in court on those very grounds.

Despite the election of pro-hero city officials in 1936, the District Attorney still found himself hard-pressed to prosecute criminals apprehended by heroes. Following a civil lawsuit against Maiden Justice in 1937, city officials passed the Citizen Crime Fighting Act, which gave registered heroes the same authority as police officers provided they adhered to the same level of professionalism in arrests and gathering of evidence. It was only then that the District Attorney's office recognized the contributions of heroes.

In recent years, the DA's office has enjoyed a long series of uncontested convictions, as many criminals skipped trials and simply plead guilty to the charges. What does not get mentioned, though, is that those convicted end up escaping from the Zigursky Penitentiary soon after their arrival, either to terrorize the city further, or to flee to the Rogue Isles and serve Lord Recluse in his "Project Destiny". Rather than investigate the reason for these breakouts, though, previous District Attorneys have instead cashed in on the record number of uncontested convictions as proof of their own success.

However, the string of uncontested convictions ended when the perpetual jailbreak came to a close in 2011. With the possibility of being incarcerated indefinitely once again on the minds of those charged, more and more cases have started to be challenged in court.

Location

Paragon City Judicial Center

The District Attorney's Office is located inside the Judicial Center in the middle of the Gaspee District of Founders Falls.

The offices themselves are situated in the floors immediately above the courtrooms.

A little-known secret is that there are several hidden passageways for heroes to enter and escape without being detected. This information is only known to certain members of the DA's office.

Hierarchy

In Paragon City, this is the hierarchy for the DA's office.

  • District Attorney - initially appointed by the Mayor and City Council, the position became an elected one after a string of resignations and scathing scandals. The position reverted to being an appointed position in 2013 thanks to the successful efforts of District Attorney Alex Wentworth in eliminating abuses of power, increasing successful prosecutions, and helping lower crime statistics.
  • Deputy District Attorneys - The role of the DDA is to represent the DA's office for all major cases and appeals. Traditionally the DDA position carried a lot of leverage in terms of which kinds of cases they would handle and often operated with minimal oversight. When the District Attorney position was vacant, that role was split up among the various DDAs, including Deputy District Attorney Edward "The Trust" Vance.
  • Special Prosecutors - In rare situations, a special prosecutor is needed to investigate cases involving members of the government, especially when it involves the District Attorney's office. Although not answerable to the DA themselves, special prosecutors are given authority equal to a DDA for a limited period of time.
  • Administrators - Although not responsible for casework, the responsibility for tracking evidence and handling vital court documents often falls to the office administrators. In addition, sometimes consultants are needed to be brought in to better measure the strengths or weaknesses of a case and its impact in the public eye. Most major cities will employ one person to handle this, often being a Technomancer. In the case of Paragon City, that responsibility goes to Mister Cade.
  • Senior Prosecutors - When the DDA is not in charge of a case, the responsibility of representing the state would often fall to the senior prosecutor, especially concerning felony cases and some appeals. These prosecutors have some leeway in which cases they handle, often based on their strengths or weaknesses.
  • Junior Prosecutors - This is the entry-level for prosecutors in Paragon City. Starting attorneys will often handle small cases and some misdemeanor crimes. They will also assist Senior Prosecutors on other more serious cases. They often have no say in which cases to handle.