Life as a Prosecutor

Stacey Honowitz in courthouse After three decades as a prosecutor you come to realize that the huge sense of responsibility you have to the public. It’s also quite daunting to know that you hold someone’s liberty in your hands every day. You have to decide whether someone is going to jail, or will remain free. Some nights are sleepless when you are in trial, realizing that if you fail to convince a jury of guilt, you are deemed a failure.

Everyone seems to lump all prosecutors together and refer to them as “the government’. Whenever there are high-profile cases in the news, you never hear much about the people who are there representing “the people.” You always hear about the defense attorney, what moves he has made in court, how he has cross-examined witnesses and his ability to argue the law. What you rarely hear about is the prosecutor, who has presented the evidence, dealt with the family of a victim, worked hard to make sure all their ducks were in a row to prove the case “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

You rarely hear about the pretrial meetings with victims, the late nights on the phone with witnesses, the stress and pressure to not let the families down or the police department or agents that put the case together. Never do you hear about a prosecutor who has worked so diligently, gone before the court only to have crucial evidence thrown out because of a problem in the law. Does the public ever know how many prosecutors have sat in their offices crying because they believed so much in a case and the jury said “not guilty”? How about a prosecutor who has a great case, great evidence and a victim that refuses to testify in court because their sex life will now be known to a bunch of strangers? That’s the side of a prosecutor that nobody chooses to explore. That’s the life that some of us lead.

Some of us have not come to work for a few days after losing a case that we should have won. Some of us have had to endure the wrath of a judge who just “doesn’t like the case”. We are believers in the system, but sometimes it can be too much. My life as a Sex Crimes prosecutor has been unbelievable in so many ways. I am a lawyer, therapist, friend and confidant all rolled into one. I am the person who has to hear all day long about little kids being penetrated by pedophiles, beaten by parents and neglected by family. I am the person who has to be part savior and part realist. I am the one who has to go home at night and think of the disgusting acts that were performed upon these innocent kids. I am the one that lies awake at night hoping that I can send a gross pedophile to prison for life. When having the worst days, I am the kind of woman who takes the time to recall the horrific stories I heard and realize I can get through it.

I am a prosecutor through and through, and I think “we” deserve to be known as someone who has true feelings, rather than just one who stands in court with a big map on my back known as “the state.” We are people too, trying to make the place we live in as safe as possible.

It’s a tough gig, but someone’s got to do it.

Sex With the Female Teacher… Don’t Tell

shh, it's a secretTime to say goodbye to Match.com, e-Harmony, JDate and all the other dating sites. We cannot log on to the computer, turn on the television, or open the newspaper without seeing a headline involving a sexual relationship between a female teacher and an underage male student. It is time to invent a new site entitled Studyhall.com because the numbers of these cases is increasing year after year.

Teachers now seem to pick their prospects directly from the student body without a care in the world. “Where were these teachers when I was going to school?” This seems to be the most commonly asked question by MEN who say that they can only dream of a teacher who would make them the “teacher’s pet.” READ MORE...

Jury Duty: To Sit or Not to Sit, That’s the Question

Jury Box Jury duty, a curse for some, a great day or week for others. I have picked hundreds of juries in my 24 years in the prosecutor’s office, and I can tell you that the attitude among jurors has changed over the last 10 years. I remember the days of people being really mad when the juror notice came in the mailbox demanding that they appear at the courthouse over a certain period of time. They whipped out the rolodex of excuses, and were fully prepared to explain why they could not sit. I think times have changed because of the media’s involvement with criminal law, and I now believe that the tide has turned and more people want to be on jury duty when it comes to criminal cases.

Court TV, Law and Order, CSI: New York, and Miami, NCIS,READ MORE...

Censored: Penis Is a Bad Word

Censored When did penis become a word that needs to be censored?. It is highly likely that in a majority of sexual battery and molestation cases, you will see that a penis played a significant role. You will never hear in an indictment or a charging document that the victim was sexually battered by a ding-dong, dingaling, wiener, pee-pee ,or thing.

It is hard to believe that we still bury our heads in the sand when it comes to discussing private parts and their real names. “Struggling to find the right words” READ MORE...

Will Sandusky ‘s Case Fall on Deaf Ears?

Sandusky in Jail We don’t need to go into more detail as to the events with the Jerry Sandusky case, as the nation was watching when he was arrested, tried and convicted and then ultimately sentenced for his actions. The world was up in arms when they heard that a well known coach was secretly touching and having sex with boys with whom he had supposedly “mentored” and helped along the way. People were repulsed, yet fascinated by the victims accounts and we were horrified that a person who witnessed these events did not either run in the shower and beat the crap out of him, or run directly to the police to report it. READ MORE...

Sex Nation, All Aboard

Outdoor really on a sunny day How many times in one day do I have to tell parents that I am not the “sex police” and they need to control their kids and their sexual appetites.

How many times in a day do I have to ask young girls what they were thinking when they entered a contest in school to see who could perform the most oral sex?
What will it take for educators and parents to realize that the “sex nation” is dominating our children’s lives?

I am surrounded by it every single day in my job. READ MORE...

‘Scared Straight’: A Good Idea

man in orange prison suit and handcuffed behind his back Criminal court cases have gained popularity in today’s society. Whenever you turn on the news, or open a newspaper or go online, you can hear and read about the latest murder, sexual battery or solicitation case that is going on somewhere in this world. We even hear about celebrities getting arrested and we follow their cases as if we were a part of it. We are tuned in to Law and Order, the original, and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and we hang on every DNA swab that is being handled by someone on CSI. We have many cases that are “fishbowled” by the media, which means they have become constants in our life because we hear about them nonstop and they are analyzed over and over again by tv talking heads. READ MORE...
Stacey Honowitz   ♦   Prosecutor   ♦   Speaker   ♦   Author