Prosecutor, * practice. He who prosecutes another for a crime in the name of the government.

2. Prosecutors are public or private. The public prosecutor is an officer appointed by the government, to prosecute all offences; he is the attorney general or his deputy.

3. A private prosecutor is one who prefers an accusation against a party whom be suspects to be guilty. Every man may become a prosecutor, but no man is bound except in some few of the more enormous offences, as treason, to be one but if the prosecutor should compound a felony, he will be guilty of a crime. The prosecutor has an inducement to prosecute, because he cannot, in many cases, have any civil remedy until he has done his duty to society by an endeavor to bring the offender to justice. If a prosecutor act from proper motives, me will not be responsible to the party in damages, though he was mistaken in his suspicions; but if, from a motive of revenge, he institute a criminal prosecution without any reasonable foundation, he may be punished by being mulcted in damages in an action for a malicious prosecution.

4. In Pennsylvania a defendant is not bound to plead to an indictment where there is a private prosecutor, until his name shall have been indorsed on the indictment as such, and on acquittal of the defendant, in all cases except where the charge is for a felony, the jury may direct that he shall pay the costs. Vide 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 1 to 10; 1 Phil. Ev. Index, h. t.; 2 Virg. Cas. 3, 20; 1 Dall. 5; 2 Bibb. 210; 6 Call. 245; 5 Rand. 669; and the article Informer.

* From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856 Edition. Please see Bouvier's Legal Abbreviations & Abbreviated References for help with obscure nomenclature & references.

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