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Immunity, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 259

Essay

What is meant by immunity? What are types of immunity? How does it work to insulate a defendant from criminal prosecution?

“In legal contexts, immunity is the broader term because it relates to any type of exemption from a liability, service or duty.”(Garner, 2001) Thus, it is a certain type of legal protection provided for certain people, under certain circumstances. Consequently, a person who has legal immunity cannot be prosecuted. The major types of immunity are: judicial immunity, prosecutorial immunity, parliamentary immunity, diplomatic immunity, and sovereign immunity. All these types of legal immunity offer different types of protections for people. The most widespread type would be prosecutorial immunity, or immunity from prosecution, which is granted to witnesses in exchange for their testimonies in various cases. Consequently, the prosecution will not pursue the witness for crimes preliminary discussed in the testimony, in return for his/her testifying. This particular type of legal immunity is usually implemented in conspiracy cases, when prosecutors tend to let minor criminals go, thus bringing down ringleaders as a result. Moreover, in case of prosecutorial immunity, a prosecutor can offer blanket immunity or use immunity as well. Another name for blanket immunity would be transactional immunity, when prosecutor agrees not to pursue the witness for any sort of underlying offence. When offering use immunity, the prosecutor is not able to use the witness’ testimony to build the case against him/her, but the prosecution for underlying offense and past crimes is allowed in this situation.

References

Garner, B. A. (2001). A dictionary of modern legal usage. Oxford University Press US, 2001.

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