It is a first principle of procedural justice that the judge should have no financial stake in the outcome of a case.
The decision to prosecute is a quasi-judicial act. The prosecutor wields a fearsome power on behalf of the state; not every act that might be construed as an infraction of the law deserves prosecution, and a defendant can be ruined even if he is eventually acquitted.
Therefore, a prosecutor should have no financial stake in the decision to prosecute.
Basing prosecutors’ performance appraisals and raises on their raw case counts — even as one measure among several — gives each prosecutor a financial stake in each decision to prosecute. It is therefore grossly improper.
Perhaps when Attorney General Mukasey has finished giving torturers their “get-out-of-jail-free” cards, he might deign to consider the management problems in the once-proud organization over whose continued decline he now presides.