In Virginia, the Commonwealth's Attorney (C.A.) is the chief law enforcement official in the jurisdiction in which he or she is elected to serve. The Constitution of Virginia along with statutory law provides that the C.A. has the responsibility to charge, indict and prosecute felony cases arising in the jurisdiction and investigated by either the C.A.'s office directly, a grand jury or the various policing agencies in the locality such as the state police, municipal or county police or the local sheriff.
The prosecutor is the chief legal official in the jurisdiction in which he is elected or appointed. U. S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson summarized the role of the prosecutor in American society in a famous speech entitled "The Federal Prosecutor." Justice Jackson began his remarks summarizing American prosecutors generally stating: "The qualities of a good prosecutor are as elusive and as impossible to define as those which mark a gentleman."
Justice is not guaranteed in any criminal case. The prosecutor bears the burden of proof and can only convict based upon age old rules that govern what may be put before a jury as proof. Aside from the trial of cases, justice has another face. It is the face of compassion for survivors of crime as well as bringing good judgement to bear in the cases where discretion argues in favor of a second chance for a particular offender.