« "Reclassified: State Drug Law Reforms to Reduce Felony Convictions and Increase Second Chances" | Main | Excited to hear Shon Hopwood speak about earned prison credit as Ohio considers ballot initiative known now as Issue 1 »

October 3, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions boasts about federal prosecutors now "running up the score against the criminals"

As of September 27, 2018, the federal prison population was reported at 181,726, the lowest level in more than a dozen years.  But this new speech that Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered today in Utah suggests it may be only a matter of time before this population is heading up again.  Here is an excerpt that leads me to this view:

Forging new relationships with local prosecutors and building on existing relationships will ensure that the most violent offenders are prosecuted in the most appropriate jurisdiction. Our goal is not to fill up the courts or fill up the prisons.  Our goal is to reduce crime, just as President Trump directed us to do.  Our goal is to make every community safer — especially the most vulnerable....

Our prosecutors in Utah are running up the score against the criminals.  They charged 29 percent more defendants in 2017 than they did in 2014.  That includes 64 percent more drug trafficking defendants, 44 percent more violent crime defendants, and 40 percent more illegal re-entries....

In 2018, the Department of Justice prosecuted more violent criminals than in any year on record.  At the same time, we charged the highest number of federal firearm defendants in history.  Fully 41 percent more gun defendants were prosecuted in fiscal year 2017 than they were just five years before.

This past year we broke our own record — and it wasn’t even close.  Over the last fiscal year — October 1 of 2017 up to September 30, 2018 — the Department of Justice brought charges against 15 percent more violent crime defendants than we did in the previous, record-breaking year.  That’s 20 percent more violent crime defendants than we charged in fiscal 2016.

We also charged nearly 20 percent more firearm defendants than we did in 2017 and 30 percent more than we charged in 2016.  We’ve been so tough on illegal guns that we’re actually getting attacked in the press for it — if you can believe that.

Here’s what the critics don’t understand: we are going after violent felons.  We are targeting the most dangerous people in the most violent areas who have guns....

Law enforcement pays dividends — because when we have safer streets, businesses are more likely to invest and create jobs, property values go up, and the people we serve are more likely to flourish.  And so we are going to keep up this pace.  We are going to keep supporting Utah’s state and local police.  We’re going to keep arming them with the tools, resources, and expertise that they need to protect the people of this city and this state.

October 3, 2018 at 04:57 PM | Permalink


Sessions, here this. If you want to beat on your chest, reduce the shootings to 25/week, then the public might, might respect you.

All your doing is beating up on the weak, alcohol and drug addicts.

Pick on someone that actually is violent, C H I C A G O T H U G S

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Oct 3, 2018 9:15:57 PM

I certainly hope that he is in fact focussed on violent offenders, as he repeatedly says.

Posted by: William Jockusch | Oct 3, 2018 11:56:34 PM

Nationally, we can prosecute 10 times more federal firearm cases than are presently prosecuted simply by following the Tennessee USAO model -- let the state prosecute the substantive offense -- let the feds prosecute the attendant 18:924(c). I my opinion, the quantity of prosecutions does not equal quality of prosecutions. Most criminals are dumb. Anyone can prosecute low hanging fruit. The real issue for federal prosecution is getting the smart ones. It takes money and a lot of time to get the truly smart and effective violent criminals. In this vein, my interaction with federal violent crime task forces, as a 30 year criminal defense practitioner, is that usually they identify those persons who are worthy of of a significant sentence. A focus on those persons who are a present danger as opposed to you did X, you deserve Y mandatory minimum sentence is a better measure which should not be controlled by DOJ. A national federal police force run by DOJ (Read FBI/ATF/HSI) is not needed for what are really low hanging firearm charges

Posted by: ? | Oct 4, 2018 9:05:43 PM

@ ?

I agree with you, its not volume, its quality of prosecutions. Low hanging fruit isnt for the feds, get the biggees, ones behind the big crimes.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Oct 5, 2018 10:01:43 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB