According to 40 prosecutors representing towns and cities around the US, Attorney General Bill Barr promotes outdated policies that make Americans less safe.
In an open letter obtained by Law&Crime, the elected prosecutors said that they hold their jobs “because our communities put us in them after we promised a different and smarter approach to justice, one grounded in evidence-based policies that lift people up while prioritizing the cases that cause real harm.”
“We know that past decades of promoting a ‘war on drugs’ or sending people to prisons and jails because of poverty or unpaid fees has destroyed lives and diverted limited resources away from serious crimes that truly impact communities,” the letter continued. “We’ve read the research, and we believe in following the evidence. We don’t resort to fear, we deal in facts.”
The letter then referenced Barr directly and his alleged interference in the sentence recommendation for longtime Trump confidant, Roger Stone.
“Critics such as Attorney General William Barr seek to bring us back to a time when crime was high, success was measured by how harsh the punishment was, and a fear-driven narrative prevailed,” their letter read. “This is the same Attorney General who in the span of 24 hours attacked reform-minded, elected District Attorneys for being soft on crime, while demanding his own federal prosecutors lighten the punishment for an ally of his boss. He touts the importance of the rule of law, yet undermines it in the same breath.”
“We will not go back to the fear-driven ‘tough on crime’ era,” the letter continues. “We will not adhere to policies that failed to make our communities safe and punished poverty, mental illness or addiction—policies that filled prison beds and made our country an international outlier in our rate of incarceration.”
Read the letter in full here.