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Politics 39 prosecutors blast Attorney General Barr for ‘dangerous and failed’ approach to criminal justice

11:55  14 february  2020
11:55  14 february  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Barr: U.S. scrutinizing all information ahead of 2020 election, including from Giuliani

  Barr: U.S. scrutinizing all information ahead of 2020 election, including from Giuliani Barr: U.S. scrutinizing all information ahead of 2020 election, including from Giuliani"We have to be very careful with respect to any information coming from the Ukraine," Barr said during a press conference. "There are a lot of agendas in the Ukraine. There are a lot of cross-currents, and we can't take anything we receive from the Ukraine at face value.

Thirty-nine elected prosecutors in a joint statement condemned Attorney General William P. Barr for recent his rhetoric that attacked progressive policies, arguing that his “ dangerous and failed ” approach to criminal justice disproportionately punished poor people and racial minorities while

The Justice Department's actions on the Roger Stone case show that the agency under William Barr is in even worse shape than many had feared. Trump’s damage to the Justice Department will outlast his presidency. Attorney General William P. Barr with President Trump in the Oval Office in November.

Thirty-nine elected prosecutors in a joint statement condemned Attorney General William P. Barr for recent his rhetoric that attacked progressive policies, arguing that his “dangerous and failed” approach to criminal justice disproportionately punished poor people and racial minorities while diverting resources away from more serious crimes.

a man wearing glasses and a suit and tie: (FILES) In this file photo taken on December 03, 2019 U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr participates in an awards ceremony for 19 law enforcement officers for their efforts in criminal investigations, field operations and innovations in community policing, in the Great Hall of the Justice Department in Washington, DC. — Attorney General William P. Barr said February 13, that President Trump's attacks on the Justice Department had made it “impossible for me to do my job” and asserted that “Im not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody.” Barr has faced growing scrutiny since Tuesday, when four prosecutors handling the case of President Trump's longtime friend Roger Stone withdrew from the proceedings amid a dispute over how long he should spend in prison. (Photo by Olivier Douliery / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)© Olivier Douliery/Afp Via Getty Images (FILES) In this file photo taken on December 03, 2019 U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr participates in an awards ceremony for 19 law enforcement officers for their efforts in criminal investigations, field operations and innovations in community policing, in the Great Hall of the Justice Department in Washington, DC. — Attorney General William P. Barr said February 13, that President Trump's attacks on the Justice Department had made it “impossible for me to do my job” and asserted that “Im not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody.” Barr has faced growing scrutiny since Tuesday, when four prosecutors handling the case of President Trump's longtime friend Roger Stone withdrew from the proceedings amid a dispute over how long he should spend in prison. (Photo by Olivier Douliery / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

“Sadly, we are perceived as a threat by some who are wedded to the status quo or, even worse, failed policies of past decades,” the 39 state, county and city prosecutors wrote. “Critics such as Attorney General William P. 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.”

Attorney General William Barr to testify before House Judiciary Committee

  Attorney General William Barr to testify before House Judiciary Committee The arrangement comes as Democrats have demanded answers about Barr's apparent intervention in the sentencing of Roger Stone.The arrangement comes as Democrats have demanded answers about Barr's apparent intervention in the sentencing of President Donald Trump’s longtime ally Roger Stone, who was convicted last year on charges that he lied to congressional investigators and threatened a witness.

FILE - U.S. Attorney General William Barr at the Department of Justice in Washington, Jan. "Their policies are pushing a number of America's cities back toward a more dangerous past." Other prosecutors for a number of cities and counties critically cited by Barr did not immediately respond to

Barr ’s strident criticism of local prosecutors came a day after he announced that the Justice Department had filed lawsuits against California Local officials say doing so would undermine their crime -fighting efforts by discouraging immigrants from cooperating with law enforcement in criminal

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In their letter, the signatories warned against returning to a “‘tough on crime’ era” that ignored facts and encouraged mass incarceration. Instead, they argued, evidence shows that a data-based approach is not only more effective, but also strengthens community trust.

“We know policies based on fear don’t work; they simply deepen divides and promote a false narrative,” the letter read. “For too long communities were told that locking up poor people for crimes like shoplifting and drug possession would make them safer, when time and time again all it resulted in was the fracturing of families, intergenerational cycles of incarceration, a destabilization of communities and a growing distrust of law enforcement.”

Democrats ask Graham to investigate political interference at DOJ

  Democrats ask Graham to investigate political interference at DOJ Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are asking Chairman Lindsey Graham to investigate potential political interference at the Justice Department."The Justice Department's mission 'to ensure fair and impartial justice for all Americans' requires that its prosecutorial decisions remain free from political influence," all ten Democrats on the committee, led by Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, wrote in a letter to Graham on Thursday. "It's becoming clear that this is not happening. That's why the Judiciary Committee should investigate involvement of political appointees in this and other cases and hear directly from Attorney General Barr.

Attorney General William Barr is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee after the Justice Department took the unusual step of intervening President Trump hailed Barr on Wednesday for making the recommendation. "Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of

“ Attorney General Barr must immediately testify about political interference in the Roger Stone case. “The Trump Justice Department that abandons the rule of law to give sweetheart deals to criminals who commit their crimes on behalf of Donald Trump.

Their letter comes after Barr spoke Monday at the National Sheriff’s Association winter conference and denounced “social justice reformers” whose policies, he said, are “pushing a number of America’s cities back toward a more dangerous past.”

He specifically called out progressive district attorneys in Philadelphia, Baltimore, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis and Chicago — cities he said have “all suffered historic levels of homicide and other violent crime.” He argued that their policies go against a traditional criminal justice system that imposes increasingly-severe punishments based on criminal history, rather than “catch-and-release" and “revolving-door policies” that undermine policing by placing offenders back into communities.

“These DAs think they are helping people, but they end up hurting them,” Barr told those at the conference. ” By allowing young lawbreakers entirely off the hook the first time — or the second time or even the third time — these DAs are potentially placing them on a conveyor to further and heightened criminality.”

McConnell: Trump 'ought to listen to' Barr's advice on DOJ tweets

  McConnell: Trump 'ought to listen to' Barr's advice on DOJ tweets Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said President Trump should follow Attorney General William Barr's advice after the top Justice Department official said the president's tweeting was making it "impossible" to do his job. Asked during an interview with Fox News's Bret Baier about Barr's comments, McConnell said that "the president should listen to his advice.

As a new crop of district attorneys takes a different approach to criminal justice , some are seeing their authority Critics of the new cohort of prosecutors , such as William P. Barr , the attorney general , say their efforts are demoralizing to law enforcement and dangerous to public safety.

On Tuesday, four federal prosecutors withdrew from a high-profile case, and one resigned his position, after senior Justice Department officials overruled them and recommended that Roger Stone—a longtime friend and former campaign adviser of President Trump’s—receive a lesser prison sentence.

Barr’s criticism comes as newly-elected progressive prosecutors have sought to reform a criminal justice system they argue is outdated. They’ve run and been elected on platforms that include abandoning cash bail and not pursuing marijuana cases, policies they say disproportionately punishes and over-incarcerates minorities and people in poverty.

But powerful figures — among them police union leaders, lawmakers and Trump administration officials such as Barr — have argued that these prosecutors are misusing their roles to decline charges, which in turn leads to more crime. In Philadelphia, for example, where the district attorney ordered prosecutors to pursue less severe sentences and not impose charges for certain offenses, U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain accused him of causing a “public safety crisis.”

Monday was not the first time Barr has detailed his frustration with progressive prosecutors. In an August speech to the Fraternal Order of Police, he lamented “anti-law enforcement DAs” who “spend their time undercutting the police, letting criminals off the hook and refusing to enforce the law.”

Pelosi: A.G. Barr 'has deeply damaged the rule of law'

  Pelosi: A.G. Barr 'has deeply damaged the rule of law' Pelosi called Barr a "sad disappointment to our country" and said he has "stooped to such levels.""A.G. Barr has deeply damaged the rule of law by withdrawing the DOJ's sentencing recommendation, the act of interference in Trump's retribution against [the] lead attorney in the Stone case," Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference.

US Attorney General Bill Barr on Thursday delivered a highly unusual public rebuke of Donald Trump, saying the president's tweets were making his job at the Justice Department "impossible." "I have a problem with some of the tweets," Barr said in an interview with ABC News, adding

US Attorney General Bill Barr on Thursday delivered a highly unusual public rebuke of Donald Trump, saying the president's tweets were making his job at the Justice Department "impossible." "I have a problem with some of the tweets," Barr said in an interview with ABC News, adding

“Some are refusing to prosecute various theft cases or drug cases, even where the suspect is involved in distribution. And when they do deign to charge a criminal suspect, they are frequently seeking sentences that are pathetically lenient,” Barr said last year. “So these cities are headed back to the days of revolving door justice. The results will be predictable. More crime; more victims."

The district attorneys who signed Thursday’s letter disagree, noting that in Chicago — where Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has dismissed thousands of felonies that would have previously been pursued — homicides and shootings have decreased for three consecutive years.

“My fellow reform-minded prosecutors and I don’t resort to fear, we deal in facts,” John Choi, chief prosecutor in Ramsey County, Minn., said in a statement. “For too long, we’ve seen individuals locked up for offenses that amount to the criminalization of drug use, mental illness and simply being poor. This has not made us any safer, but has instead, time and time again, resulted in the fracturing of families, intergenerational cycles of incarceration, a destabilization of communities and a growing distrust of law enforcement."

The prosecutors’ statement adds to a chorus of criticism against Barr in recent days over the sentencing of President Trump’s longtime friend Roger Stone. The four career prosecutors handling Stone’s case withdrew Tuesday after Justice Department officials overruled their sentencing recommendation for Stone, which Trump had blasted as too harsh.

Trump maintains he can intervene in cases after Barr urges him to stop tweeting about DOJ

  Trump maintains he can intervene in cases after Barr urges him to stop tweeting about DOJ President Trump asserted he has "the legal right" to insert himself into the DOJ's handling of criminal cases one day after Attorney General William Barr's interview.President Trump on Friday asserted he has "the legal right" to insert himself into the Justice Department's handling of criminal cases one day after Attorney General William Barr said the president's tweets were making his job more difficult.

Attorney General Bill Barr has admonished President Trump to stop commenting on criminal cases President Trump blasted 'ridiculous' sentencing recommendation of career prosecutors for Trump spent months ridiculing former attorney general Jeff Sessions for his failure to recuse himself

William Pelham Barr was sworn in as Attorney General on February 14, 2019. Justice Department Sues State of California, California Governor, and California Attorney General for Prohibiting the Operation of Private Detention Facilities in the State.

But Barr pushed back against Trump’s attacks on the Justice Department Thursday, saying, “I’m not going to be bullied by anybody.” The Washington Post’s Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky reported that Barr’s comments could jeopardize his tenure as the nation’s top law enforcement official.

Mark Berman contributed to this report.

Read More:

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Barr pushes back against Trump’s criticism of Justice Dept., says tweets ‘make it impossible for me to do my job’

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George H.W. Bush's Deputy AG Says Bill Barr is 'Un-American' .
Former Deputy Attorney General Donald Ayer called Barr's involvement in cases against Roger Stone and Michael Flynn only the "tip of the iceberg.""The reason I say he's un-American...is that the central tenet of our legal system and our justice system is that no person is above the law," Ayer told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday. "Bill Barr's vision is that there is one man—one person—who needs to be above the law, and that is the president.

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