Published on: Thursday, March 9, 2017

In an effort to “reduce crime in America,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions requested that federal prosecutors make violent crime a “special priority.”  Sessions directed federal prosecutors to work with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement to identify "violent offenders" in their district and identify the best venue to “ensure an immediate and appropriate penalty” for the offenders.  In addition, Sessions specifically encouraged federal prosecutors to utilize criminal statutes found under 18 U.S.C. §922 (firearms offenses), §924(c) (possession of a firearm during a violent crime or drug trafficking offense), and §§1961-68 (RICO), among others, to hold criminal defendants accountable.  Sessions also stated that using the criminal statutes under the Controlled Substance Act “can drive violent crime down” and thus should be used to combat crime.  Read the full "Commitment to Targeting Violent Crime" Memo.