cloudy.png
Sunday August 25th, 2019 9:44AM

Barr defends police, takes swipe at progressive prosecutors

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr staunchly defended the work of law enforcement Monday — promising to push for new legislation to swiftly carry out the death penalty for suspects who commit mass shootings or kill police officers, while also taking aim at prosecutors who "style themselves as 'social justice' reformers."

Barr, who had a tough-on-crime approach in his previous stint as the nation's chief law enforcement officer in the early 1990s, lauded efforts to keep chronic offenders behind bars with long sentences. In his speech to the Fraternal Order of Police conference in New Orleans, he said that helped seriously cut down violent crime. He also said the government must have "zero tolerance" for suspects who resist the police and denounced protesters who threw water on New York City police a few weeks ago as "prancing punks."

That hardline stance, however, puts Barr at odds with today's criminal justice reformers. While the tough-on-crime thinking was common among law enforcement officials in the early 1990s — as the national violent crime rate peaked —many in the criminal justice field now favor rehabilitation instead of incarceration.

President Donald Trump has pushed efforts to overhaul the criminal justice system, often touting bipartisan legislation he signed last year that gives judges more discretion in sentencing and eases mandatory minimum sentences. At the same time, the president has been an ardent defender of police — once telling officers in a speech they shouldn't "be too nice" to suspects they arrest — and has a long history of advocating for the death penalty. Those positions tend to popular with the president's conservative political base.

In his speech, Barr praised federal prosecutors who have brought more cases against violent criminals and drug dealers in an effort to curb the opioid epidemic. But he added that more needs to be done, saying that most of the illegal drugs being trafficked into the U.S. are being brought in by Mexican drug organizations and other transnational gangs.

"Obviously, the head of the snake is outside the United States," he said. "We must destroy these cartels."

Barr took a hard swing at prosecutors who don't embrace the same tough-on-crime stance. He said appointing such progressive district attorneys is "demoralizing to law enforcement and dangerous to public safety" because they "spend their time undercutting the police, letting criminals off the hook, and refusing to enforce the law."

Across the U.S., some longtime prosecutors have been met by more reform-minded challengers, some of whom have vowed not to prosecute lower-level offenses, like drug possession and other misdemeanors.

"So these cities are headed back to the days of revolving door justice," Barr said. "The results will be predictable. More crime; more victims."

Barr promised that the Justice Department would propose legislation to expedite criminal cases against suspects charged in mass shootings and the killings of law enforcement officers, so they could face quick punishment, including the death penalty.

"Punishment must be swift and certain," Barr said.

He also said there should be more of an appreciation for the work of law enforcement officers.

"The 'thin blue line' is getting thinner," he added.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Barr defends police, takes swipe at progressive prosecutors
Attorney General William Barr staunchly defended the work of law enforcement officers across the U.S., while taking a swipe at progressive prosecutors he says are refusing to enforce the law
1:24PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Trump overhauls endangered species protections
The Trump administration has rolled out some of the broadest changes in decades to enforcement of the landmark Endangered Species Act, which critics contend could speed extinction for some struggling plants and animals
1:20PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Oklahoma latest to grapple with online school problems
An investigation into the founders of an online charter school in Oklahoma is just the latest in a series of similar probes taking place across the country
1:16PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Italian Senate cuts short vacation to set no-confidence vote
The Italian Senate will return Tuesday from its summer vacation to set a crucial date for a no-confidence vote on Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's populist government
12:49PM ( 46 minutes ago )
New Trump rules would further restrict legal immigration
Trump administration rules that could deny green cards to immigrants if they use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance are going into effect
12:37PM ( 59 minutes ago )
The Latest: Immigrant rights group vows lawsuit vs new rules
Immigrant rights groups are blasting the Trump administration's new rules that could deny green cards to immigrants if they use forms of public assistance like food stamps or Medicaid
12:36PM ( 59 minutes ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Sentries, not 'squad': Moderate Dems ones to watch for 2020
'Sentries,' not 'squad:' National security experts are the Dems to watch on impeachment, 2020
5:44AM ( 7 hours ago )
Island or European nation? Rival views of UK shape Brexit
Britain's decision to split from the European Union was fueled by a sense that the U.K. is fundamentally separate from its continental neighbors, but anti-Brexit politicians and historians say that view is too simplistic
1:34PM ( 1 day ago )
India eases restrictions in Kashmir for Islamic festival
Authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir say they eased restrictions in the region's main city for a third straight day ahead of a major Islamic festival
8:14AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Congress News
Trump overhauls endangered species protections
The Trump administration has rolled out some of the broadest changes in decades to enforcement of the landmark Endangered Species Act, which critics contend could speed extinction for some struggling plants and animals
1:20PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Oklahoma latest to grapple with online school problems
An investigation into the founders of an online charter school in Oklahoma is just the latest in a series of similar probes taking place across the country
1:16PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Federal New York lockup draws new scrutiny in Epstein death
A federal lockup known for housing famous inmates has drawn a measure of infamy with the apparent suicide of its latest notorious guest: financier Jeffrey Epstein
1:16PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Democrat Galloway launches Missouri gubernatorial campaign
Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway is launching her Democratic campaign for governor by highlighting her efforts to uncover waste and fraud
1:09PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Georgia leads SEC pack in hot pursuit of Alabama
Alabama is still king in the Southeastern Conference, if not nationally
1:01PM ( 35 minutes ago )