How the New Attorney General May Affect Criminal Prosecutions and your Rights
Now that Jeff Sessions has been confirmed as attorney general at the Justice Department, it is important to note what effect he will likely have on federal civil rights enforcement, as this will affect countless numbers of people who are subject to police abuse, racial profiling, and numerous other civil rights violations. Specifically, the media suspects that the following issues are likely to be affected by Sessions’ role as attorney general:
Sessions was what some call a “hanging judge”; perhaps most notably, he publicly admired Trump when Trump called for the death penalty for the Central Park Five, the five suspects who served between six and 13 years in prison for crimes they were exonerated for using DNA evidence. Sessions has also made general statements indicating that charges of prosecutorial misconduct are a form of abuse by criminal defense attorneys.
Sessions allegedly believes that police are at a terrible disadvantage in the United States; constantly under siege by criminals and a “politically correct society,” which subjects them to onerous restrictions. He has reportedly gone on the record opposing the use of consent decrees and federal investigations to bring change to corrupt police departments. In other words, Sessions appears to believe that police departments should not be subject to federal civil rights enforcement. As a result, citizens can expect that the Justice Department will likely no longer make efforts to combat discrimination, use of excessive force, and unfair sentencing.
Contrary to most experts and mainstream society, Sessions appears to also believe that sentences are too short, especially when it comes to drug crimes. He appears to be opposed to efforts at prison and sentencing reform and in favor of long mandatory terms.
Legalization of Marijuana
Sessions has also gone on record indicating that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” indicating that he is opposed to both the medical and recreational use of marijuana, and may crack down on state efforts to legalize the substance.
It is predicted that Sessions will likely allow the FBI to do whatever it wants when it comes to domestic spying and surveillance, with little or no restraint on the concept of protecting civil liberties—all in the interest of “terrorist prosecutions.”
Immigration and Voter Suppression
Both of these issues are of special concern to both Trump and Sessions, so you can expect many innocent to be deported and otherwise experience rights violations in connection with these issues.
Are You A Victim?
Now is the time when fighting to protect our civil rights—our right to life and liberty—is more important than ever. If your rights have been violated, you may have grounds to pursue a civil rights claim against those government actors who violated them—including the police and/or the city. The first step in preserving your rights is to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area to help explain the process, provide you with options, and defend your rights. Contact us at the Bergen County office of Phillip J. Murphy today to discuss your case.