A group of more than 100 former and current prosecutors and law enforcement officials is calling on President Joe Biden to prioritize criminal justice reform and make good on his campaign promise to form a task force to evaluate how criminal cases are prosecuted in the U.S., reported The Associated Press.
The group, which included state attorneys general, police
chiefs and former federal justice officials, sent a letter to the Biden
administration asking that a task force on 21st century prosecution be
convened by the end of the year. It’s the latest call to action from
progressive groups that have been putting pressure on the
Biden administration and the Justice Department to implement criminal
justice overhauls from policing to prisons.
“We haven’t seen a national focus on the work of local
prosecutors, who were in many ways the driver of damage that has been done over
the decades, but in many ways in recent years in isolated jurisdictions are the
source of reform and inspiration,” Miriam Aroni Krinsky, founder and executive
director of the group Fair and Just Prosecution and also a former federal
prosecutor, said in an interview.
Biden’s criminal justice platform included plans to create a
task force to look at prosecutorial discretion, meaning the decisions made on
when to charge someone and with what crimes, which varies widely across
jurisdictions and can mean longer sentences, parole or probation and force some
people to take plea deals.
The letter writers are hoping the administration will take a
broader look at prosecutorial policies with its recommended task force.
Krinsky’s organization released a research paper Tuesday outlining hopes for what the
task force would look like and what it could achieve as well as further steps the
federal government should take to incentivize implementing recommendations from
the task force to make sure its findings don’t sit on a shelf gathering dust.
The Biden administration has held multiple meetings to
discuss and implement measures to address rising gun violence across the
country as well as touting money in the COVID-19 relief package for policing.
Other talks have focused on prison reforms or the death penalty. Attorney
General Merrick Garland recently traveled to Chicago and visited a community
group focused on driving down violence in the community.
To read more CLICK HERE