CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Lynch on Regressive Prosecutors in Trump's DOJ

Mona Lynch (University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society) has posted Regressive Prosecutors: Law and Order Politics and Practices in Trump’s DOJ (Hastings Journal of Crime and Punishment, 1 (2),195-220) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This essay examines how the “Trump/Sessions/Barr”6 regime has approached criminal justice policy in an era of progressive reform. It first details the contours of the Trump-era DOJ criminal justice policies and practices to illustrate its countertrend status, then it delineates the DOJ policy statements and actual efforts to impose on state and local criminal justice operations through various initiatives. Specifically, it examines how federal law enforcement itself is being mobilized to reinvigorate a “law and order” approach to street crime, including direct targeting of jurisdictions that have adopted more progressive policies and practices. It argues that a dangerous turn has happened in the Barr DOJ that extends and multiplies the threats posed by the Sessions regime, with significant negative consequences for individual defendants and, potentially, the larger criminal justice reform movement that is exemplified by the progressive prosecutor movement. It concludes by considering the limits of the federal countermovement to progressive criminal system reform efforts.

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