FJP Releases – Fair and Just Prosecution

“We, as former United States Attorneys, federal judges, Assistant United States Attorneys, and DOJ lawyers and leaders, understand the obligation to protect the safety and wellbeing of everyone in our community….To prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19 in facilities under your federal control, we urge you to start commuting sentences immediately.”

Elected Prosecutors Call for Immediate Reduction of Incarceration and Detention to Address the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Those in Custody

Over thirty elected prosecutors joined in a statement calling on prosecutors, corrections leaders, and the federal government to immediately reduce the number of incarcerated and detained individuals in an effort to address the threat of disastrous COVID-19 outbreaks among these vulnerable populations. Prisons, jails, and detention facilities are severely overcrowded, forcing people into close quarters without access to proper hygiene or adequate medical care. An outbreak of COVID-19 in these facilities would be potentially catastrophic. That’s why elected prosecutors joined in this commitment to immediately reduce incarceration and detention, work with public health and other leaders to mitigate the unchecked spread of COVID-19 in facilities and uphold the rights and needs of those in custody, and reform immigration detention policies. For more, read the press release[54] and full statement[55].

“We, as elected prosecutors, have an obligation to protect the safety and wellbeing of everyone in our community, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or country of origin. Those obligations extend behind prison walls. And they require elected prosecutors to step up in this time of growing public health concerns to address the needs and rights of individuals in these facilities.”

Elected Prosecutors Call for Relief for Individuals Sentenced to Life Without Parole as Children

In 2012, the US Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to sentence children to life without parole and required an avenue for relief for people sentenced to life without parole as juveniles. In accordance with this precedent, many states have implemented policies that provide for review of juvenile life sentences, offering a pathway to release and a second chance. Missouri, however, has instituted a system that imposes substantial and improper impediments to parole, in direct contravention of Supreme Court decisions and the due process rights of individuals who received lifetime sentences as juveniles. That’s nearly 60 criminal justice leaders, including 30 current elected prosecutors from across the country, filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit challenging the Missouri parole board’s process. For more, read the press release[56] and brief[57].

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