Speaking before a law enforcement conference in Alabama recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reported that "violent crime is back with a vengeance." He reported that the nationwide murder rate increased in 2015 by nearly 11 percent, which would represent the fastest increase since 1968. "Per capita homicide rates are up in 27 of our 35 largest cities," he said.
Speaking before the annual conference of the National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called America's overdose epidemic "the top lethal issue" in the United States. To fight it, he urged social workers and law enforcement personnel to "create and foster a culture that's hostile to drug use."
The Department of Justice has just announced that it will revive a forensic science initiative that was begun in 2012, during the Obama Administration. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a halt to the initiative in April, in order to invite public comment.
Over the past decade, the tide on marijuana seemed to turn. Over half of U.S. states, including Arizona, have legalized the drug for at least medical purposes. Eight states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized it for recreational use.
The Associated Press has obtained information about an upcoming policy guidance memo that would urge prosecutors to file the most serious charges they believe they can prove in court. This would be a reversal of the Obama Justice Department's guidance that low-level offenders should not be sentenced to long-term incarceration.
Over the past couple of decades or so, we've seen a lot of people exonerated via DNA evidence. We've seen a litany of scandals involving overburdened, inaccurate and even criminally inadequate crime labs across the nation. We've seen forensic evidence, once considered top-shelf, decline in reputation as its collection, processing, testing and results have all been shown to be subject to error -- or worse, shown to be flawed or invalid.