Observations Do drug and other specialty courts reduce recidivism? President Trump Wants Drug Courts-Do They Work? Like evaluations of programs for serious offenders, outcomes for drug, mental health, and veteran’s courts are limited to small decreases in recidivism. For many, the focus is on low-level, low-risk offenders who may not need intensive treatment. Author Leonard […]
Observations 16 to 85 percent of federal suspects in criminal matters concluded are declined from federal prosecution. 80.8 percent of the 631 civil rights violation suspects were declined from federal prosecution. 85.8 percent of 197 threats against the president suspects were declined from federal prosecution. Federal prosecutors have options beyond bringing charges in federal court. […]
Observations Federal Data: 16 to 50 percent of federal crimes are deferred from prosecution, per “Federal Justice Statistics.” State Data: 34 percent of state felony cases are not convicted (approximately nine percent involve a deferred adjudication or diversion outcome), per “Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties.” Author Leonard A. Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking […]
Making a criminal bias allegation stick in court can be difficult since winning a conviction means proving a person was motivated by the victim’s religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
Threats, vandalism and recent shootings across the country have sparked outrage and have been decried as hate crimes. But the Washington Post says condemning a repugnant act as a hate crime is far easier than making that charge stick in court, and prosecutions could be even less frequent if the Justice Department shifts its approach under a new attorney general who has indicated states should take the lead. Some states do not have a hate crime law. The majority that do, don’t agree on what acts qualify. Winning a conviction means proving a person was motivated, for instance, by the victim’s religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
Sometimes motivation is obvious, sometimes not, said Steven M. Dettelbach, a former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio who has prosecuted hate crimes. “It’s an additional burden” in a case, he said, “but it can be done.” Federal hate crime charges generally carry stiffer penalties than state statutes, which is one reason they are used. But as important, prosecutors said, a federal presence makes a broad public statement that the crime is different in its intent and impact, extending well beyond an individual victim to strike at an entire community.