Attorney General William Barr took a swipe at so-called progressive prosecutors, calling their emergence “demoralizing to law enforcement and dangerous to public safety.” Speaking to the Fraternal Order of Police national biennial conference in New Orleans, Barr assailed “district attorneys that style themselves as ‘social justice’ reformers, who spend their time undercutting the police, letting criminals off the hook, and refusing to enforce the law.” In Barr’s telling, “these anti-law enforcement DAs … ambush an incumbent DA in the primary with misleading campaigns and large infusions of money from outside groups.”
Without naming any prosecutors he criticized, he contended that they have refused “to enforce broad swaths of the criminal law. Most disturbing is that some are refusing to prosecute cases of resisting police. Some are refusing to prosecute various theft cases or drug cases, even where the suspect is involved in distribution. And when they do deign to charge a criminal suspect, they are frequently seeking sentences that are pathetically lenient. So these cities are headed back to the days of revolving door justice.” Barr also said that after Labor Day, the Trump administration will seek legislation mandating a “timetable for judicial proceedings” in death penalty cases of mass murder or murder of a law enforcement officer. “Punishment must be swift and certain,” Barr said.