Staying up to date on current events and legal matters is crucial in this day and age. The attorneys at Knight & Cerritelli, LLC are not only experienced criminal defense and personal injury lawyers, but also offer guidance navigating through the current state of the Department of Justice.
Jeff Sessions was recently appointed Attorney General by President Donald Trump to replace Loretta Lynch.
It already has in a way. Like most new cabinet heads, Sessions wants his own people on the ground and although it is not atypical for a new attorney general to replace many of the acting United States Attorneys throughout the country, Attorney General Sessions did so in a very grand fashion and unusual fashion in that he had 46 tender their resignations all at once including by the Connecticut US Atty- Deidre Daly. In an odd footnote, however, after tendering her resignation and cleaning out her office, Daly, whose office is in New Haven, was reinstated and is now US Atty until October. It isn’t clear why this about face but there is speculation that her federal pension would be affected without the requisite 20 years of federal service –which she—as a career federal employee- will have in October.
Jeff Sessions is working under a president who has different priorities than the previous president. Clearly he will pivot in the areas of civil rights, criminal justice and drug policy. The New Haven based attorneys at Knight & Cerritelli are paying close attention so that we can advise clients accordingly.
It’s hard for the Attorneys at Knight & Cerritelli to say what his overall policy is specifically, but he was quick to act in a number of areas. For example he moved quickly to lift antidiscrimination guidelines which were in place to permit transgender students to use whichever bathroom they choose. He also withdrew from an aspect of a lawsuit brought by the federal government against the state of Texas which claimed that Texas’ voter identification law was a law that intentionally discriminated against minorities making it harder for them to vote in the state.
Although the crime rate overall is at near record lows per most criminologists, Sessions believes there is a real possibility it will rise precipitously again. He wants a very tough federal approach to narcotics and gun violations. He also seems to view marijuana in a more malevolent light and might not follow the approach to marijuana that the Obama administration embraced—that of a more hands-off-leave-it- to –the states- approach. Attorneys at Knight & Cerritelli caution that this approach could have many negative impacts on the criminal justice system in New Haven and throughout Connecticut.
Also, whereas Obama wanted to end the use of private prisons to house federal inmates—Jeff Session wants to continue to use them for the future. Finally the Obama administration looked to overhaul troubled police departments –departments that historically have been accused of racism and excessive force. Sessions wants to limit federal oversight in this respect.
It’s hard to say—certainly if you believe in the approach that tougher and longer prison sentences help reduce crime—he will be met with approval. The New Haven based criminal defense and personal injury attorneys at Knight & Cerritelli believe long prison sentences are not the answer. Moreover, many critics fear that he is concentrating too much on domestic crime when it can be handled by the state and local governments and not enough about cyber security or terrorism.