Session’s Half Truths On Local Prosecutions

Miriam Valverde reports inPolitiFact:

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions raised concerns to New York law enforcement officers over practices of some district attorneys that he said favored immigrants.

“It troubles me that we’ve seen district attorneys openly brag about not charging cases appropriately under the laws of our country, so that provides an opportunity for individuals not to be convicted of a crime that might lead to deportation,” Sessions said April 28 in Long Island, N.Y. “Some have advertised that they will charge a criminal alien with a lesser offense than presumably they would charge a United States citizen, so they won’t be deported. That baffles me.”

Is Sessions right about district attorneys advertising leniency in charges toward immigrants over U.S. citizens?

The Justice Department, led by Sessions, referred us to policies and practices of the Brooklyn District Attorney, Santa Clara District Attorney and Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office.

While all three jurisdictions refuted Sessions’ characterization of their policies, we found that some offices are considering alternative offenses a defendant can plead to in order to avoid “disproportionate collateral consequences,” such as deportation. They also point to a U.S. Supreme Court case that said considering deportation consequences in the plea-bargaining process may be a wise move for defendants and states.

Here’s an overview of those policies.”

. . . .

Sessions said district attorneys “advertise that they will charge a criminal alien with a lesser offense than presumably they would charge a United States citizen.”

District and state attorneys in Brooklyn, Santa Clara and Baltimore have issued directives for prosecutorial discretion in the handling of non-violent cases involving non-U.S. citizens (which includes immigrants living in the United States legally and illegally).

Attorneys told us that the alternative sentences are designed to help people avoid deportation for minor crimes, and that sometimes the plea deals mean the person ends up with a stricter or longer sentence, or a faster guilty plea. They also contend that they are not charging immigrants favorably over citizens, as policy consideration goes into effect after charges are made.

The Supreme Court recently recognized that deportations can represent a disproportionate punishment. A recent case found that defense attorneys must inform their clients when a plea carries a risk of deportation. Justices also noted that considering deportation consequences in the plea bargaining process may benefit both defendants and states.

Sessions’ statement is partially accurate, but leaves out important details or takes things out of context. We rate it Half True.”


For a guy who plays as fast and loose with the truth as Sessions, I suppose half true is a relatively decent rating.  For anyone else, not so much. I’ve never seen even a shred of humanity and decency from this dude, at least on the issue of immigration.

Thanks to Nolan Rappaport for sending this in.