U.S. Attorney says DC law is failing when it comes to firearms

WASHINGTONAs D.C.’s crime crisis continues, the U.S. Attorney for the District spoke to council members Tuesday, discussing the efforts his office is making to better hold offenders in the District accountable.

U.S. Attorney Matt Graves gave a presentation during a D.C. Council meeting on Dec. 5 taking direct aim at the District’s system for dealing with illegal guns on the street. He says firearms cases are the “number one problem” within the current system.

“We had a great conversation yesterday with the D.C. Council where we spent two and a half hours going through what we’re seeing with the D.C. criminal justice system and particularly with firearms offenses and why the system that D.C. has built is not meeting the moment we’re in and the changes we need to make,” Graves told FOX 5 Wednesday.

Graves and his top prosecutors spoke with Council members about how factors like evidence, drug testing, and discretion play a role in prosecution rates in the hopes of bringing some reform to the current system in the District that some say is actively allowing for crime by releasing repeat offenders.

“Repeat offenders are of great concern to us,” Graves said. “We agree as prosecutors in these thousands of cases that we bring, that we are not seeing the outcomes that we want in terms of sentences, our options for charges based on how D.C. law is written and we are here to have the productive conversations that need to be had to change the system.”

D.C. Council Chair for Judiciary & Public Safety Brooke Pinto says she and other council members are actively looking to support Graves and his office in their efforts to get — and keep — criminals off the street.

“Our Secure DC plan was developed in close consultation with the US Attorney as we work to ensure they have the tools they need to hold offenders of crime accountable,” Pinto said.


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