Last week, the Justice Department announced the creation of more than 300 Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) positions nationwide. It’s the most significant expansion in decades.
The Western District of North Carolina will gain three new AUSA positions. Two will focus on violent crime. The other will focus on civil enforcement of opioids, working with the new Prescription Interdiction & Litigation Task Force that’s aimed at counteracting the opioid epidemic. Across the country, more than 30 additional positions will focus on immigration enforcement.
A step in the right direction?
While Trump has long spewed a law-and-order rhetoric – and used that position to justify harsh immigration policies, among others – the focus on violent crime might actually be a step in the right direction. It will mean fewer resources devoted to petty drug crimes or other nonviolent offenses (although drug enforcement remains a key priority for state and federal law enforcement in North Carolina).
And, in light of Trump’s latest statement supporting the proposal to ease up federal marijuana enforcement, it may mean a more relenting stance when it comes to marijuana-related offenses. That proposal, though, would still leave legalization up to the states. And H.B. 994 – the North Carolina bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana for personal use – hasn’t yet made any headway out of committee.
What do you think? Do you support the Trump Administration’s allocation of more resources to tackle violent crime?