Zealous Prosecutor Leading Review of Violent Crime in Cities
May 29, 2017
Steve Cook’s hardline views on criminal justice were fortified as a cop on the streets of Knoxville, Tennessee, in the late 1970s and early ’80s. The unabashed drug warrior is now armed with a broad mandate to review departmental policies, and observers already worried about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ agenda are wringing their hands at Cook’s ascension.
After some 30 years of prosecuting mostly violent crimes, Cook sums up his philosophy in simple terms that crystalized one night on patrol when he came upon a family whose station wagon had been hit head-on by a “pilled-up drug user.” Two daughters were dead in the backseat. In Cook’s eyes, everyone had to be punished, including the courier who shuttled the drugs into town and the dealer who sold them to the man behind the wheel.
Cook helped craft Sessions’ directive this month urging the nation’s federal prosecutors to seek the steepest penalties for most crime suspects, a move that will send more people to prison for longer, and which was assailed by critics as a revival of failed drug war policies that ravaged minority communities.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder, whose more lenient policies contributed to a decline in the federal prison population for the first time in decades, slammed the reversal of his work as “driven by voices who have not only been discredited but until now have been relegated to the fringes of this debate.”
Cook finds the criticism baffling. All this discussion of criminal justice changes takes the focus off the real victims, he said: drug addicts, their families and those killed and injured as the nation’s opioid epidemic rages.
“For me, it’s like the world is turned upside-down,” Cook said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We now somehow see these drug traffickers as the victims. That’s just bizarre to me.”
The National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys, which Cook led before his new assignment, said his ascendancy within the Justice Department bodes well for prosecutors who felt handcuffed by Obama-era policies.
Lawrence Leiser, the group’s new president, called him inspiring.
“His heart and soul is in everything he does,” he said. “And he is a strong believer in the rule of law.”
Read the article HERE.
Jeff Sessions came in and through several press conferences let the public know he has every intention of cracking down and breaking up the crime syndicates and escalating crime across the country. His choices of additions speak plainly to the criminals, no more free ride and jail passes. Do the crime, do the time.
To those of us who have watched the decay of law, order, and enforcement over the last eight years, hearing that we have a strong law group again is music to our ears. I don’t want to see first timers throw in jail for most of their life over piddling things but at the same time neither do I want to see those same people laugh as they walk out of the court and then go on to harm innocent people or get them hooked on drugs. That is where a conservatively balanced judge has the ability to listen and then make a determination on sentencing after listening and considering all the facts.
I also don’t agree with enforcement going off half-cocked and beating suspects or depriving people of due process. I do believe though that Obama, Holder and candy rumped Lynch, were absolutely wrong in their lenient approach. Several that Obama pardoned have gone back to their life of crime ways and have harmed others in the process. He has their crimes squarely on his shoulders. Holder and Obama were caught red-handed in a gun scheme that should have landed Holder in jail and Obama impeached but we all know how far that got.
When law enforcement is shackled from performing their duties to keep the public safe, then it it is past time to change the way things are done. Apparently Jeff Sessions has gone quietly about fulfilling his sworn oath and duty by searching out and hiring tough DoJ people. Kudos to Sessions and good luck to his crew. They certainly are going to be extremely busy over the next four years. Hopefully, they bring the thugs in DC to justice publicly so that we citizens feel at least vindicated in pushing to vote for Trump and by extension his new administration.
‘Lock them up!” wasn’t just a chant. It was a demand that the elite be brought to justice under the same laws and with the same outcomes as every citizen in America, rich or poor. We are tired of a two justice system — one that gives elites a “get out of jail free” pass and one that throws the book at those who cannot afford or have the political power to save themselves.