DA Sim Gill joins group of prosecutors seeking discretion in sentencing undocumented defendants

Sim Gill, Salt Lake County District Attorney. Photo: Twitter/@SimGillDA

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 2, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced Friday that he has joined 42 other elected prosecutors from across the country to urge the federal government to give full power to local prosecutors’ case-by-case discretion in sentencing and post-sentencing proceedings involving undocumented criminal defendants.

The amicus brief submitted today responds to a recent call for feedback issued by United States Attorney General William Barr in connection with a proposed rule change in deportation proceedings, a news release says.

The proposed rule would replace a long-standing bright-line rule of deference to decisions made by local prosecutors in the criminal cases they handle involving undocumented individuals, including local prosecutors’ decisions to modify convictions or reduce sentences based on new evidence, procedural error, or determinations of community need.

Amici, including Gill, argue that the proposed rule change should be rejected as breaking with decades of past practice and case law, and would fundamentally undermine local prosecutors’ exercise of judgment and discretion in how best to protect their local communities.

“Justice requires prosecutors to make individualized case-by-case determinations based on the facts of each crime, each victim, and each defendant,” Gill said in the prepared statement.

“The proposed rule would set aside the local prosecutors’ reasoned judgment and would effectively require federal deportation officials to make new factual and legal judgments without the experiential and evidentiary bases we at the local level already have.

“Ignoring our decisions whether to modify a conviction or sentence would also result in increased disbelief in some communities, particularly communities of color, that the justice system is, in fact, fair and non-discriminatory as required by the Constitution.”

The amicus brief follows:

Brief Amici Curiae of Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez and 42 Other Elected Law Enforcement Officials - Final


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