Sessions Sets New Prosecutorial Guidelines for Justice Department

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo establishing new prosecuting guidelines for the Justice Department and the types of crimes it pursues.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has released a memo establishing new prosecuting guidelines for the Justice Department. The memo directs federal prosecutors to pursue the most serious charges possible against most criminal suspects.

The memo rescinds policy put forth by former Attorney General Eric Holder.  Holder had issued a similar memo in August 2013 which instructed federal prosecutors to refrain from charging certain suspects with with drug offenses that would lead to long prison sentences.

Sessions’ memo outlines some core principles that federal prosecutors should adhere to.

First, it says prosecutors should charge and pursue the most serious and readily provable crimes and enforcing the law which Sessions says is “moral and just.”

And second, Sessions says that prosecutors must disclose fall facts impacting sentencing guidelines and seek a reasonable sentence in all cases.

A copy of Sessions’ memo is included below.

2015-05-10 Sessions Memo to Federal Prosecutors

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.