FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Dan Meuser, R-PA, introduced a bill that takes direct aim at prosecutors deemed to be soft-on-crime, calling for the officials to “do their jobs” and uphold state and federal laws.
“Perhaps the greatest responsibility of a government is to assure the safety and well-being of its citizens,” Meuser said in a press release, obtained first by Fox News Digital.
“But far too often in recent years, woke prosecutors have failed to pursue charges against criminals that police officers have often risked their lives to arrest,” Meuser said. “Instead, prosecutors have inserted their own ideological, political agenda into the justice system and deemed themselves judge and jury.”
On Wednesday, the Republican representative introduced the Holding Prosecutors Accountable Act, H.B 6999, which would make prosecutors’ offices that fail to prosecute at least 67% of arrests for violent crimes ineligible for Department of Justice Byrne Grants.
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Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., arrives to the U.S. Capitol for the last votes of the week on Friday, November 3, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
The grants are the “leading source” of federal justice funding to state jurisdictions, the Department of Justice said.
Meuser said that his bill comes as American citizens had a front row seat to “soft-on-crime” policies that have “emboldened criminals.”
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“The failure to prosecute such an alarming number of arrests has emboldened criminals as they now believe their illegal, violent actions will go unpunished,” Meuser said. “We have seen the devastating result of this soft-on-crime mentality as violence skyrockets in our nation’s major cities.”
We have seen the devastating result of this soft-on-crime mentality as violence skyrockets in our nation’s major cities.
A sheriffs deputy in California holds up police tape to allow a vehicle to enter a crime scene. (Andri Tambunan/AFP via Getty Images)
The Pennsylvania Republican said that “ideological prosecutors” in Washington D.C. only prosecuted 44% of arrests in the 2023 fiscal year and 33% in the fiscal year 2022.
Meuser said that, “shockingly,” the 2023 prosecution rate of 44% is the highest it’s been in nine of the last ten years in the city.
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He said that the violence has hit close to home after three of his staff members were robbed at gunpoint and his car windows were smashed while parked outside his home in the nation’s capital.
Mueser said that in 2023 compared to 2022, homicides were up 35%, armed robberies were up 67%, motor vehicle thefts were up 82%, carjackings were up 103%, arson was up 175%, and violent crime as a whole was up 39% in Washington D.C.
A photo of a law enforcement vehicle for the DC Police Department. (Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
In addition to threatening federal funding, the legislation would require prosecutors’ offices that serve jurisdictions larger than 380,000 people to publish their prosecution rate data on an annual basis.
Meuser said that most jurisdictions do not make their prosecution rate data available to the public.
“The American people have the right to know how many criminals their local, often elected, prosecutor is releasing without pursuing charges,” Meuser said.
Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., leaves the U.S. Capitol after the last votes of the year on Thursday, December 14, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Rep. Meuser argued that “commonsense says” that when the prosecution rate is increased, there will be fewer offenders.
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“My bill seeks to hold prosecutors accountable and helps ensure George Soros-backed ideologues are not releasing criminals back onto our streets without consequences,” Meuser said. “Commonsense says that when you increase the prosecution rate of dangerous criminals there will be fewer offenders in our communities to commit acts of violence.”