IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 7, 2023
Mr. Kennedy (for himself, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Thune, and Mrs. Blackburn) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to direct certain prosecutor's offices to annually report to the Attorney General, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Prosecutors Need to Prosecute Act of 2023.
District attorney and prosecutor reports
Section 501 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 10151) is amended—
by redesignating subsections (g) and (h) as subsections (h) and (i), respectively; and
by inserting after subsection (f) the following:
District attorney reporting requirements
In this subsection:
The term covered offense means any of the following:
Murder or non-negligent manslaughter.
Motor vehicle theft.
Any offense involving the illegal use of a firearm.
Any offense involving the illegal possession of a firearm.
The term covered prosecutor means the chief executive of a district attorney or prosecutor’s office that serves a local government—
the population of the jurisdiction of which is not less than 360,000 individuals; and
that receives funds under this part.
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Prosecutors Need to Prosecute Act of 2023, and annually thereafter, a covered prosecutor shall submit to the Attorney General a report that contains, for the previous fiscal year, the following:
The total number of cases referred to the covered prosecutor for prosecution of a covered offense.
The number of cases involving a covered offense—
that the covered prosecutor declined to prosecute or refer for diversion; or
for which the covered prosecutor declines to reach a plea agreement.
For cases involving a covered offense that result in a plea agreement or referral for diversion reached with the defendant, the number of cases for which the defendant—
was previously arrested for a covered offense arising out of a separate conviction;
was previously convicted for a covered offense arising out of a separate conviction;
with an open case involving a covered offense arising out of separate conviction;
serving a term of probation for a conviction for a covered offense arising out of separate conduct; and
was released on parole for a conviction for a covered offense arising out of separate conduct.
The number of covered offenses that the covered prosecutor does not prosecute as a result of an internal policy against prosecuting specific criminal offenses including—
each covered offense captured in the internal policy; and
each criminal offense that is not captured in the internal policy.
With respect to a covered prosecutor that complies with the requirement under paragraph (2)—
the Attorney General shall give priority in disbursing funds under this part to the local government served by the covered prosecutor; and
the local government described in subparagraph (A) shall ensure that the covered prosecutor receives a portion of the funds received under this part.
The Attorney General shall establish uniform standards for the reporting of the information required under this subsection, including the form such reports shall take and the process by which such reports shall be shared with the Attorney General.
Submission to judiciary committees
The Attorney General shall—
submit the information received under this subsection to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives; and
publish such information on a publicly viewable website.
Byrne-JAG funds and elimination of cash bail
The Attorney General shall not distribute amounts under subpart I of part E of title 1 of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 10151 et seq.) to a State or local government that has in effect a policy that prohibits the use of cash bail for a defendant in a case involving the illegal use or illegal possession of a firearm.