By Mairead Perez
SUFFOLK COUNTY, MASS – President Joe Biden has nominated Rachael Rollins, the current District Attorney for Suffolk County Mass., as U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, and her nomination is now pending approval in the Senate, where it is being met with strong Republican opposition.
Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell criticized Rollins for being “soft on crime,” a sentiment shared by many other Republicans such as Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Texas Senator Tom Cruz as part of a larger GOP effort to thwart her confirmation.
Rollins’ emphasis of having her prosecutors focus on serious offenses while moving petty crime, such as shoplifting and trespassing, to programs for drug and mental health treatment, has made her a target for Republican criticism, championing a “no tolerance” policies on petty crimes.
However, data from the Boston Police Department showed that Boston, which is under Rollins’ jurisdiction, experienced lower violent crime rates in 2021. These statistics are a distinct break from the national trend of rising criminal activity, including homicide, across both progressive and conservative jurisdictions.
Moreover, an independent study on crime in Suffolk county showed Rollins’ tactics of deviating from traditional forms of punishment for petty crime to prevent low-level offenders from entering the criminal justice system was effective in reducing future involvement in crime.
Despite the evidence demonstrating Rollins’ competency as a DA, she continues to be accused of causing growing crime rates along with other Democratic district attorneys.
GOP elected officials continue to accuse Democrats such as Rollins of defunding the police, despite the general trend of law enforcement funding rising in most U.S. jurisdictions.