U.S. Attorneys: Leading the Justice Department on the Ground in Alabama
From the dismantling of multistate crime rings to prosecution of corrupt officials, from pursuit of drug conspirators, human traffickers and terrorists to enforcement of civil rights laws, a U.S. Attorney’s Office is the local arm of the U.S. Justice Department.
Over the decades in Alabama, U.S. attorneys have taken on traditional crime fighting and high-profile cases, including prosecution of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombers. They’ve tackled cases that challenged Alabama government, including abuses in state prisons, restrictions on voting rights and the constitutionality of a state immigration law. U.S. Attorney’s Offices also have provided connective tissue between federal, state and local law enforcement departments on challenging issues such as the opioid crisis.
With the broad span of federal law, U.S. attorneys have an array of priorities they can pursue.
U.S. attorneys in Alabama have been among the appointees made early in the transition from President Barack Obama to President Donald Trump and with the appointment of Alabamian Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general.
BirminghamWatch talked with the state’s three U.S. attorneys appointed by Trump to find out their operational priorities.
“The United States attorney is the chief federal law enforcement officer in any given district and therefore should be the leading law enforcement agency in setting priorities and the tone for the district,” said U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. “They should be leading the way with not only other federal agencies, but also supporting as best they can the state and local ones, whether it is through their task forces, joint efforts or training. State and local law agencies can often look to the federal level to help lead the way, and I think the U.S. Attorney’s Offices should be at the forefront of that.”
BirminghamWatch has interviewed Alabama’s three new U.S. attorneys. Read the stories from each of those interviews:
Robert Moore, in Mobile.
Jay Town, in Montgomery.
Louis V. Franklin Sr., in Birmingham