Biden US Attorney nominee has lengthy do-not-prosecute list

President Biden delivers remarks to intelligence community for first time as president

President Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts is a soft-on-crime progressive who has declined to prosecute low-level offenses such as shoplifting, trespassing and drug possession.

Rachael Rollins, the district attorney for Suffolk County, was nominated by Biden on Monday and is likely to be confirmed by the Senate this fall, unless a Democratic senator votes against her. 

After taking office in January 2019, Rollins released a policy memo identifying more than a dozen charges she said should be declined for prosecution entirely or recommended for diversion, such as mental health or substance abuse treatment.

Such low-level offenses included trespassing, shoplifting, larceny, disorderly conduct, receiving stolen property, driving with a suspended license, wanton or malicious destruction of property, threats, underage drinking, drug possession, possession with intent to distribute and resisting arrest.

Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, who recommended Rollins for the job, said they would work to get her confirmed “as quickly as possible.”

“District Attorney Rollins is a national leader on transforming the criminal justice system and shifting away from an approach based on punishment and penalization to one that combats the root causes of injustice, whether it be poverty, substance use, or racial disparity,” they said in a joint statement Monday.

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