Prosecution of Criminal Organizations - A More Effective Means to Curbing Violence

A federal prosecution that focuses on the organization responsible for directing the violence will be more effective by addressing both “the shot-callers” and the “soldiers” that ultimately carry out these violent missions. Typically, the organization will have an “enforcer” that relays the mission from “shot-caller” to “soldier” and usually supervises to ensure that the mission is carried out. An effective means of curbing the urban violence is to target each person responsible for the deadly outcome. To further enhance the effectiveness of targeting organizations, a constant vigil of that organization should be maintained. A one-time prosecution of a criminal organization will rarely be sufficient in curbing violence in the long term. An experienced federal prosecutor recognizes that “today’s defendant is tomorrow’s cooperator.” Incorporating these cooperators into subsequent investigations of the criminal organization will greatly disrupt, if not dismantle, the organization.

Author: Joseph A. Cooley, Trial Attorney. Organized Crime and Gang Section, Criminal Division

Federal Sponsor Agency: DOJ, Executive Office for United States Attorneys

Provider: This article is sourced from the U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorney Bulletin: August 2017, Volume 65, Number 5

Publication Date: August 2017

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