Americans approve of Syria missile strikes, Sessions will increase crime prosecutions new analysis says

The USS Porter, in the Mediterranean Sea, fires a Tomahawk missile April 7. The U.S. Defense Department said it was a part of missile strike against Syria. (U.S. Navy handout)

Tomahawk missiles strike Syrian airfield on April 7, 2017.

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A new survey by Pew Research Center shows that Americans approve of the U.S. missile strikes against Syria by a margin of 58% to 36%. The strikes were a response to the use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad’s government. About nine-in-ten Americans heard about the attacks through various medias according to the April 5-11 survey conducted by Pew.

Republicans approve the missile strikes by 77 percent and 61 percent believe President Donald Trump has a clear plan for dealing with the situation.  Democrat approval levels of the military action reached 45 percent.

FEDERAL PROSECUTIONS WILL INCREASE UNDER JEFF SESSIONS

In a separate Pew Research analysis, figures show that under the Obama administration the three most common crimes charged by the federal government declined the past five years. Prosecutions for drug, immigration and property offenses went down, not because the crimes went down. It was largely due to a 2013 shift directed by then-Attorney General Eric Holder. When he announced the shift he indicated prosecutors “cannot – and should not – bring every case or charge every defendant who stands accused of violating federal law.”

Prosecutions for drug, immigration and property offenses – the three most common categories of crime charged by the federal government – all have declined over the past five years. The Justice Department filed drug charges against 24,638 defendants in 2016, down 23% from 2011. It filed immigration charges against 20,762 defendants, down 26%. And it charged 10,712 people with property offenses such as fraud and embezzlement, a 39% decline.

President Trump and his Attorney General Jeff Sessions plan to increase prosecutions for drug and gun related offenses. Crime has been rising, yet federal criminal prosecutions dropped to the lowest levels in almost two decades under Obama. Pew’s analysis was taken from new data from the federal court system.

“It’s important to note that the data used in this analysis only count the number of defendants who are prosecuted each year,” Pew stated on March 28, 2017. “They do not reflect the number of defendants who are found guilty or sentenced to prison. These figures also include a small number of defendants whose cases did not reach federal court through a new prosecution, but through other means, such as a retrial.”

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