Hastings Law Journal


Discussions about the federalization of crime traditionally have focused on substantive law: a crime will be handled in a state system or in the federal system depending on its definition. While it is true that federal and state crimes appear to have different coverage, federal criminal jurisdiction is fast becoming the rule rather than the exception. It follows that the federalization of crime is increasingly in the hands of federal prosecutors. Thus, informed debate on the respective state and federal roles in law enforcement should focus on the prosecutive function.

In their Article, Professor Jeffries and Judge Gleeson assert that organized crime is an especially appropriate target for federal prosecution. Federal prosecutors have powerful tools, including the use of accomplice testimony, federal grand juries, and the federal Sentencing Guidelines, that their state and local counterparts do not have. The authors argue that the advantages of federal prosecution can most productively be employed in the attack on criminal gangs and enterprises.

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