Norton Reintroduces Bill Giving D.C. Control Over Local Prosecutions After Attacks at Capitol

Jan 12, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today reintroduced her bill to give D.C. control over local prosecutions to protect public safety in D.C. Although she has introduced the bill before, she says it is particularly important now to give the District control over local prosecutions in light of last week’s attacks on the Capitol. With Democrats controlling the majority in both chambers of Congress, Norton believes she can get this bill enacted.

“As with the D.C. National Guard and the D.C. police department, D.C. needs full control over our own prosecutions,” Norton said. “Events last week at the Capitol make clear that this is a matter of public safety. We should not have to rely on the U.S. Attorney for D.C., who is a federal official, for the District’s local prosecutions. As we continue the fight for D.C. statehood, I will continue working for the elements of statehood for the District, including control over our own National Guard, police, and prosecutions.”

Under federal law, D.C. does not have the authority to prosecute most violations of D.C. criminal law committed by adults. Instead, the U.S. Attorney for the District has that authority. In contrast, states and territories have the authority to prosecute all their local crimes.

After the attack on the Capitol last week, Norton announced she would reintroduce her bills to give the D.C. mayor control over the D.C. National Guard and to repeal the president’s authority to federalize the D.C. police department.