After a review ordered by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the Department of Justice has revamped and updated the United States Attorneys’ Manual.  This is the first comprehensive update of the Manual in 20 years.  The Manual is now titled the “Justice Manual.”

The most notable change for that will effect federal criminal practitioners are the changes to the “Principles of Federal Prosecution” section.  The section has been expanded and the language updated.  The updates include language that pushes prosecutors to pursue charges that carry the most substantial penalties.

A few other notable changes

    • The subsection “Need for Free Press and Public Trial” has been removed. The language was replaced with text about balancing “the right of the public to have access to information about the Department of Justice” against other factors.
    • In the section about voting rights, there are no more references to redistricting or racial gerrymandering. There are still references regarding bans on practices such as literacy tests, poll taxes, and measures that deny voting rights based on race.
    • The manual revision also cut language discouraging unnecessary charges, as well as Alford pleas.

The new Manual can be found HERE.