Valley prosecutors must start including prison time in all plea offers for gun crimes

Sep 1, 2022, 11:13 AM

(Pexels Photos)...

(Pexels Photos)

(Pexels Photos)

PHOENIX – With gun violence on the rise, Maricopa County prosecutors will have to include prison time in plea offers for cases involving firearms under a new policy.

“We’re partnering with the Phoenix Police Department to crack down on gun crimes, and so we are going to be unveiling a policy that if a gun is used in the commission of a crime or if somebody is an unlawful possessor of a gun, they are going to go to prison,” Rachel Mitchell, the interim head of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Thursday morning.

The policy change goes into effect Friday. Any deviations will require approval from a supervisor.

Valley law enforcement agencies submitted 16 homicide cases to prosecutors from Aug. 19 to Aug. 29, with 15 of the incidents involving guns and five involving domestic violence, according to MCAO.

“That’s just completely unacceptable,” said Mitchell, who was appointed as Maricopa County attorney in April and is the Republican nominee against Democrat Julie Gunnigle in the November general election.

Mitchell, a 30-year veteran of MCAO, said she’s seen similar policy changes serve as an effective crime deterrent.

“People need to know that we are serious about this, and we’re going to be asking for them to be high bond, to stay in jail so that they’re not out committing more violent offenses, and that will cut down on it,” she said. “And then we are going to be asking for prison.”

“The word will get around. I’m confident of that.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)...

MCSO’s Penzone expects scanner program at jails to be implemented within weeks

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said a scanner program that will detect for drugs and other contraband going in and out of jails will be up and running within weeks.

12 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Axis for Autism)...

SuElen Rivera

Autism evaluation, therapy clinic opens first East Valley location

A clinic offering autism diagnostic services and ABA therapy is expanding its presence in the Valley with the opening of a new clinic in Gilbert.

12 hours ago

Wreckage after BNSF freight train carrying new vehicles derailed overnight in Coconino County, Ariz...

Freight train carrying new vehicles derails in northern Arizona

Nobody was injured when a freight train carrying new vehicles derailed in northern Arizona overnight, officials said Thursday.

12 hours ago

Photos of a stolen husky puppy and suspects Logan Niemann and Taylor Sines. The Glendale, Arizona, ...

Kevin Stone

Glendale couple arrested for allegedly stealing husky puppy last month

A Glendale couple was arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing a husky puppy from a breeder last month, authorities said.

12 hours ago

(Arizona Humane Society Photo)...

Arizona Humane Society waiving adoption fees for pets 1 year and older starting Thursday

The Arizona Humane Society is hosting an adoption event that will run Thursday-Sunday, waiving fees for all pets one year old and older.

12 hours ago

(Flickr Photo/ADOT)...

ADOT begins first of 23 pavement repair projects set for this summer

The Arizona Department of Transportation has started the first of 23 projects to repair damaged pavement across the state.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...

Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Valley prosecutors must start including prison time in all plea offers for gun crimes