Prosecutor: No more plea bargains in gun violence cases

CINCINNATI (AP) — The top prosecutor in one of Ohio’s most populous counties has decided that his office will no longer offer plea bargains in any cases involving gun violence or possession of illegal firearms.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced his decision Tuesday, saying it will take effect immediately.

“It’s time for this nonsense to end,” Deters said.

The directive comes in the wake of a violent holiday weekend in Cincinnati. Among the incidents was a Fourth of July shooting at a downtown park where authorities say a 19-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy opened fire on each other, leaving both of them dead and three innocent bystanders wounded.

Hundreds of teens were gathered at Smale Park when the shooting occurred shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday, authorities have said. At the time, police officers were working to clear out the riverfront park before its closing time.

“People must be held accountable for their choices. As a community, we must stand together and say ‘enough is enough,’” Deters said. “No amount of money can fix the problems we are facing. Parents must parent their children. Communities must speak up.”