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Tag: Justice Department

Federal Monitor to Review Newark PD After Numerous Violations Found

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal monitor will investigate and review the Newark Police Department after the Justice Department found that officers routinely violated the constitutional rights of its citizens, The Star-Ledger reports.

The DOJ reached an agreement over the federal monitor with the city of Newark.

A three-year review of the police department found troublesome problems with officers who ignored the rights of residents.

“The people of Newark deserve to be safe, and so do the thousands who come here,” New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said.

“They also need to know the police protecting them are doing that important — and often dangerous — work while respecting their constitutional rights.”
Newark will become the first city in New Jersey to come under the overnight of a federal watchdog.

Report: FBI Failed to Reveal Flawed Lab Work in Death Row Cases

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A scathing report accuses the FBI and Justice Department of waiting too long to notify prosecutors of flawed forensic work used in death-row convictions, the Washington Post reports.

The Office of Inspector General reported Wednesday on one of the worst modern scandals involving the FBI lab. The Inspector General found that the Justice Department failed to properly review cases handled by FBI examiners with a history of flawed work.

The report indicates that more than 60 death-row defendants were notified that their cases were handled by 13 lab examiners whose work has been questioned. But it took more than five years to identify those defendants, according to the report.

One man was executed in Texas in 1997 but should not have been because of the FBI’s flawed work, the report states.

Prosecutors Change Their Tune on Deterrence Involving Corporate Wrongdoing

FBI Director James Comey

By DEVLIN BARRETT and KIRSTEN GRIND 
Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON—In extracting multibillion-dollar fines from Citigroup Inc. and other big banks, prosecutors say they are trying to deter future corporate wrongdoing by making shareholders angry enough to demand changes.

It is a significant shift in tone for the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation, which have argued for years that sending people to prison is the best way to prevent white-collar crime.

In the past month, top officials including FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Eric Holder said future corporate misdeeds can be avoided by imposing large or record-breaking penalties on companies. On Wednesday, Associate Attorney General Tony West said one factor the Justice Department considers in imposing stiff penalties is whether the fine “could be regarded by shareholders and management as merely the cost of doing business.”

To read more click here.

Insane Clown Posse Can’t Sue Government Over FBI Gang Report, Judge Rules

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The rap-metal duo Insane Clown Posse has lost its lawsuit against the feds.

U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland dismissed the group’s lawsuit against the FBI and Justice Department,  saying the government can’t be blamed for any fallout from a 2011 FBI report that classified fans of the group as a “loosely organized hybrid gang,”  the Associated Press reported. The fans are known as Juggalos.

The AP reported that the U.S. Justice Department is not responsible for how authorities use a national report on gangs.

Fans claimed they were unfairly targeted by local authorities because of the gang label.

New Jersey Senator Says He’s Victim of Cuban Plot to Smear Him with False Allegations about Prostitutes

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Robert Menendez is urging the Justice Department to investigate what he claims was an elaborate smear campaign by Cuban operatives to destroy his reputation with lies about prostitutes, the Washington Post reports.

The New Jersey Democrat, a vociferous critic of Castro’s regime, said Cuban officials created a fake tipster to claim that Memendez was partying with underage prostitutes while vacationing at his Dominican Republic home of a friend.

According to officials familiar with the case, the CIA found evidence that Cuban agents fabricated a tipster.

The allegations came out publicly in November 2012, when a conservative website quoted two Dominican women who claimed to have sex with Menendez.

U.S. Releases Justice Department Documents Justifying Killing of U.S. Citizen in Yemen

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. did not violate the constitution or other laws by killing American citizen Anwar Awlaki in Yemen without due process of law, the Justice Department argues in a previously secret memoir release by a federal court Monday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The memo was written in 2010, a year before a U.S. drone strike killed Awlaki.

The documents were released after the ACLU and New York Times sued.

The memo is unusual because it advocates killing of an American citizen without the opportunity of due process. It was written by former Obama Justice Department official David Barron

“In the present circumstances, as we understand the facts, the U.S. citizen in question has gone overseas and become part of the forces of an enemy with which the United States is engaged in an armed conflict; that person is engaged in continual planning and direction of attacks upon U.S. persons from one of the enemy’s overseas bases of operations; the U.S. government does not know precisely when such attacks will occur; and a capture operation would be infeasible,” Barron wrote.

U.S. Senate Mulls House Measure That Would Crack Down on DEA Raids of Medical Marijuana

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate is considering a measure already approved by the House that would ban the DEA from using its budget to target marijuana users in states where cannabis is legal for medical purposes, the Huffington Post reports.

The amendment to the Justice Department’s budget was introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, who is calling for the feds to back off their zealous pursuit of pot in the 22 states where medical marijuana is legal.

Huffington Post writes that the amendment is gaining steam, with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., signing on as a co-sponsor.

“Poll after poll shows 70-80 percent of Americans support medical marijuana,” Marijuana Policy Project’s Dan Riffle said. “Even among conservatives, most oppose enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states where marijuana is legal for some purpose. Having two rising stars like Rand Paul and Cory Booker team up to introduce this amendment just shows how popular the issue has become, and that our outdated federal marijuana laws are inevitably going to change.”

The House last month voted 219-189 in favor of a similar amendment.

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Washington Post Editorial: Justice Department Should Order States to Comply with Prison Rape law

Washington Post
Editorial Board

Congress unanimously passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act in 2003. More than a decade later, many states are only beginning to comply with the law, and prison rape is still a disgusting and pervasive problem across the country.

According to the latest Justice Department survey, 4 percent of state and federal prison inmates had reported suffering sexual abuse in the previous year. That ratio was a staggering 1 in 10 for youths in various correctional facilities. And those results reflect only those willing to report sexual abuse to survey-takers.

Although American culture often treats it as such, rape cannot be an expected part of how the justice system punishes criminals, particularly young and vulnerable offenders. They surrender their liberty, not their humanity. Any official tolerance of sexual abuse in prisons, jails or local lockups is torture. Congress wisely decided to devote federal time and money to stamping it out.

So what’s the holdup? The law required a commission to make recommendations, then the Justice Department spent years finalizing rules for the states to follow. Last month, states had to report on their progress. Only New Hampshire and New Jersey certified that they fully comply with the law. Most of the rest instead offered “assurances” to the Justice Department that they were working on complying. The law offers states this leeway, as long as they devote a significant chunk of the federal money they get toward prison rape reform. Then there are a handful of states —Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, Texas, Utah and Florida — that offered no assurances that they would comply. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said that the rules are too one-size-fits all and would be too costly.

To read more click here.