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Washington Times: Obama’s Poor Choice for Homeland Security Secretary

By the Washington Times 
Editorial Page

Janet Napolitano finally retired as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to take a job as president of the University of California.

That’s good news for friends of reason, good sense and liberty, considering her tenure was marked by the implementation of backdoor amnesty schemes.

The not-so-good news is that President Obama’s replacement doesn’t sound much better. Jeh Johnson, formerly the top lawyer at the Pentagon, was crowned, or bemedaled, or beribboned, or whatever may be appropriate for that job, in a Rose Garden ceremony Friday. He was a Manhattan trial lawyer and a lobbyist who was general counsel at the Defense Department during Mr. Obama’s first term.

The department looks dysfunctional, and may need someone more than a professional lobbyist.

To read more click here.

FBI Apologizes for Press Release That Gives False Credit to Head of Connecticut Office

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI office in Connecticut issued an unusual apology after sending out a press release with false information about the office’s new head, Patricia Ferrick said.

The Hartford Courant reports that the Sept. 23 news release incorrectly credited Ferrick for playing a key role in an investigation she wasn’t involved in.

“Ms. Ferrick left the ranks of management [at FBI headquarters in Washington] in 2005 and transferred to the New Haven Division after being selected primary investigator of a high-profile case involving the governor of Connecticut,” the news release read.

Turns out, Ferrick didn’t investigate the case, according to the Courant.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Detroit Cop on ATF Task Force Dies From Wounds Suffered in April Shootout

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Detroit cop Patrick Hill — part of a federal task force– who was critically wounded in a shootout with a murder suspect in early April on the city’s west side, died Saturday, a source tells Deadline Detroit.

Hill got into a shootout while trying to arrest a murder suspect. The suspect was killed by law enforcement. Another officer was wounded during the shootout, but was treated and released from the hospital within 24 hours of the shooting.

Details about his death were sketchy.

Originally, back in April, it was reported that Hill was shot in the head multiple times. Reports later came out that he may have been hit by shrapnel or metal fragments, possibly from a car that was hit by bullets.

Hill was a highly respected cop on the task force.

 

Parker: U.S. Attorney Joe Hayes, A Contributor to the Rule of Law (1940-2013)

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office. He is the author of the book “Carving Out the Rule of Law: The History of the United States Attorney’s Office in Eastern Michigan 1815–2008″.

Roy Hayes

 
By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Roy C. (Joe) Hayes, the 45th United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan (1986-89), died earlier this month.  Although his contributions extended to several other venues, it is this service that stands out for those of us who were privileged to work with and for him in the federal system.

Considering the epochal changes that occurred to the federal criminal justice system during his term, Joe’s common sense and leadership provided a steady hand at the Office tiller. Plus he was one of the nicest guys you could work for. His personal and professional history made a significant contribution to the rule of law in Michigan, in both the state and federal systems.

He was born on June 19, 1940 in Detroit, and he grew up in the city, where his father operated an advertising and public relations business.  At an early age, he was given the nickname “Joe,” and it stuck throughout his life among his friends and co-workers. He was graduated from the University of Notre Dame High School in 1958, and with his strong Irish and Roman Catholic background, he naturally chose to attend the University of Notre Dame, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1962.  He then went to law school at the University of Detroit, graduating in 1965.

Joe was selected in 1966 to be the Editor of the Detroit Lawyer, the primary publication of the Detroit Bar Association.  During this same time, he served as public relations counsel of the State Bar of Michigan and of the Detroit Bar Association.  In 1967, a tumultuous time for the city, he became an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. 

He was soon assigned to a heavy schedule of trying major felony cases in one of the busiest criminal courts in the nation.  He developed an expertise in trying murder, arson and fraud cases.  In 1969 he left the office to be Assistant Director of the Crime Control Project for the American Bar Association in Chicago.  The experience of working under the direction of famed trial lawyers Leon Jaworski and Edward Bennett Williams left a strong impression on him.

From 1970 until 1975, Joe Hayes headed the Wayne County Organized Crime Task Force in Detroit.  As the director of the operation, he supervised a task force of prosecutors and law enforcement officers who investigated major corruption. His most important case of was the 10th Precinct Police Corruption trial, which involved one of the longest trials in Michigan history.  The nine-month trial involved the first use of metal detectors in a Michigan courtroom.  The case resulted in the conviction of fourteen police officers and six drug traffickers.

Ross Parker

In January 1976, he left the task force to accept the appointment as Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney.  In 1978 he formed the law firm of Hayes and Beatly in Charlevoix and, for seven years, engaged in a diverse legal practice, which he left in 1986 to become United States Attorney.

Few USAs have managed the changes and challenges Joe Hayes faced in his term. The biggest of these was probably the Sentencing Reform Act which caused one of the most important changes in the federal criminal justice system in the twentieth century.  Under the prior “indeterminate” sentencing system, there were almost no limitations on the range of sentences a judge could impose for a particular offense committed by a particular defendant.  The result was a wide disparity of sentences for similarly situated defendants.  The other complaint about this system was that defendants were eligible for parole after serving only one-third of their sentence.  That fact plus a generous good time system made the actual time served by an offender impossible to predict until his or her release on parole.

The Sentencing Guidelines system tried to avoid disparity, uncertainty and unfairness by requiring judges to impose sentences within a narrow range.  The Sentencing Commission developed a time grid based on the category of the offense and the criminal record of the offender. 

The defendant would serve “real time” sentences, minus the prescribed good time allowance. Parole was replaced by a mandatory period of supervised release tacked on after an inmate left prison. Although it had several important benefits, the system was incredibly complicated and many practitioners predicted disastrous chaos. Plus mandatory minimums could be indiscriminately harsh. AUSAs faced criticism for the new system on a daily basis. Joe’s patience and encouragement got us through a challenging time of adjustment.

 

Read more »

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Los Angeles Mob

New Movie “The Fifth Estate” Opens

httpv://youtu.be/YQOiS_l_0Jk

FBI, Justice Department Urged to Re-Open 1985 Pipe Bombing of Arab American Group

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Civil rights supporters are calling for the FBI and Justice Department to reopen the investigation into the 1985 killing of a prominent Palestinian American leader, Democracy Now reports.

Alex Odeh was killed by a powerful pipe bomb placed at the offices of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination in Santa Ana, Calif., where he served as group’s western regional director.

The FBI’s focus was on the Jewish Defense League, according to Democracy Now.

But no one has been arrested.

“Despite 28 years of knocking on the doors of justice, we have not found it yet. Alex was a very peaceful man,” says Albert Mokhiber, former president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. “He was known as an activist, in not just the Arab-American movement and Palestinian issues, but civil rights in general.”

Attorneys for Aurora Theater Shooting Suspect Question Police Handling of Case

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorneys for Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes are trying to convince a judge to restrict some evidence from being used at trial because of the police’s handling of the investigation, ABC 7 in Denver reported.

One of the issues is why police continued to talk to Holmes after his attorney advised them not to.

Holmes is charged with more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder after opening fire in a movie theater in Aurora in July 2012, killing 12 people and injuring 70.