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Tag: Justice Department

Washington Post Editorial: Eric Holder Must Carefully Rebuild Justice Dept. Civil Rights Division

A.G. Eric Holder

A.G. Eric Holder

By The Washington Post
Editorial Page
WASHINGTON — NO PART OF the Justice Department was more harmed by partisan politics during the Bush administration than the Civil Rights Division. Political litmus tests were inappropriately and illegally applied in hiring career and nonpolitical posts. (“Libs” and “pinkos” need not apply.)

Department leaders de-emphasized and at times discouraged litigation in areas that had been central to the division’s mission, including voting rights, housing and employment discrimination.

They often shunned cases against police departments and other institutions engaged in a “pattern or practice” of discrimination. Morale plummeted, leading to a mass exodus that sapped the division of skilled lawyers and institutional memory.

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Retired Justice Dept. Official and Fed Judge Malcolm Wilkey Dies at Age 90

Malcolm Wilkey certainly made his mark on our federal law enforcement and judicial system.gavel

By Matt Schudel
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON –– Malcolm R. Wilkey, 90, a retired Justice Department official, federal judge and ambassador who led the 1992 investigation into the scandal surrounding the internal bank of the U.S. House of Representatives, died Aug. 15 at his home in Santiago, Chile. He had prostate cancer.

In a long and varied career, Judge Wilkey prosecuted international drug smugglers, led federal efforts to integrate public schools in the South and participated in several key rulings on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington from 1970 to 1985.

For Full Story

Justice Dept. Vows to Continue Probing 1964 KKK Killings of Civil Rights Workers

Good to know the statute of limitations does not apply to murder. Good to know the Justice Department hasn’t given up on this case. But it better step it up if it wants to eventually file charges before everyone dies off like Bill Wayne Posey.

fbi photo

fbi photo

By Jerry Mitchell
Jackson Clarion-Ledger
JACKSON, Miss. — Billy Wayne Posey, a key suspect in the Ku Klux Klan’s killings of three civil rights workers in 1964 in Mississippi, has died, but Justice Department officials say they’re continuing their investigation of the remaining suspects.

The 73-year-old Posey died Thursday of natural causes, according to friends. That leaves four living suspects in the June 21, 1964, killings of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner in the Justice Department’s investigation.

Posey’s funeral is set for 3 p.m. today at Stephens Chapel in Philadelphia, with burial to follow in Henry’s Chapel Cemetery.

Alvin Sykes of Kansas City, architect of the bill authorizing the Justice Department’s new cold-case unit, emerged from a recent meeting with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, saying Posey was their key suspect in the federal reinvestigation into the trio’s killings.

For Full Story

Justice and Homeland Officials Look At Mich. to House Guantanamo Inmates

michigan11In a state where the economy just plain old sucks, this will help out a little. And besides, these prisoners have to be held somewhere.

By JOHN FLESHER
Associated Press Writer
STANDISH, Mich. — Federal and state officials visited a maximum-security prison in rural Michigan on Thursday to begin assessing its suitability to house Guantanamo Bay detainees.

About a dozen state officials were joined by 18 representatives from the Defense, Justice and Homeland Security departments and the Bureau of Prisons on the tour of the lockup in Standish, said Russ Marlan, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections.

The prison in Standish, 145 miles north of Detroit, and a military penitentiary at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., are being considered to house the 229 suspected al-Qaida, Taliban and foreign fighters currently at the Guantanamo Bay prison, if it is closed by 2010 as President Barack Obama has ordered.

For Full Story

Obama’s Justice Dept. May Be Changing Course on Pornography Cases

hustlerWith all that’s going on in this country — terrorism threats, mortgage fraud, political corruption — it’s not a bad idea for the Justice Dept. to drop this as a high priority.

By Josh Gerstein
Politico

President Barack Obama’s Justice Department has quietly agreed to move a pornography prosecution out of socially conservative Montana to more urbane New Jersey – fueling perceptions by some attorneys that the new administration is stepping back from the aggressive approach the Bush administration took to prosecuting obscenity.

“This is a substantial change of position,” said Louis Sirkin, an attorney who has represented many in the pornography industry, including Hustler publisher Larry Flynt. “The new administration has come in there and made a new determination….It certainly is different than what we have seen in the past.”

“I think it has a lot to do with the change in administration,” said a former federal prosecutor, Laurie Levenson of Loyola Law School. “It makes you wonder how far they were pushing the envelope before…..These cases are fraught with problems and are not a high priority.”

For Full Story

Justice Dept. Lawyer Matthew Glomb Struck Dead by Lightning While Jogging on North Carolina Beach

It’s amazing how you can go from virtual heaven — jogging on the beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina — to being struck dead by lightning. A sad tale.

outter-banks-of-nc

By Maria Glod
Washington Post Staff Writer

A Department of Justice lawyer from Prince William County was fatally struck by lightning Monday while jogging on the beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, authorities said.

Matthew Glomb, 49, of Woodbridge was remembered by friends and colleagues as a family man and a deeply religious person who had a great sense of humor.

“The second you met him he cared about you,” said Sara Scichilone, 21, who met Glomb through Chrysalis, a group that runs Christian youth retreats.

Glomb joined the Justice Department in 2002 after a career in the U.S. Coast Guard that included a stint as a military judge, said Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller. At the Justice Department, Glomb worked in the aviation-admiralty office and specialized in maritime law. He was a 1994 graduate of George Washington University’s law school.

For Full Story

Justice Dept. Hopes to Close Anthrax Case Soon

One year after scientist Bruce Ivins killed himself, the department is trying to close up the case. But there are still some folks who believe that Ivins was not the culprit. Is this one of those cases that will continue to produce conspiracy theories that go far beyond this one scientist?

Suspect Bruce Ivins
Suspect Bruce Ivins

By Devlin Barrett
The ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON — A year after government scientist Bruce Ivins killed himself while under investigation for the lethal anthrax letters of 2001, the Justice Department is on the verge of closing the long, costly and vexing case.

Several law enforcement officials told the Associated Press that the department tentatively planned last week to close the case but backed away from that decision after government attorneys said they needed more time to review the evidence and determine what further information can be made public without compromising grand jury secrecy or privacy laws.

For Full Story

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Advocates Elimination of Crack-Powder Cocaine Sentencing in Speech to Black Prosecutors

The sentencing disparity between crack and powdered cocaine has long been a controversial one. Many critics say the law is unfair and targets the black community. But some federal agents and prosecutors argue that crack is far more likely to be associated with violence, and consequently should carry tougher penalties.

Eric Holder

Eric Holder

By Lawrence Buser
Memphis Commercial Appeal
MEMPHIS — The nation’s top prosecutor told members of the National Black Prosecutors Association today that the pursuit of justice should include eliminating sentencing disparities in cases involving crack and powder cocaine.

Speaking to some 200 association members at the Marriott Downtown, U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder said the Justice Department is reviewing federal sentencing policies, including “the 100-to-1 crack-powder sentencing ratio” adopted in the 1980s.

“Although some may seek to impose the soft-on-crime label on anyone who speaks the truth about this issue, we all know that this egregious difference in punishment is simply wrong,” said Holder, 58, a former federal judge in Washington.

“I have seen first-hand the effect that disparities in drug sentences have had on our communities. In my career as a prosecutor and as a judge, I saw too often the cost borne by the community when promising, capable young people sacrificed years of their futures for non-violent offenses.”

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