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Tag: criminal justice

Bernie Sanders Proposes barring ‘Disreputable’ Law Enforcement Officials from Testifying in Court

Bernie Sanders

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled a sweeping criminal justice reform plan that includes a proposal aimed at “disreputable” federal law enforcement officials.

Sanders is calling for the creation of a list of “disreputable” federal law enforcement officials who would be barred from testifying in court so testimony from untrustworthy sources does not lead to criminal convictions.”

Sanders also proposed providing “financial support to pilot local and state level no-call lists.”

The plan does not specify the process of deeming law enforcement officials as “disreputable.”

Sanders’ nearly 6,000-word reform plan also calls for cutting the country’s prison population in half and purging the criminal justice system of “institutional racism and corporate profiteering.”

Retired ATF Agent Vincent Cefalu’s Book Chronicles the Everyday Dangers of Working Undercover

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.comas

By any standards, Vincent A. Cefalu was a gutsy guy.

Cefala, who is now retired from ATF, spent 30 years with the agency as an undercover agent working criminal organizations including the Symbionese Liberation Army, outlaw motorcycle gangs and splinter groups of the Ku Klux Klan.

Now, Cefalu has penned a book, “RatSnakes,” which chronicles the dangers he faced daily on the job.

His webpage describes the book this way:

Part field guide, part heart-pounding thrill-ride, Cefalu takes readers on a tour of what it’s like to confront death on a daily basis. En route, he gives us a look at the on-the-job techniques of kicking in doors, orchestrating “street theater” to ensnare criminals, and making high-stakes gun buys. His irreverent, explicit stories from the inside are a mix of danger and unexpected hilarity that will have readers laughing one minute and then biting their nails when things break bad.

Cefalu, who has a master’s degree in the Psychological sciences, is an adjunct faculty instructor  in the Psychology Department and Criminal Justice Department at the University of Phoenix and ITT Technical College.

Joaquin “Jack” Garcia, a former undercover FBI agent and New York Times bestselling author of Making Jack Falcone, wrote this about Cefalu’s book:

The LE Undercover community is limited to those who are born with the ability to take on some of the most dangerous, ‘up close and personal’ assignments. In that select group, Vince Cefalu is one who stands out because of his bravery and his ability to walk undetected among the most hardened criminals. A real badass who I’m proud to call my friend.”

To buy a book, click here.

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AG Holder’s Budget Reflects Desire for Criminal Justice, Prison Reforms

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder’s proposed $27.4 billion budget places a priority on criminal justice and prison reform, the Washington Post reports.

The budget reflects Holder’s initiative to reduce the number of low-level drug offenders and crack down on recidivism rates with expanded drug treatment programs.

About $173 million is earmarked for criminal justice reform.

“Each dollar spent on prevention and reentry has the potential to save several dollars in incarceration costs,” Holder said in a statement.

“These wise investments can help make our criminal justice system more effective and efficient.”

Report: Just 3% of Drug Defendants in Federal Cases Chose Trial Over Guilty Plea

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A tiny fraction of drug defendants in federal cases chose to go to trial instead of pleading guilty.

A new report from Human Rights Watch indicates that just 3% of defendants charged with drugs choose to go to trial, the Huffington Post reports.

The reason: The excessive penalties for drugs, according to the report.

“Prosecutors can say, ‘Take these 10 years or, if you get a trial and are convicted, you’re going to look at life,’” said Fellner, an attorney who specializes in criminal justice issues at Human Rights Watch. “That’s a pretty amazing power that unfortunately they are more than willing to wield.”

In effect, defendants feel forced to plead guilty in plea agreements to avoid lengthy prison sentence, whether they’re guilty or not.

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